Salad, hold the pesticides please!

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I’m *this close* to singing from my rooftop!

A new Harvard study focuses on the effects of Organophosphates (a type of pesticide commonly used on produce).  These pesticides are toxic to the nervous system and that’s how they kill pests.  The thinking now (really?  just now?) is that ‘ta da!!!’ it can effect us too.  They have established a link between these neurotoxins and ADHD.  Makes sense right?!  They can’t say for certain that there is a direct cause/effect and that more testing is needed, but it’s a start.

The research thus far seems to suggest that the effects are more pronounced in children with their developing brains and generally smaller bodies/systems.  This study was done by testing the urine of more than 1,100 children ages 8-15.

“Children with higher-than-average levels of the most commonly detected byproduct — found in roughly 6 in 10 kids — were nearly twice as likely to have ADHD.  “It’s not a small effect.  This is 100 percent more risk,” says the lead author of the study, Maryse Bouchard, Ph.D.”1

From what I understand, there is nothing known yet to say that stopping the consumption of pesticides will reverse the effects or allow for healing.  However, buying organic and local are now being suggested as a means to avoid these sort of toxins and the effects.

I encourage you to check out these sources for a more information:
1 CNN
2 NBC

As mentioned in these stories, organic and/or local produce is being recommended.  Local produce with pesticides is considered to be lower in pesticide load than store bought produce.

These articles also mention being sure to wash your produce well.  I would like to revisit a site I have mentioned before.  http://www.foodnews.org/

“The Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides ranks pesticide contamination for 50 popular fruits and vegetables. The 49 fruits and vegetables analyzed in the guide are the top 49 most consumed fruits and vegetables, as reported by the USDA, with a minimum of 100 pesticide tests between 2000 and 2009. Nearly all the studies on which the guide is based tested produce after it had been rinsed or peeled.”  You can read more about their testing and results here.

I buy organic produce.  It can be more expensive, but I find that buying what’s on sale makes it very affordable.  I can often buy organic produce for less than what it costs to buy non-organic by simply purchasing what is on sale at the time.

If you need something that is not on sale or simply cannot find it in organic, try out the EWG guide to the cleanest (and dirtiest) fruits and vegetables, ranked by pesticide load.  You can view the full list here.

Amanda Hearn
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10 Comments

  • I'm going to be snarky here. Why are you excited that pesticides are bad? There is a large segment of the population that really can't afford organic food. Shouldn't we be wishing and hoping that pesticides really weren't bad?

  • Baby Mama, I think we should be wishing that the FDA etc restrict use of pesticide, and until then be aware of what your family eats.

  • Artist, I don't disagree with you. I'm just saying that the fact that pesticides are so bad makes me very sad, definitely not excited.

  • I'm not happy that they are unsafe, at all. I wish they weren't, so that this wouldn't even be an issue. I'm thrilled that it's finally being recognized as unsafe by science, the media and hopefully our government, so that consumers are made aware and able to avoid these toxins. Hopefully the government will begin to look closer and regulate the chemicals used.

    Before we (our family) knew about these things, we lived under a cloud of "they wouldn't use it if it wasn't safe". I wish we had known sooner.

  • I'm not happy that they are unsafe, at all. I wish they weren't, so that this wouldn't even be an issue. I'm thrilled that it's finally being recognized as unsafe by science, the media and hopefully our government, so that consumers are made aware and able to avoid these toxins. Hopefully the government will begin to look closer and regulate the chemicals used.

    Before we (our family) knew about these things, we lived under a cloud of “they wouldn't use it if it wasn't safe”. I wish we had known sooner.

  • It's also helpful to know, so that you can make an informed decision about WHICH things are worth the extra money. Some items have more "bang for your buck" in the organic department. I never buy organic bananas, because what I've read suggests that there's really not that much difference between organic and not. (although ALL organic food is better for the environment!) But I WILL spend extra for organic apples, root vegetables and leafy greens, because they tend to carry more of these chemicals with them to the table.

    And I'm happy that wisdom (rather than ignorance or greed) is beginning to play the better part of valor in our food supply.

  • Yes. Shocking news. Kills smaller things…may be bad for us too! Thanks for passing on the study.

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