Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Advantages for organic foods and best sources....

Today's Post:  Tuesday, 7-15-2014

1.  Some studies have found that organic produce has very comparable levels of well known nutrients with conventional produce which has been sprayed with pesticide and herbicides.  (One of these was done recently at Stanford.)

(This is partially true as we discuss in this first section. But there are other ways to judge the health impact on you of produce, we go into after that, for which organic is dramatically safer to eat.)

And, Dr Terry Wahls points out the real fruits and vegetables have so many, literally hundreds, of micronutrients besides the ones in vitamin supplements that even conventional produce has more nutrition than supplements for just a few well known nutrients.  (This is particularly true for folate, and carotenes and the tocopherols.) 

Other studies have found more nutrients and micronutrients in organic produce.

So the bottom line is that for well known nutrients, organic may be better or may not be for a particular vegetable or fruit depending on which farm it was grown on.

And, your health may depend more on how many of the most health beneficial vegetables and whole fruits you eat each day and each week than whether or not they are organic.

However for some micronutrients with very strong health effects, flavonols, etc which may be as valuable as the well known nutrients, organic does consistently test as better.  And, one such study was reported recently on Medical News Today.

So, for nutrition and good health eat many of the most health beneficial vegetables and whole fruits each day and each week.  Six servings to eight servings of several kinds of vegetables and one or two servings of whole fruit each day is the ideal to work towards.

And, when you can, for nutrition, if you have access to organic, and particularly if it costs the same, lean towards organic produce.

2.  However, there are some problems with conventional produce which make organic produce a far better choice for every week or daily consumption.

That same Stanford study DID find that there was far less pesticide and herbicide residue on organic produce.

a) Herbicides in particular are harmful to human cells.  One article I read said that almost all grains and produce treated with glyphosphate from the herbicide had enough of this potent agent to be harmful to humans.

Found this next from a Scientific American article:


“Glyphosphate, Roundup’s active ingredient, is the most widely used herbicide in the United States.  About 100 million pounds are applied to U.S. farms and lawns every year, according to the EPA.

Until now, most health studies have focused on the safety of glyphosphate, rather than the mixture of ingredients found in Roundup. But in the new study, scientists found that Roundup’s inert ingredients amplified the toxic effect on human cells—even at concentrations much more diluted than those used on farms and lawns.

One specific inert ingredient, polyethoxylated tallowamine, or POEA, was more deadly to human embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells than the herbicide itself a finding the researchers call "astonishing."

This clearly confirms that the [inert ingredients] in Roundup formulations are not inert, wrote the study authors from France’s University of Caen. Moreover, the proprietary mixtures available on the market could cause cell damage and even death [at the] residual levels” found on Roundup-treated crops, such as soybeans, alfalfa and corn, or lawns and gardens.

The research team suspects that Roundup might cause pregnancy problems by interfering with hormone production, possibly leading to abnormal fetal development, low birth weights or miscarriages.”

This suggests quite strongly that avoiding produce and grains that are not organic is protective enough to make a strong case to do so as close to 100% of the time as you can.

b) Note too that this also suggests avoiding all GMO crops since most of them either have some kind of pesticide inside the food where it can NOT be washed off –
AND because the other main change is to make the food itself resist damage from Roundup, it guarantees that virtually all of this food and the oils made from it contain Roundup traces in them.

So this means that soy, corn, and canola oil have the double problem—both the dangers from the GMO crop AND the Roundup residue. Worse, all three of these oils also are high enough in omega 6 oils to cause harmful amounts of high chronic inflammation.

So avoid those oils and all the produce that is NOT organic that you can.  Stick to organic extra virgin olive oil and organic produce that is available to you to protect yourself and your family if you find this convincing as I do.

3.  Lastly, the fertilizers used on conventional crops apparently contain enough of the metal cadmium to be worth avoiding for that problem alone.  Organic crops don’t use this kind of fertilizer.

Wikipedia had this:  “"Cadmium is an extremely toxic metal commonly found in industrial workplaces. Due to its low permissible exposure limit, overexposures may occur even in situations where trace quantities of cadmium are found."

And this:  "Some sources of phosphate in fertilizers contain cadmium in amounts of up to 100 mg/kg, which can lead to an increase in the concentration of cadmium in soil."

What harms can excess cadmium exposure cause or contribute to?

Compounds containing cadmium are also carcinogenic.

Cadmium tends to cause loss of bone mineral density helping to cause osteoporosis.

And, exposure to cadmium tends to cause kidney damage which, if it occurs, is irreversible.  And exposure to it can cause kidney stones.

Cadmium exposure can also cause people to lose their sense of smell.  That one is also a marker for Alzheimer's disease.

Cadmium exposure also tends to cause high blood pressure.

4.  Best sources for organic foods and supplements:

a) Prop 65 applies to supplements and other products sold in California.  If something contains a bit of lead or mercury or a known chemical that might be carcinogenic, it can't be sold in stores here, and if sold in California from an out of state source, you get a Prop 65 notice before you buy.

I'm in favor of it.  Some natural extracts used to contain some lead for example.  The ones sold here (in California) from a store here may cost $2 a bottle more but the company providing it has to find a way to get an extract that does not contain lead or contains dramatically less. 

If you can buy foods and supplements from a source do what you can to buy from or in California.  That way you avoid whatever the out of state supplements sometimes contain that you very well might not want to take long term.

b)  Avoid buying commercial treat juices and packaged foods even if they are labeled as organic because the companies who own these brands are the same soft drink companies and food companies only too happy to sell you high fructose corn syrup and other harmful ingredients.  So the chances of there being traces of things you might not want to be exposed to is higher than it should be.

c)  So far the best large scale provider of organic foods and produce I know of is Whole Foods.

They aren’t perfect and haven’t yet enforced their coming ban on GMO foods in their stores.

But they do have the best selection and the most consistent availability of organic produce I’ve seen  Moreover many of these foods sell at very similar prices to conventional produce sold in other stores.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home