Before we talk about what you don’t have to eat organic, let’s discuss why you should bother eating organic in the first place.
Pesticides are toxins that can damage your nervous system, disrupt endocrine (hormone) function, and cause cancer. Minimizing exposure for ourselves and especially our children should be a priority to optimize health and longevity.
Many healthcare providers, including myself, recommend eating organic as a precautionary principle. The precautionary principle (or precautionary approach) to risk management states that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public, or to the environment — in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is not harmful — then the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking a potentially risky action.
Let me translate…
- “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
- “Better safe than sorry.”
- “Look before you leap.”
Eating organic produce can minimize most of your exposure to pesticides. I am aware that organic produce is not perfect, but I try to minimize my kids’ potential exposure.
Have you heard of the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen? This is what I use to decide what I buy organic or not on daily basis. In the early summer to fall almost all my produce is organic as I buy a share from Guelph’s Ignatius Farm Community Shared Agriculture (CSA).
What happens to our kids? Dr. Chensheng (Alex) Lu, Associate Professor of Environmental Exposure Biology at the Harvard School of Public Health, explains why reducing pesticides in your diet is critical to reducing the toxic effects of pesticide exposure for you and your family. Watch him speak here.
Other Resources on Toxicity:
If you want to learn more about toxicity and increase your awareness, you may want to watch a few of these videos. The Environmental Working Group, in particular, is a great resource for people trying to eat and buy healthy produce.
- Dr Sanjay Gupta on CNN walking you through the grocery store reviewing the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen.
- Dirty Dozen + Clean 15 – Environmental Working Group 2014 Shopper’s Guide
- 10 Americans — Environmental Working Group
You can also download the Dirty Dozen App: