Organic Food: Overpriced Scam Or Healthy Alternative?

Organic Food: Overpriced Scam Or Healthy Alternative?

organic foodIt’s hard to walk into a supermarket anywhere these days and not see Organic food.  I am living on the Baja Peninsula and I am able to purchase organic popcorn and oatmeal.

It seems organic is the rage but, not everyone agrees .  There are headlines like the following:

  • “The USDA ‘Organic’ Label Misleads And Rips Off Consumers” – Forbes
  • “Organic Foods Are Just A ‘Marketing Label” – Business Insider
  • “Don’t Believe the (Organic) Hype” – NPR”

So the question then is, “What’s the real truth about organic food?”  Is organic food a big rip off or is it a healthy and sensible alternative to bug killer, weed killer and GMO?  Let’s see!

The European Parliament

One of the most fascinating reports about organic food comes from a large project recently  commissioned by the European Parliament.  Experts from around the world were asked to study whether organic food and farming is healthier for us.  Here are some of the conclusions:

  • In conventional food, there are pesticide residues that remain in the food even after it’s washed. Organic foods are produced virtually without pesticides.
  • Three long-term birth cohort studies in the U.S. suggest that pesticides are harming children’s brains.
  • Women’s exposure to pesticides during pregnancy, measured through urine samples, was associated with negative impacts on their children’s IQ and neurobehavioral development, as well as with ADHD.
  • The gray matter was thinner in children the higher their mothers’ exposure to organophosphates, which are used widely in pesticides.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women, and women planning to become pregnant, may wish to eat organic foods as a precautionary measure because of the significant and possibly irreversible consequences for children’s health.

Important takeaway

When you choose organic food, you’re eating food with less (or without) pesticides. The whole basis of organic farming is to produce organic food without the need to use toxic pesticides.   Crops are managed in a way that prevents the need to use chemicals.

When produce from farms has been tested, organic food has far less pesticide residue compared with conventional (non-organic).  By eating organic food you can significantly decrease your exposure to pesticides!

According to consumer reports, “Organic is a strictly regulated term, so you can trust that you’re getting produce grown with minimal if any synthetic pesticides

Many of the pesticides used on conventional farms are hormone disruptors, neurotoxins, or reproductive toxins which are strongly linked to many diseases and health issues:

  • Cancer
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Parkinson’s
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Food Allergies
  • Autism
  • Infertility

Pesticides are even MORE damaging to children because their metabolism is different than adults and toxins remain longer in their body.  The damage starts in the womb! See the video “Ten Americans” by the Environmental Working Group. EWG President Ken Cook shares shocking information about how babies are born pre-polluted with as many as 300 industrial chemicals in their bodies.

From the American Academy of Pediatrics

“Epidemiologic evidence demonstrates associations between early life exposure to pesticides and pediatric cancers, decreased cognitive function, and behavioral problems… Recognizing and reducing problematic exposures will require attention to current inadequacies in medical training, public health tracking, and regulatory action on pesticides.”

Do Small Doses Matter

Critics say the amount of pesticides on food is too small to do any damage – but that isn’t the case when talking about endocrine-disruptors!

According to the Presidents Cancer Panel, “The entire U.S. population is exposed on a daily basis to numerous agricultural chemicals… Many of these chemicals have known or suspected carcinogenic or endocrine-disrupting properties.”

When it comes to endocrine disruptors, chronic small exposures matter.

Taken from the above video, “10 Americans”  Cialis is effective at a low dose of 30 PPB, while Nuvaring is effective for prevention of pregnancy at  0.035 PPB and a typical dose of paxil might be 30 PPB.  SO clearly parts per billion matter.

Now look at the doses of glyphosate found in breakfast cereal:  These stats are horryfying. It has been thought by some that very small amounts (.1 ppb) could be harmful.  Cheerios was found to have over 1000 ppb of glyphosate.  Many of our most popular foods, Wheaties (breakfast of champions ha!) Raisin Bran, Fritos, Goldfish, Oreos, Ritz …and the list goes on, contain substantial amounts of this dangerous chemical.

Just Wash It Off

It’s not that easy.  Many of the chemicals used on conventional food are systemic – meaning they’re absorbed into the food and you can’t simply just wash it off.

When it comes to non-organic packaged food, almost all of it contains GMOs that absorb and contain glyphosate weed killer strongly linked to cancer and numerous diseases.  This weed killer is used on non-GMO crops too – but banned on organic!

There are often MULTIPLE pesticides in each fruit or vegetable – and residue rates are rising.  Several pesticide residues are usually found and there’s no legal limit on the number of different pesticides allowed on food.  And, the problem is getting worse:

“One sample of strawberries contained residues of 20 pesticides, according to the “Pesticide Data Program” (PDP) report issued this month by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service… Notably, the agency said only 15 percent of the 10,187 samples tested were free from any detectable pesticide residues.

That’s a marked difference from 2014, when the USDA found that over 41 percent of samples were “clean” or showed no detectable pesticide residues.” ~ Carey Gillam, U.S. Right To Know, November 2016.

Pesticides are destroying the environment and not helping to feed the world

Experts at the U.N. recently warned that pesticides end up in our water systems, damage our ecological system, contaminate soils, are responsible for bee deaths, and are a huge environmental threat to the future of food production.   The issue of world hunger is due to poverty, inequality and distribution – not lack of food.

“It is time to overturn the myth that pesticides are necessary to feed the world and create a global process to transition toward safer and healthier food and agricultural production.” ~ U.N. Special Rapporteurs on Toxics and the Right to Food, March 2017

Are pesticide used on organic food?

It is true that organic food is not always pesticide free.  Pesticides aren’t used often on organics because other methods are required to be used first to control pests like cover crops, mechanical weeding, and rotations to create a soil diversity and a healthy ecosystem.

Organic-approved pesticides are only allowed to be used as a “last resort” on organic crops, when these other methods fail, and farmers have to demonstrate the need to their organic certifier.   In general, organic farmers are reluctant to use pesticides.  When pesticides are used, organic farmers generally use natural and non-toxic substances derived from plants or bacteria.

Before a pesticide can be approved for organics, it goes through many hoops and is more rigorously reviewed than other pesticides. That’s why there are only about 25 synthetic products permitted on organic farms, while non-organic farms have upwards of 900 agrochemicals to use at their disposal!

Just because some pesticides are permitted on organic food, doesn’t mean that farmers are using them. There is a difference between something being permitted and something actually being used. For example – the FDA allows all kinds of nasty food additives, but that doesn’t mean that every food producer is guilty of using them.

Tested organic produce contains much lower pesticide residues than non-organic. This is further evidence that organic farmers aren’t using pesticides just because they are permitted.

By choosing certified organic food you’ll automatically avoid many dangerous food additives – like TBHQ, BHT, artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose) and artificial food dyes (yellow #5, etc) which are all banned from certified organic products.

Carrageenan is on the organic chopping block as well.

Although you ALWAYS need to read the ingredient list – even on organic products – it’s easier to find products without a crazy long list of additives and that actually contain real food!

Meat and Dairy

If you eat meat or dairy products, choosing organic is even MORE important.  Conventional meat, eggs, and dairy can be contaminated with even more synthetic pesticides than plant-based foods.  Pesticides used on feed accumulate in animal tissues over time – and pesticide residues have been found in conventional beef, egg, milk, pork, and poultry samples.

When raising organic animals only certified organic feed is allowed.

Most conventional animals are also raised on growth-promoting steroids, antibiotics, and other drugs – and these residues have been found in meat also.

The overuse of growth-promoting antibiotics is creating superbugs that contaminate the meat, putting us at greater risk of antibiotic-resistant infections.  These drugs are prohibited in the raising of organic animals!

Ultimately, it’s best to buy organic food grown on small local farms where you can shake the farmer’s hand and ask questions.

Your local farmers market is perfect for this and you can also check the Local Harvest website for local growers

The Bottom Line

we all have to eat and organic food remains the lowest risk.

Organic can be more expensive, but it’s worth it.

I believe that buying quality organic food and eating the most nutritious foods on the planet will save you big bucks down the road in medical costs, prescription drugs and doctor visits –

From The Food Babe, “When I switched to eating primarily organic whole foods, everything changed in my life. I went from someone overweight and sick to a new being of vibrant health. I want everyone to feel this way!”

Toxins And Our Environment

Since 1985, over 20,000 new chemicals have been introduced and are soaking our environment, our children and you.  And yes! the FDA and EPA allow it.  These industries are, to a great extent, unregulated.   To learn more about toxins in your home and body and your children, check out The Toxic Truth. The magnitude of the problem will astound you.

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