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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 remove around 15% of pesticides, but one can easily make a vinegar or salt water fruit and vegetable wash that works better.

Benefits of Eating Organic Produce

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.

There is little difference in the level of vitamins and minerals between organic and conventionally grown produce, but higher levels of beneficial 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 multi-drug resident bacteria, and organic pork may pose less risk of Yersinia, an antibiotic-resistant bacteria. 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. 

The hormones 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. 

Pesticides on GMO Soybeans

Monsanto’s Roundup has been demonstrated to exert 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 President’s Cancer Panel report recommends choosing organic, especially for children, the most vulnerable population for increased environmental cancer risk.


Image Credit: Jessica Spengler / Flickr. This image has been modified.

Topic summary contributed by Emily

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