By Karina Hammer, Certified Holistic Wellness Coach
Today’s foods are rife with pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers. And that’s not to mention hormones and irradiation. That spells trouble for the planet—and for our health.
Research has found that pesticides may cause cancer and diseases of the liver, kidney and blood. The body’s immune system must process pesticides; as more and more pesticides build up in our tissues, the immune system is compromised.
When you buy foods that are certified organic, you’re buying peace of mind that foods are grown, harvested and produced according to strict regulations to prevent chemical contamination.
Beyond considering the amount of chemicals and additives to food, there are many other factors that affect what ends up on our plates. Consider the following changes that have created a different kind of food than what our ancestors enjoyed:
Pesticides – Chemical substances added to food in order to kill pests while increasing crop output.
Antibiotics – hormones injected into animals to increase output.
Factory Farming – industrial farming method of raising farm animals in confinement to increase output and reduce cost.
Genetically modified foods – Food made from crops that have had their DNA altered through genetic engineering.
Decrease of local foods – more and more food is shipped hundreds of miles to consumers decreasing reliance on local agriculture and increasing use of fossil fuels.
Pesticides in our Produce
The Environmental Working Group performs tests each year to identify which fruits and vegetables are the most contaminated with pesticides and which are the safest to eat. Both the “Dirty Dozen” and the “Clean Fifteen” can be found each year on their website at www.ewg.org along with helpful tips for eating safely.
Produce Commonly Containing the Most Pesticides
Don’t avoid these foods, rather buy these foods organically in order to avoid the pesticides:
• Apples • Peaches • Nectarines
• Strawberries • Grapes • Celery
• Spinach • Sweet bell peppers
• Cucumbers • Cherry tomatoes
• Snap peas • Potatoes
Produce Commonly Containing the Least Pesticides
If you can’t always shop organically, then focus on eating these fruits and vegetables that usually have thicker skins and less pesticides:
• Avocados • Pineapples • Cabbage
• Onions • Asparagus • Mangos
• Papayas • Kiwi • Eggplant • Grapefruit
• Cantaloupe • Cauliflower
• Sweet Potatoes
Organic foods may cost more than conventionally produced foods, but it’s cheaper to pay for organic food in the long run than it is to pay for high medical bills.
Karina is a Certified HolisticWellness Coach, specializing in digestive and vocal health.
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