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Pesticides = Poor Health
It has been shown that the toxins in our food greatly increase our overall toxic burden to a point where they become a major contributing factor in human disease. In fact, some experts have equated our modern food supply with a slow poisoning.
Pesticide use has steadily increased in modern times. After World War II, chemical warfare companies switched over to agriculture and began using their chemicals as herbicides and pesticides on our crops.
Studies have shown long term exposure to these chemicals has resulted in infertility, birth defects, endocrine disruption, neurological disorders and cancer. Particularly worrisome, is the toxic effect on the reproductive systems of women wanting to get pregnant, pregnant women and on young children.
Why are we eating pesticides?
A major problem is that 80% of genetically engineered (GE) or genetically modified organisms (GMO) crops are actually designed for use with these chemicals. They go hand-in-hand. Chemical companies own GE seed companies. An estimated 7.7 billion pounds of pesticides are applied to crops each year.
Making better choices
These chemicals are sold to us under the guise of increasing yields and lowering costs but research shows otherwise. Less toxic techniques such as IPM (integrated pest management), crop rotation and installing pest traps have shown an increase in crop yields and a decrease in pesticide use.
Consumer Report suggests that certain foods should always be organic. These include: peaches, strawberries, bell peppers, tangerines, cranberries, carrots, green beans, hot peppers, nectarines and sweet potatoes. Also, animals fed pesticide laden foods, will bio-accumulate these toxins so that foods that come from an animal should also be from pesticide free sources. For more on buying organic, please see tip on choosing organic foods.
Many artificial colors, artificial flavors and food preservatives commonly found in processed foods have been linked to various forms of cancer, asthma, allergic type reactions, behavioral changes, lowered IQ, hyperactivity and more.
The more additives we avoid the better. Here is a list of just some of the additives to try to avoid:
- Sodium Nitrate (also called Sodium Nitrite) found in cured meats like bacon, ham and lunch meats.
- BHA and BHT (Butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydrozyttoluene) found in cereals, chewing gum, potato chips and vegetable oils.
- Potassium Bromate found in baked goods to add volume.
- TBHQ (tertiary-butyl hydroquinone) found in instant noodles, crackers and other prepared foods.
- Sodium benzoate found in fruit juice soft drinks and salad dressings.
- Azodicarbonamide used as a dough conditioner in baked goods. Also found in yoga mats.
- Artificial Flavors found in nearly all processed foods with no way of telling what “artificial flavors” actually means.
- Food Colorings (dyes): Blue 1, 2; Red 3; Green 3; Yellow 6 found in candy, beverages, baked goods and pet foods.
Polyfluoroalkyl or perfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFASs) have been associated with many health problems including, hormone disruption and obesity to lowered immune function and cancer. PFASs are used to make things “non-stick” or slippery. They are used in food packaging, stain and water resistant treatments, fire retardants, and non-stick cookware such as Teflon. Cooking products such as frying pans, saucepans, muffin tins and baking sheets are coated with perfluorinated chemicals. These chemicals leach toxins into our food and we breath them in as they off gas when heated.
A seven year study linked these non-stick chemicals with health effects even at very low exposure. Some of the findings linked PFASs to thyroid disease, high cholesterol, hypertension in pregnancy, colitis, and certain cancers.
Switch out your perfluorinated non-stick cookware for glass, ceramic, enamel, cast iron and stainless steel.