Since I began writing about Elimination Diets and detoxification four years ago I’ve been bombarded by emails from people asking me just how strict one needs to be with their nutrition in order to get the benefits I often speak of.
Nowhere more so than in the area of organic vs. non-organic fruits and vegetables.
“Do I really have to buy organic?” they say “Does it really make that much difference? After all, I an afford twice as much non-organic fruits and vegetables as organic ones. Wouldn’t it be better to have more than to be ‘fussy’ about it having to be organic?”
These are the most commonly asked questions and, to be fair, they’re all good ones, especially as we’re always being told to eat our 5 servings a day, right? After all, we all know that organic costs a fair bit more than non-organic and, especially if you’re a parent trying to feed your family on a budget, it would seem to make more sense to buy more so that your family could consume more wouldn’t it?
Well, some argue that the pesticide contamination on crops is so minimal as for it to be of no concern to our health, yet increasing numbers of health and medical experts are now suggesting that even small doses of pesticide exposure (which are, after all, poison) can have a negative impact on health. Especially if consumed over longer periods of time… like in our foods every day.
And alarmingly, the more diligent you are at feeding yourself and your family their 5 portions of fruit and veg a day, the more likely you are to see the negative effects of toxicity. In fact, an Environmental Working Group study recently showed that if you consume the daily average non-organic fruit and vegetable intake, you would in fact be consuming a cocktail of no les than 15 different pesticides PER DAY!
And the main culprits for this toxic insult to our bodies?
Here they are, ranked in order of worst first:
3. Sweet Bell Peppers
9. Grapes (imported)
14. Green Beans
15. Hot Peppers
19. Grapes (Domestic)
Quite a list, right?
That’s practically every fruit and vegetable that the average family would eat over the course of a week, meaning that in EVERY MEAL or snack, there are adding to the overall toxic load of the body and making more susceptible to these medically linked conditions:
– Fertility problems
– Brain tumors
– Childhood leukemia
– Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
– Birth defects
– Irritation to skin and eyes
– Hormone or endocrine system problems including weight gain
– Nervous system damage
And that’s not to mention conditions that haven’t yet been proven to link to pesticide ingestion, though new studies are coming in all the time.
So, what can you do about this?
Well, contrary to popular belief, simply washing or soaking your fruits and veggies isn’t enough to remove the build-up of pesticides. After all, these crops have been sprayed throughout every single phase of their growth. Washing and peeling will remove some of the build-up, but nowhere near enough.
The only way to be 100% sure is to eat organically grown produce.
Yes, it’s more expensive, there’s no getting away from that, but that’s because growing crops without pesticides is harder, longer and more labour intensive. However, the end result of organic farming is healthier, more nutritious and more likely to contribute to the long term health of you and your family, which cannot be said about non-organic.
Don’t let the greater quantity fool you into thinking that non-organic is ok. In truth, eating more simply means that you’re poisoning yourself with pesticide faster, right?
Food for thought isn’t it?