I’ve always wondered about organic food and whether I should make sure that’s what my children (and the rest of my family!) are eating.
We only buy organic milk for the tots because I’ve always figured that the ever-earlier puberty dates and skyrocketing “average” heights for children just might have something to do with all those growth hormones given to cattle. Organic milk is more expensive, but worth it, we figure.
But what about the fruits and veggies? The cereals and snacks? It sure does get expensive and, besides, how bad can “regular” foods be? Everyone else is eating it, right?
So then I saw this (very) recent article from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer about a study that said, well, I’ll let you read it for yourself:
The peer-reviewed study found that the urine and saliva of children eating a variety of conventional foods from area groceries contained biological markers of organophosphates, the family of pesticides spawned by the creation of nerve gas agents in World War II.
I did some hunting around and found the original study â€” you can download a pdf of it here or just check out the abstract here. The Environmental Working Group, “a nonprofit environmental research organization” also did a study, here‘s the pdf.
The bottom line? When the children ate organic produce and juices, the pesticides basically disappear. Chensheng Lu, an Emory University professor and principal author of the peer-reviewed study, told the P-I the change is actually that fast, a matter of eight to 36 hours, depending on how much of the pesticides was measured:
Once you switch from conventional food to organic, the pesticides that we can measure in the urine disappears. The level returns immediately when you go back to the conventional diets.
I could go on and add more tidbits, such as the fact that the children live in an area with twice the national median income and that no direct links have been proven between the pesticides and “adverse health outcomes.” But just go read the whole article.
Read more of this entry »