Nutrition (organic foods)

Organic Foods

The benefits of consuming an abundance of conventional produce or soy foods likely far outweigh the risks of pesticides, but why accept any risk at all when you can choose organic. There are also broader benefits for the environment.

Rinsing our produce under running water may only take off around 15% of pesticides, but one can make a fruit and vegetable wash that works better.

Test tube studies suggest organic produce may be more health-promoting. Organic berries, for example, appear to suppress the growth of cancer cells better than conventional berries.

Organic and conventionally grown produce have little difference in the level of vitamins and minerals, but higher levels of phenolic phytonutrients have been found in organic produce. Also, organic produce may present less of a food safety risk. Poultry that is raised organically may be less contaminated with arsenic-containing drugs and multidrug resistant bacteria, and organic pork may present less of a Yersinia risk. In general, eating lower on the food chain may reduce exposure to chemical residues. To avoid fungal toxins, it may be better to consume organic rather than conventional apple juice.

Thehormones naturally found in even organic animal foods may help explain why women eating vegan are five times less likely to give birth to twins. The hormones in dairy may contribute to disease by bypassing our body’s natural feedback systems.

Monsanto’s Roundup has been demonstrated to have adverse effects on human placental tissue, and GMO soybeans have substantially more pesticide residues than organic or conventional non-GMO soy. Yet BT toxin is considered so non-toxic that it is sprayed on organic fruits and vegetables.

Children raised on largely organic, vegetarian diets may have a lower prevalence of asthma and allergies. The U.S. presidential cancer panel report recommends choosing organic, especially for children, the most vulnerable population for increased environmental cancer risk.

The World Health Organization blames millions of deaths a year on inadequate fruit and vegetable intake (see also here, here). Thankfully, the 2010 USDA Guidelines introduced MyPlate, which caught up with the science and recommended a shift to a plant-based diet that emphasizes fruits and vegetables (see also here). Nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day are now recommended (see also here). But based on the 2005 Dietary Guidelines, 9 out of 10 Americans did not reach the minimum recommended daily serving for vegetables. In terms of nutrients per calorie, vegetables are the healthiest food source (greens especially). And variety is important because different vegetables have different phytonutrients (see also here). A healthy eating index can be calculated based on the phytonutrient content of your food (phytonutrients come from plants). Even a low carb diet, if based on plant foods, has been found to be health-promoting.

This article was published on 14.10.2016 by Carla May Daniel
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