For “Foodie Friday”:
If you watched Dr. Oz yesterday, the subject was:
Why Going Organic Matters For Your Family
By Alan Greene, MD, FAAP Pediatrician and Author. Wed 10/03/2012
“Recent headlines blared that a new study had found that organic foods weren’t any healthier for you than conventional food. Researchers at Stanford University recently released a study that questioned the nutritional benefits of buying organic foods. The study found very little nutritional difference between organic and conventional produce and meat. But let’s a closer look behind the headlines.
Today’s children, from infancy up to age 5, in the US have lost more than 16 million IQ points from exposure to organophosphate pesticides, according to another recent analysis. They’re exposed to these pesticides almost entirely through our food.
Organic foods are grown without the use of toxic synthetic pesticides, antibiotics, artificial hormones, or genetic engineering. They depend on cultivating healthy soil to grow healthy plants to produce healthy animals.
The study in question wasn’t new science, but a compilation and analysis of some of the existing studies comparing organic to conventional food. What did this paper find?
Findings: Conventional produce is more than five times more likely than organic to have any pesticide residues (38% of samples versus 7%).
The study didn’t go a step further and consider that when pesticides are found on conventional produce, the pesticides are often more toxic, present at higher levels, and come as mixtures of different chemicals.
The study also didn’t include the large body of literature about the toxic effects of some of these pesticides.
The authors concluded that this five-fold difference in pesticides couldn’t matter because the total amounts are so small. I strongly disagree. Think about this: Pharmaceutical drugs are powerful, refined chemicals designed to improve health. They can have desired health effects on our brain function, sexual function, and fertility at concentrations in our bodies of only parts per billion. Synthetic pesticides are also powerful, refined chemicals, but designed to destroy or inhibit life. Why couldn’t they have undesirable health effects on our brain function, sexual function, and fertility when present in our bodies at similar concentrations?
Today, almost all of us carry synthetic pesticides in our blood – pesticides that get there through our food. This is true even in babies at the moment of birth. I participated in a study with the Environmental Working Group where we analyzed umbilical cord blood – we found pesticides in every baby tested. To be more specific, 21 different synthetic pesticides were present in babies’ blood.
One group of pesticides, the organophosphates, were produced as nerve agents during World War II. We still have much to learn about their health effects, but higher levels of exposure have been linked to lower IQ, memory problems, developmental problems, and ADHD.
The 16 million IQ points lost in young children from organophosphates carries a price tag of more than $169 billion in lost productivity when they grow up. And we take out a new debt of $28-30 billion every year – about the same amount as the total amount of money spent on organic food each year in the US.
Choosing organic food can drop a child’s organophosphate pesticide exposure almost overnight. In another study, suburban Seattle children had their urine tested multiple times for evidence of organophosphate pesticides; it was present in all samples, suggesting exposure above what the EPA set as a safe level. Then the children were switched to mostly organic food. The pesticides disappeared. They were virtually undetectable in morning and evening urine samples for five days. Then the children were switched back to their typical suburban diet and the levels found in their urine shot back up.
We can decrease pesticide exposure on the very next shopping trip. Start with these foods.
The EPA says, “Protecting children from the potential effects of pesticides is one of EPA’s most important responsibilities. Pesticides have widespread uses and may affect children’s health in a variety of settings. We recognize that children are at greater risk from pesticide exposure.”
Choosing organic is a choice for decreasing toxic pesticides in our air, water, and farms – as well as on our plates and in our children.
Findings: When you buy conventional food, you are three times more likely to bring multi-drug resistant bacteria into your home than when buying organic (48.4% of samples versus 15.9%).
The authors found this difference, but concluded it was unimportant because they thought bacterial resistance is fueled primarily by human antibiotic use. Resistant bacteria are emerging as a major health threat.
According to the FDA, “Today, almost all important bacterial infections in the United States and throughout the world are becoming resistant to antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance has been called one of the world's most pressing public health problems. The smart use of antibiotics is the key to controlling the spread of resistance.”
We know what causes resistance: When bacteria are exposed to antibiotics, they develop ways to survive, making them more resistant to antibiotics.
We also know that the routine use of antibiotics in our conventional livestock to fatten them up dwarfs the amount of antibiotics used to treat all human diseases. The FDA recognizes the problem and has asked for drug companies to voluntarily remove agricultural production use from their antibiotic product labels, but widespread antibiotic use continues in conventional agriculture.
The most highly resistant bacteria discovered so far were found not in hospitals or clinics, but in the soil.
Organic food, which doesn’t allow the use of antibiotics, is part of the solution to resistant bacteria – in our environment and in our own homes.
The headlines trumpeted that organic isn’t worth extra money. The study in question found a five-fold difference in pesticides and a three-fold difference in multi-drug resistant bacteria (plus significantly higher healthy omega-3 fats in organic food). It didn’t even look at differences related to the use of artificial hormones or genetic engineering – or of artificial colorings, preservatives, and sweeteners in processed foods.
Every bite of food is an investment in our bodies – or a debt of some kind that we will have to pay back. Good food – organic food – is a delicious investment.” From: http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/why-going-organic-matters-your-family and http://www.doctoroz.com/episode/breaking-news-are-pesticides-greatest-threat-your-kids-health?video=14882
From me: If you watched the show, you would have discovered an amazing thing - that potatoes, the most consumed veggie in the US, is one that has the most pesticides. I don’t think I have ever seen organic potatoes in the store, but I haven’t looked for them, as sweet potatoes are more nutritious.
Dr. Mercola warned us about pesticides in food back in October 13 2009:
Most Vegetables and Fruits Have 'Unacceptable' Levels of Pesticides
“According to the European Pesticide Residues Committee, apples, peas, and grapes are sometimes covered in crop spray that is above the maximum levels allowed under EU law. The findings come from tests of more than 4,000 samples of food and drink.
The levels of pesticides varied considerably, with imported fruit and vegetables tending to have higher levels.
One in seven beans in a pod and one in five yams all had pesticides above the allowed level. One in 70 apples and pears had illegal levels of pesticides.
All of the vegetables and fruits supplied to schools contained pesticides within allowed levels, though nearly all the apples and every one of the bananas had some form of pesticide in them. Many of the pieces of fruit had more than one pesticide.” Article at: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/10/13/Fruit-and-Vegetables-Have-Unacceptable-Levels-of-Pesticides.aspx
And so did Dr. Andrew Weil in April 2010:
“The first question all of us need to ask ourselves is, are we eating enough fresh produce daily? Fresh fruits and vegetables are the healthiest foods on this planet, and ones which we can never go wrong with. Or can we?
Well, it used to be the case before the last 100 years that we could never go wrong with fresh fruits and vegetables. However, as chemical fertilizers and synthetic pesticides became the norm on farms, the quality of fresh produce decreased to the point that it has some people weary of consuming it.
This is where thanks to many consumers and farmers alike speaking up, the organic revolution began. While some today still don’t believe that organic produce is a better way to go, I personally think common sense speaks for itself.
Which apple would I rather eat – the one sprayed with chemicals or the one not sprayed with anything? I think the answer is obvious.” Article at: http://evolvingwellness.com/posts/1157/dr-andrew-weil-explains-how-to-reduce-your-pesticide-exposure/
Then, more recently:
Andrew Weil Says Parents Should be Outraged by USDA Baby Food Pesticide Tests. June 21st, 2012
“For the first time since the inception of its pesticide-testing program in 1991, USDA looked at pesticide residues on baby food. Department scientists analyzed about 190 samples each of prepared baby food consisting of green beans, pears and sweet potatoes. This week the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released findings on the foods with the and an analysis of baby food.
Green beans prepared as baby food tested positive for five pesticides, among them, the organophosphate methamidiphos, which was found on 9.4 percent of samples, and the organophosphate acephate, on 7.8 percent of samples. The EWG analyzed baby food samples in 1995 and found the two organophosphates in surprisingly similar concentrations.
The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents to “minimize using foods in which chemical pesticides or herbicides were used by farmers. “Organophosphate pesticides are of special concern since they are associated with neurodevelopmental effects in children,” said EWG toxicologist Johanna Congleton. “Infants in particular should avoid exposure to these pesticides since they are more susceptible to the effects of chemical insult than adults.”
“Federal testing of pesticide residue in baby food was long overdue, as infants are especially vulnerable to toxic compounds,” said Andrew Weil, MD, Founder and Director, Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and a renowned medical expert on natural health and wellness.” More at: http://www.cornucopia.org/2012/06/andrew-weil-says-parents-should-be-outraged-by-usda-baby-food-pesticide-tests/
Stanford’s “Spin” on Organics Allegedly Tainted by Biotechnology Funding September 12th, 2012
Cornucopia, Wis. – “A recent study by Stanford University researchers made international headlines when it claimed that organic foods are no more safe or nutritious than conventional foods. Organic researchers, farmers and advocacy groups immediately recognized the study as woefully flawed, and alleged underlying political motivations.
As an example, the Stanford researchers omitted a 2010 study published in the journal Pediatrics by researchers at the University of Montreal and Harvard, which found that children with higher urinary levels of organophosphate metabolites, breakdown products of commonly used insecticides that are prohibited in organic agriculture, were more likely to meet the diagnostic criteria for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
The Stanford study also omitted any acknowledgement of potential cancer risks from exposure to agricultural chemicals on conventional foods. This seems especially reprehensible to the scientists at Cornucopia in light of the 2009 President’s Cancer Panel report, which states: “Nearly 1,400 pesticides have been registered (i.e., approved) by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for agricultural and non-agricultural use. Exposure to these chemicals has been linked to brain/central nervous system (CNS), breast, colon, lung, ovarian, pancreatic, kidney, testicular, and stomach cancers, as well as Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and soft tissue sarcoma.”
The authors of the President’s Cancer Panel advise Americans to decrease exposure to pesticides by choosing food grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Extensive research, including studies cited in Stanford’s study, indicates that organic food is demonstrably lower in agrichemical residues.” More at: http://www.cornucopia.org/2012/09/stanfords-spin-on-organics-allegedly-tainted-by-biotechnology-funding/
Learn More :: ADHD & pesticide residues
A new study out of Harvard shows that even tiny, allowable amounts of a common pesticide class can have dramatic effects on brain chemistry. Organophosphate insecticides (OP’s) are among the most widely used pesticides in the U.S. & have long been known to be particularly toxic for children. This is the first study to examine their effects across a representative population with average levels of exposure. Finding :: Kids with above-average pesticide exposures are 2x as likely to have ADHD. Read the full report »
“Cancer industry is about money and drugs, yet all the money in the world won’t save you if you make the wrong decision.” The Beautiful Truth
"People are realizing that two major problems come together with this food problem: the health issue and the environment issue. And it is something we can do something about. Every day, we get three votes on what we will eat, called breakfast, lunch and dinner. That's a great power, and people are starting to use it. Voting with your fork is catching on.
But Pollan added that consumer choice, "won't solve all of our problems….in the end, you need to vote with your vote as well as your fork." Specifically, Pollan urged audience members to weigh in on the Farm Bill, which will determine how tens of billions of tax dollars are spent. Learn more information on the bill and how you can help support the growing of nutritious, environmentally responsible food." By Michael Pollan
Pesticides on Food
“The overwhelming majority of pesticides used on U.S. farms do not show up on our food. And yet,
- 93% of Americans tested by the CDC had metabolites of chlorpyrifos — a nuerotoxic insectide — in their urine. Banned from home use because of its risks to children, chlorpyrifos is part of a family of pesticides (organophosphates) linked to ADHD.
- 99% of Americans tested positive for DDT degradants, even though DDT hasn't been used in the U.S. since 1972. Women who were exposed to DDT as girls are 5 times more likely to develop breast cancer.
How is it that these two pesticides are found in over 90% of Americans? Through the food we eat!” More at: http://www.panna.org/issues/food-agriculture/pesticides-on-food
Pesticides :: A Public Problem
Pesticides…on our food, even after washing;
…in our bodies, for years;…& in our environment, traveling many miles on wind, water and dust.
“What’s On My Food? is a searchable database designed to make the public problem of pesticide exposure visible and more understandable.
How does this tool work? We link pesticide food residue data with the toxicology for each chemical, making this information easily searchable for the first time.
pesticides are a public health problem requiring public engagement to solve.
Use the tool, share it with others: we built it to help move the public conversation about pesticides into an arena where you don’t have to be an expert to participate.” See list at: http://www.whatsonmyfood.org/
From me: Sorry, I got carried away with too many articles here, but it IS important that everyone realizes what they could be ingesting, and the consequences to their health.
On This Day:
Oct 5, 1892:
The Dalton gang performs their last robbery attempt
“The Dalton gang attempts to rob two banks simultaneously in Coffeyville, Kansas, but meets resistance from townspeople, who wind up killing four of the five bandits. Emmett Dalton, the sole survivor, returned to the site of the crime nearly 40 years later and offered a caution to would-be thieves: "The biggest fool on earth is the one who thinks he can beat the law, that crime can be made to pay. It never paid and it never will and that was the one big lesson of the Coffeyville raid."”
Apple founder Steve Jobs dies, Oct 5, 2011:
“On this day in 2011, Steve Jobs, the visionary co-founder of Apple Inc., which revolutionized the computer, music and mobile communications industries with such devices as the Macintosh, iPod, iPhone and iPad, dies at age 56 of complications from pancreatic cancer.
In 1976, Jobs and his computer engineer friend Stephen Wozniak founded Apple Computer in Jobs’ parents’ garage in Los Altos, California. As Bloomberg News would later note about Jobs: “He had no formal technical training and no real business experience. What he had instead was an appreciation of technology's elegance and a notion that computers could be more than a hobbyist's toy or a corporation's workhorse. These machines could be indispensable tools.” In 1977, Jobs and Wozniak launched the Apple II, which became the first popular personal computer. In 1980, Apple went public and Jobs, then in his mid-20s, became a multimillionaire. Four years later, Apple debuted the Macintosh, one of the first personal computers to feature a graphical user interface, which allowed people to navigate by pointing and clicking a mouse rather than typing commands.”
After paying some bills online, Misty and I went down to Jay’s for her walk. Claudia had asked me to take some scissors down there, and trim some of the hair off Maddie, the Yorkie. The hair on her little face was getting like a sheepdog, and she couldn’t see where she was going. It was too late to bring her up here to give her a complete groom.
Jay came back here with us so that I could look up an old Spanish leather-covered glass flask that he had bought at the thrift shop the day before. We found some similar ones on eBay, and they were selling for more than he paid for it. He also had a very old James candy dish from England, but it wasn’t worth anywhere near what he was told it was.
After taking Jay home and stopping to tend to Mikey’s ears again, Misty, Prime and I had a quiet day.