By Michelle Schoffro Cook for Care2.com
1. In study after study, research from independent organizations consistently shows organic food is higher in nutrients than traditional foods. Research shows that organic produce is higher in vitamin C, antioxidants, and the minerals calcium, iron, chromium, and magnesium.
2. They’re free of neurotoxins-toxins that are damaging to brain and nerve cells. A commonly-used class of pesticides called organophosphates was originally developed as a toxic nerve agent during World War I. When there was no longer a need for them in warfare, industry adapted them to kill pests on foods. Many pesticides are still considered neurotoxins.
3. They’re supportive of growing children’s brains and bodies. Children’s growing brains and bodies are far more susceptible to toxins than adults. Choosing organic helps feed their bodies without the exposure to pesticides and genetically-modified organisms, both of which have a relatively short history of use (and therefore safety).
Something is not ripe with the tomato industry, according to Barry Estabrook’s book, Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit. Estabrook examines the corruption and hardships of the red and juicy fruit that is often seen atop many salads.
The fruit best known for being fresh in the summertime finds its way to the produce section each winter thanks to warm, sunny Florida weather. Estabrook writes that approximately one-third of the U.S.’s tomato supply comes from a state where tomatoes do not naturally grow. Florida’s environment is often difficult with a lack of nitrogen in the soil, insect pests, and bacterial and fungal diseases that can threaten the life of a plant. To make up for these disadvantages, tomato growers often spray the tomato farms with chemicals and pesticides, according to Estabrook.
These chemicals are very harmful to the hard-working tomato pickers and their families, who can get sick or have children with several birth defects. Not to mention these chemicals are extremely harmful to consumers, who may be at risk when ingesting the tomatoes. In addition, tomato pickers work very long and taxing hours in the brutal sun. The workers get no paid vacation and no benefits, and some have even been forced into slavery.
So, you watched Food, Inc. and made some serious dietary changes to safeguard your health. McDonald’s burgers are banned from your stomach and you eat organic as much as possible. Your meat and dairy purchases are antibiotic and hormone-free. Life is good, right?
What about your vegetables? Pesticides are not the only issue.
Sound the alarm because those veggies you’re eating may have been fertilized with manure that comes farm animals given antibiotics and hormones. This isn’t exactly breaking news. Antibiotics in vegetables has been discussed for awhile now, but as people like me and you become more health-conscious, news like this bubbles to the forefront. And quite frankly, I’m ticked off.
Do a Google search for “antibiotics in vegetables” or any similar phrase, and articles like this will pop up. Yes, it’s a big time drag. So what do you do when you think you’ve already done all you can do? (more…)
According to a report issued in the journal Pediatrics, about 15 percent of 1,239 girls studied showed the beginnings of breast development at age 7. One in 10 white girls showed breast growth by age 7 as did 23 percent of black girls and 15 percent of Hispanic girls. These percentages are twice the figures reported in 1997.
The long-term health risks associated with early development are increased risk for estrogen-dependent cancers like breast cancer and endometrial cancers. But the more immediate effects of premature puberty are the social, emotional and mental consequences of developing breasts early or getting a period before the third grade. Risk of confusion, depression, low self-esteem, body image challenges and eating disorders are all increased. (more…)
Guest bloggers, The Nutrition Twins® Tammy Lakatos, RD, CDN, CFT and Lyssie Lakatos, RD, CDN, CFT are authors of The Secret To Skinny and Fire Up Your Metabolism.
Our clients often ask us if they should be concerned about the pesticides that are used on their produce.
Here’s what you should know.
Most pesticides contain several toxins. Pesticides cause cancers in cell cultures and in animals. They may also cause hormonal changes which can cause additional harm. Studies also show pesticides increase the risk of cancer in humans. The National Cancer Institute found that farmers exposed to pesticides tend to have higher than expected rates of cancer of the lymph, blood, lip, stomach, skin, prostate, brain, testes and soft tissue.
Naturally, you’re probably wondering—should you stop eating fruits and vegetables?
No. Their benefits far outweigh their risks. However, weigh your risks of specific fruits and vegetables. Start by taking a look at the list of fruits and vegetables below. The ones that we call “The Dirty Dozen” are the ones that contain the most pesticide residues.