Transcript: Can Pesticides Be Rinsed Off?
Produce can be contaminated by manure runoff and conventional produce may be contaminated with pesticides. We've known for years that the 800 million pounds of pesticides used annually in the United States, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides have clear cut detrimental affects on farm workers and their families, that's uncontroversial. We can even do what are called hand wipe studies to actually measure the pesticides in the hands of kids in California's central valley. The planes come down and spray this fog. How much exposure on suburban and urban children are getting from food however has been unclear until now. Twice daily urine samples were taken from 3 to 11 year olds for more than a year to see how much pesticides is flowing through our kids. These children were nowhere near farms or fog spraying planes and to single out pesticides that were coming from the diet as opposed to like a lawn treatment or something, for two weeks of the year the kids were put on organic diet. Guess which two weeks those were. So the two times during the year when they ate organic foods, there were undetectable or nearly undetectable pesticide residues in their urine while their little bodies were basically swimming in it the rest of the year. In my 2000 update, I told everyone about this disturbing study. Vegetarianism during pregnancy associated with sons having a specific birth defect of the penis called hypospadias. They thought it might have something to do with the phytoestrogens in soy but that didn't make any sense since Japan, with the highest per capita soy consumption in the world, did not have high rates of the defect. I guessed that it might be low vitamin B12 levels leading to high homosystene which has been related to other birth defects but we were all wrong. Finally though the mystery seems to have been solved. The researchers reanalyzed the data for clues as to what could be found in the diets of vegetarians compared to meat eaters other than more good things like more fruits and vegetables. Unless there is an endocrine disrupting fungicide Vinclozolin that is sprayed on most of our conventional crops that we now know causes hypospadias so researchers went back and split up the moms into two groups. Those eating organic produce and those eating conventional produce. And while the vegetarian women eating conventional produce during pregnancy had indeed higher birth defect rates there was not a single case in the organic group. So it seems the hypospadias wasn't due to vegetarian diets it was that they were exposing their fetus to more pesticides. Can't we just rinse our produce off? Well it's better than nothing but this new study looked at three pesticides on apples. Levels start off at 100%, rinsing only seems to take off about 15% of the pesticides. The only way to cut down our dose is to peel the apple eliminating about 85% of the pesticides but also eliminating much of the nutrition. So, eat organic foods whenever possible. Organic produce has more vitamins, more minerals, tastes better, stores better and you get to not be complicit in poisoning of farm workers and their families.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.
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