Food treated with chemical fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, larvacides, and fungicides have taken over our grocery store shelves. It has become normal to put these foods into our bodies and feed them to our loved ones without fully understanding their impact.
Why to avoid the chemicals used to treat non-organic foods:
- They all fall into one or more of the following categories:
- carcinogen (cancer causing)
- mutagenics (damage our DNA)
- developmental toxin (especially a concern for pregnant women and children)
- endocrine disruptor (upset our hormonal balance)
- nerve toxin (from headaches to Alzheimer’s)
- reproductive toxins (causing fertility problems in both men and women).
- They do not wash off of food, but are absorbed into the plants from the soil, and incorporated directly into the cells of the plants.
- They do not leave our bodies. These chemicals are fat-soluble, which means they become stored in our fat cells. The only way some of these toxins leave our bodies are via specific body products containing fat: the placenta and breast milk, which transfers the chemicals from mother to child. Not so awesome.
- They have a dramatic negative environmental impact. These chemicals go into the air, water and earth and are constantly being spread around, harming fellow creatures.
Why you should care about bioaccumulation:
- Because these chemicals do not leave the body, they build up over time. This applies not just to humans, but to all animals, which means that eating an animal also means taking on the toxins stored in that animal’s tissues. This is called bioaccumulation.
- The least amount of contaminants are found at the bottom of the food chain, and this amount increases as the food chain moves up – as animals eat other animals who ate chemically treated feed, and so on, each storing up these toxins and adding to the overall toxicity-level of the next.
- The higher up the food chain you eat, the more contaminants you are consuming.
- Because it is fat that stores these toxins, this means that the fat of the animals we eat and their products (dairy, eggs) are where the highest concentration is. This is why it is so important to buy and use organic meats, cheeses, butters, milk, and eggs if you eat these types of foods.
Why organic is better:
- Organic standards state that for certification, a farm:
- must not be within a certain distance of a non-organic farm (eliminating the likelihood of cross-contamination, etcetera)
- must use all natural fertilizers
- cannot be genetically modified
- Organic farms also tend to rotate their crops, so that the same food is not being grown out of the same soil over and over again, thereby pulling the same nutrients out of the soil over and over, until that plot of soil is depleted of those specific nutrients. It is for this reason that most non-organically grown foods are deficient in the specific nutrient that they are known for.
- While organic foods tend to be more nutritious and flavourful, it’s not so much what is in them as what’s not in them (synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides, etc.) that makes them better for our health.
Want to buy organic but can’t afford to buy everything that way? We can help you prioritize your organic purchases. Click here to learn which crops are the most contaminated, and which are the cleanest.
Keep it natural, friends!
-the FGF team