Eating organic fruit leads to lowers levels of pesticide contamination in children and pregnant women
(NaturalHealth365) Could making different choices at the grocery store reduce your exposure to harmful pesticides? The answer is yes, according to breaking research. Choosing organic fruit over conventionally-grown counterparts can dramatically reduce your pesticide exposure, contrary to the popular “wisdom” promoted by the mainstream media.
An October 2019 study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, supports other research including a paper published earlier this year which we reported on in February. It’s clear we have a growing body of evidence (along with common sense and basic insight) to show that consumers can protect themselves and their families from the negative effects of environmental toxins, especially glyphosate.
The research is very clear about the value of organic fruit
The team of USC researchers conducting this prospective cohort study selected 1,288 children (aged 6 to 11) and 818 pregnant mothers from six European countries, who were part of the ongoing Human Early Life Exposome (HELIX) project. The researchers took blood and urine samples from the subjects, specifically testing for levels of common environmental toxins including organophosphate pesticides, heavy metals, phthalates, and parabens.
The researchers then compared the blood and urine samples to the subjects’ self-reported questionnaires about weekly diets. Not surprisingly, they found a positive correlation between eating conventional fruits and level of pesticide contamination in the blood and urine.
Meanwhile, children who ate organic food at least once per week had lower levels of lead, phthalates, and pesticides in their samples compared to children who didn’t.
Certain environmental toxins actually appeared to be positively correlated with organic food consumption – including polybrominated diphenyl ethers, perfluoroalkyls, and polychlorinated biphenyls. All of these chemicals are used in manufacturing processes often unrelated to farming – suggesting a potential agricultural run-off issue.
Despite this, the authors conclude that on the whole, organic food can still reduce pesticide exposure overall, and that “supporting the choice of organically over conventionally grown fruits might be an effective way to increase the dietary quality of a population and the related beneficial health effects without increasing the possible risks related to pesticide exposure.”
What’s the takeaway? Exposure to pesticides and other environmental toxins could have devastating health impacts on all humans, but no one is more vulnerable than young children and developing fetuses. Buying more organic produce can reduce your family’s pesticide exposure while still allowing your loved ones to get the health benefits of eating nutrient-dense fruits and veggies.
Going organic doesn’t have to be hard – 5 tips for buying organic produce
Here are some ways to help you stay healthier and within your budget:
- Be selective. If you can’t budget a grocery cart that’s entirely organic, at least commit to getting organic varieties of the fruits and veggies that are the MOST heavily loaded with pesticides if grown conventionally. Often referred to as the “dirty dozen,” these include strawberries, spinach, apples, grapes, cherries, and pears.
- Buy what’s on sale. Get creative in your kitchen and design your meal plans around what’s on sale or special offer that week.
- Check out a local farmer’s market. Purchasing your produce directly from a farmer’s market helps you support local agriculture and economy. It’s also a great way to instill healthy values in your family – or makes for a great date!
- Buy in bulk. You can usually save yourself some money when you buy produce in bulk, especially if it’s frozen. Just be sure to only buy a surplus of food you can actually use or store, otherwise it’s a total loss for your wallet if you end up having to throw away food that’s gone bad.
- Last but definitely not least, buy in-season. Purchasing fruits and vegetables during their traditional harvesting season can save you serious cash. Plus, you’ll often find the food tastes better and has a higher nutritive value to boot. To find out what fruits and veg are in season when, check out this resource from the United States Department of Agriculture.
Sources for this article include: