Is Buying Organic Necessary?

I have a friends whose Father-in-law owns a farm and a few summers ago he helped out in the orchard and his job was spraying apples. When he saw the amount of chemicals that went onto the apples this put him off eating apples for a long time. According to some statistics, apples can be up to 6 months old by the time we buy them at the grocery store. This means they will have lost many of their nutrients and to last that long will have their fair share of chemicals on them.

Therefore it comes as no surprise to me that the humble apple contains the highest amount of pesticides in conventional stores which are not selling organic produce.

According to the Environmental working groups website they note "Some 98 percent of conventional apples have detectable levels of pesticides."

The Foods with the Highest Levels of Pesticide Residue

According to Organic NZ magazine the Dirty Dozen are as follows

  • Cellery
  • Peaches fresh/canned
  • Apricots fresh/canned
  • Butter/cream/cheese
  • Wheat/ bread etc
  • Apples
  • Plums
  • Manderins
  • Raspberries
  • Oranges
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes/raisins/sultanas

Dangers of Pesticides

According to some health experts eating food with high levels of pesticides can increase the risk of certain cancers forming and is especially a cause for concern in young children. This is because there bodies find it harder to deal with the levels of pesticides and their immunity isn't as strong as a fully grown adult.

One of the worst offenders is celery, which when isn't organic may well contain a fungicide chlorothalonil, this is believed to act as a carcinogen and may well be an endocrine disruptor.

A build up of pesticides in our bodies may contribute to our levels of health being less than optimum so you may want to look at ways of strengthening your immune system.

When pesticides are used on crops and then consumed they accumulate with in us and build up in our liver.

According to the global healing centre each person may react differently to toxins from pesticides but some of the problems they cause are as follows.

  • Fatigue
  • Skin Irritations
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Breathing Problems
  • Brain Disorders
  • Blood Disorders
  • Liver & Kidney Damage
  • Reproductive Damage
  • Cancer

What Can We Do About Pesticides?

Some of the the first steps you can take is to avoid the foods with the highest levels of pesticides that are listed above and only buy them if they are organic.

You may also want to use Chlorella powder which can help to detox and therefore may aid your body to get rid of the build up of toxins from pesticides.

You may also want to grow your own vegetables so they are not sprayed with dangerous pesticides or shop at farmers markets and buy organic produce.

If you are unable to buy all organic produce then at least be sure to wash your fruits and vegetables before eating them to minimise the residue of pesticides on them. Here is a list of fifteen fruits and vegetables which according to the Environmental Working Group have the lowest levels of pesticides. (please note this is from an American organization so levels of pesticides may differ in New Zealand)

  • В Onions
  • В  Sweet Corn
  • В Pineapples
  • Avocado
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet Peas
  • Asparagus
  • Mangoes
  • Eggplant
  • Kiwi
  • Cantaloupe – domestic
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Grapefruit
  • Watermelon
  • Mushrooms

So when you are shopping be an aware consumer and choose produce that will support your health. An important thing to note is that prepared baby food that is not organic has shown traces of pesticides in it. Giving these to baby can cause problems for them later on life, В Andrew Weil, MD a renowned expert in the field of natural health commented that "infants are especially vulnerable to toxic compounds". Therefore if you are feeding a baby this may be something you do not want to compromise on for their benefit.

Finally choosing foods that are organic and abundant in antioxidants such as goji berries and raw cacaoВ  will help to support your health and allow you to experience well-being with out loading your body with toxic pesticides.