Disease-Proof Your Child:How do you feel about organic produce? Personally, I dig it. But, I don’t bend over backwards to get it. Only about 20% of my weekly vegetation intake comes from organic produce. Why only 20%? Well, according to Dr. Fuhrman the benefits of just eating more fruits and veggies outweigh many of the commonly worried about non-organic risks, like pesticide residue for example. From
The Environmental Protection Agency reports that the majority of pesticides now in use are probable or possible cancer causers. Studies of farm workers who work with pesticides suggest a link between pesticide use and brain cancer, Parkinson's disease, multiple myloma, leukemia, lymphoma, and cancers of the stomach, prostate, and testes.1 But the question remains, does the low level of pesticides remaining on our food present much of a danger?Organic and non-organic is always a hot topic of conversation. Even though I’m not a strict buyer of organic produce, I do think that we’d be better off if all our food was organic. What do you think? And here, to help fuel the discussion, check out this report by Amy Spindler of CookingLight.com. In it, the experts weigh in on organic verses conventional:
Some scientists argue that the extremely low level of pesticide residue remaining on produce is insignificant and that there are naturally occurring toxins in all natural foods that are more significant. The large amount of studies performed on the typical pesticide-treated produce have demonstrated that consumption of produce, whether organic or not, is related to lower rates of cancer and disease protection, not higher rates. Certainly, it is better to eat fruits and vegetables grown and harvested using pesticides than not eating them at all. The health benefits of eating phytochemical-rich produce greatly outweigh any risk pesticide residues might pose.
What's best for the environment is hotly debated among experts. "There is no scientifically accepted evidence that organic foods are better for the environment. Organic production allows natural pesticides, which can be toxic to humans and wildlife," says Alan McHughen, Ph.D., professor of botany and plant sciences at the University of California, Riverside. Organic fertilizers may also contain harmful bacteria, such as E. coli. Plus, organic farming yields only 75 to 90 percent of the crop of conventional systems, meaning that more land must be planted in order to have an equal return.Although, once the marketers hook into the organic idea, I’m sure they’ll be rolling out organic Big Macs, Chalupas, and Double Whoppers. 1. Sanderson WT, Talaska G, Zaebest D, et al. Pesticide prioritization for a brain cancer case-control study. Environ Res 1997;74(2):133-144. Zahm SH, Blair A. Cancer among migrant and seasonal farmworkers: an epidemiologic review and research agenda. Am J Ind Med 1993;24(6):753-766.
Organic advocates counter that chemicals used in conventional farming spread far beyond the fields where they are applied and have unintended consequences. "Synthetic pesticides have been linked to developmental and neurological problems," Benbrook says. "Organics eliminate synthetic pesticides and the damage they do to farmers, land, and drinking water."