Organic Food is About More Than Pesticides: Dr. Katka Novakova explores the many benefits that eating organic provides.
Jun 29, 2016 03:59PM
● By Dr. Katka Novakova
The benefits of organic produce as a way to avoid toxic pesticides, herbicides and fungicides that are applied to food crops are well known, as well as which conventional fruits and vegetables carry the most toxic residues, such as peaches, apples, pears, winter squash, green beans, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, spinach and potatoes, to name a few. Although studies have even shown that organic food contains up to 50 percent more nutrients than its non-organic counterpart, there are even more reasons to choose organic.
Cold pasteurization is the irradiation of food with very high doses of X-rays and gamma rays in order to destroy microorganisms, delay ripening of fruits and vegetables and extend shelf life. Researchers at the University of Illinois, the Medical College of Virginia, San Diego State College and Ralston Purina have found animals fed irradiated foods suffered premature death, internal bleeding, cancer, reproductive and genetic problems and nutritional deficiencies.
Another cause for concern is the genetic modification of foods. While many countries world-wide have banned the use of GMO foods, the American public has been unwittingly consuming them for more than 10 years because of the absence of mandatory labeling. There is a lack of long-term research to determine the potential danger in consuming the abundance of genetically altered foods on the market. For instance, most corn, soy, canola, cotton, potatoes and rice has been genetically modified. Upon examining labels, we will notice that these GMO foods and their derivatives, such as cottonseed oil, lecithin, soy protein, soy oil, soy sauce, tofu, high-fructose corn syrup, food starch, bran, dextrose, maltodextrine, manitol, sorbitol and alcohol form the majority of many prepared and processed foods.
There are ways to protect ourselves. Irradiated foods, for example, must have a special symbol on the label known as the radura. Because GMO food, however, is still not subject to labeling by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the only way to be sure our food is safe is to buy organic produce from certified growers or local farmers that we trust. By buying organic, we are not only getting irradiation-, GMO-, pesticide- and herbicide-free produce, we are also supporting organic farming/agriculture and the healthy ecosystem of our planet. Products that are labeled as Certified Organic have been documented to avoid all these detrimental pitfalls and are currently the gold standard for clean, unadulterated food.