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Natural Awakenings Metro Phoenix & Northern Arizona

The Organic Food Debate Heats Up: Until we have conclusive answers, Mary Peterson guides clients to make informed decisions about the foods we eat and listen to the messages our bodies are sending

Nov 04, 2012 11:44AM ● By Mary Peterson

The media has given widespread coverage to a recent Stanford University study comparing organic to conventionally grown food that concludes there is no significant difference in nutrient content between them. Organic proponents counter that there are other, more important issues at stake.

Foods play a critical role in healing. Jean-Pierre Barral, DO, who developed visceral manipulation, recommends a reduction in exposure to chemicals, consuming organic foods and reducing stress to achieve the best treatment results, and believes that stressors create tension around the internal organs. This tension contributes to the musculoskeletal problems of spinal alignment and muscular pain, along with other problems.

One of the best databases for information regarding chemical exposures and health has been gathered by the Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE). This group of researchers, healthcare professionals, patient organizations and concerned individuals ( notes that more than a third of the U.S. population is affected by chronic disease or disability, with an economic cost of more than $325 billion yearly in health care costs and lost productivity. It is their position that, “Scientific evidence increasingly indicates a relationship between a range of environmental factors and these diseases and conditions.”

A recent study presented to the CHE concluded that, “Fundamental changes in chemical testing and safety determination are needed to protect human health.” In other words, we aren’t going to get an accurate answer to the food debate the way current testing is done regarding endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

Part of the argument made today as to why organic food may not be necessary involves a tiny amount of chemicals present in both food sources. In studying the toxicology of a substance, an assumption is made that only high doses cause problems (i.e., that the dose constitutes the poison) and that the higher the dose, the greater is the danger. This study concluded that hormones are most robust at low doses. Studying what happens with endocrine disruptive chemicals at high doses won’t predict low-dose effects on our hormonal system and health

Until we get conclusive answers, make an informed decision that feels right for you and your family and listen to the messages your body is sending.

Mary Peterson, PT, MS Ed, practices cranial and visceral therapy as a physical therapist. She can be reached at 480-998-1646 and

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