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The Science Behind What Happens to Your Body When You Go Organic – Because People Still Don’t Believe It

Saturday, October 1, 2016 20:55
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by "http://www.collective-evolution.com/2016/10/01/the-science-behind-what-happens-to-your-body-when-you-go-organic-because-people-still-dont-believe-it/"
target="_blank">Arjun Walia, Collective Evolution

When it comes to eating organic, and encouraging others to do
so, it’s not uncommon to hear a response in the form of, “well, how
do we really know it’s organic” or “it probably doesn’t even make a
difference.”

This is still common, but with more uproar within the past few
years about the concerns surrounding the pesticides that are
constantly sprayed on our foods, science is now stepping in to
examine the difference.

Furthermore, a number of countries are completely banning the
pesticides commonly sprayed on food in North America, and for good
reasons, some of which are outlined below.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA),
organic farms and processors must not use any genetically modified
ingredients. This means that organic farmers can’t plant GMO seeds,
an organic cow can’t eat GMO feed, an organic soup producer can’t
use any GMO ingredients, and so on. Farmers and processors must
show that they aren’t using GMOs and that they are protecting their
products from contact with prohibited substances from farm to
table. In order for something to qualify as organic, it must also
be free from most synthetic materials, like pesticides and
antibiotics. ( "http://www.ams.usda.gov/grades-standards/organic-standards"
target="_blank">source
)( "http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentidonly=true&contentid=organic-agriculture.html"
target="_blank">source
)

Conventional food is (obviously) the exact opposite.
Conventional food can be sprayed with pesticides, contain
genetically modified ingredients, as well as administer
antibiotics.

Eating Organic vs Eating Conventional

In 2012, a widely reported Stanford University study concluded
that there is little difference in the healthfulness and safety of
conventional and organic food. ( "http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22944875" target=
"_blank">source
) Since its publication, experts in the
environmental and health sciences department criticized the study
for completely overlooking a large and growing body of evidence
regarding the adverse effects of pesticides. More specifically, a
letter accepted for publication in the Annals of Internal
Medicine 
pointed to the lack of information in the study
regarding extensive data on the number, frequency, potential
combinations, and associated health risks of pesticide residues in
sprayed food. This publication calculated a 94% reduction in health
risk attributable to eating organic forms of six pesticide
intensive fruits. ( "http://caff.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Annals_Response_Final.pdf"
target="_blank">source
)

So is organic food more nutritious?

“In carefully designed studies comparing organic and
conventional apples, strawberries, grapes, tomatoes, milk, carrots,
grains and several other raw foods, organic farming leads to
increases on the order of 10% to 30% in the levels of several
nutrients, but not all. Vitamin C, antioxidants, and phenolic acids
tend to be higher in organic food about 60% to 80% of the time,
while vitamin A and protein is higher in conventional food 50% to
80% of the time.” –
Charles Benbrook, research professor
and program leader for Measure to Manage (M2M): Far and Food
Diagnostics for Sustainability and Health at Washington State
University ( "http://caff.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Annals_Response_Final.pdf"
target="_blank">source
)

A team led by Kristen Brant, a scientist at the Human Nutrition
Research Center Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, carried
out one of the most sophisticated meta-analysis of the
“organic-versus-conventional food” nutrient-content debate. Their
analysis was published in Critical Reviews in Plant
Sciences
in 2011, under the title, “Agroecosystem
Management and Nutritional Quality of Plant Foods:
The Cause of Organic Fruits and
Vegetables.” 
( "http://eprint.ncl.ac.uk/pub_details2.aspx?pub_id=168871" target=
"_blank">source
)( "http://soundofheart.org//galacticfreepress/https://donamarianadoces.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/nutritional-quality-organics2.pdf"
target="_blank">source
)

This study documents significant differences in favour of
organically grown food and explains the different, yet basic
farming system factors that lead to these differences. They
concluded that increasing the amount of plant-available nitrogen,
which is typically found in conventional farming, reduces the
accumulation of (plant) defence related secondary metabolites and
vitamin C, while the contents of secondary metabolites such as
carotenes that are not involved in defense against disease and
pests may increase.

They also found that secondary plant metabolite based nutrients
in fruits and vegetables are 12 percent higher, on average, in
organic food compared to conventionally grown food. Another group
of nutrients that are composed of plant secondary metabolites that
are involved in plant defenses against pests and response to stress
were, on average, 16 percent higher.

“This subset encompasses most of the important,
plant-based antioxidants that promote good health through multiple
mechanisms.”

The team of researchers estimated that the consumption of
organic fruits and vegetables is associated with a 12 percent
higher nutrient level intake.

This is just one example of research conducted showing higher
nutrient levels in organically grown food, and we are not even
talking about pesticides yet.

One thing about organic food is that it’s not sprayed. A recent
study conducted by researchers from RMIT university, published in
the journal Environmental Research, found that an
organic diet for just one week significantly reduced pesticide
exposure in adults by 90 percent.
( "http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S001393511400067X"
target="_blank">source
)

Cynthia Curl, an assistant professor in the School of Allied
Health Sciences Department of Community and Environmental Health at
Boise State university, recently published a pesticide exposure
study in the journal Environmental Health
Perspectives. 
Results of her research indicated that
among individuals eating similar amounts of vegetables and fruits,
the ones who reported eating organic produce
had significantly lower OP pesticide exposure than those
who normally consume conventionally grown produce. You can read
more about that "http://www.collective-evolution.com/2015/02/23/scientists-can-predict-your-pesticide-exposure-based-on-how-much-organic-produce-you-eat/"
target="_blank">here
.

Below is a very interesting clip titled “The Organic Effect”
from the Swedish Environmental Research Institute. Watch what
happened when this family decided to switch to organic food.
"http://soundofheart.org//galacticfreepress/https://www.coop.se/PageFiles/429812/Coop%20Ekoeffekten_Report%20ENG.pdf"
target="_blank">Here
is the full report.

 

“The change in how agriculture is produced has brought,
frankly, a change in the profile of diseases. We’ve gone from a
pretty healthy population to one with a high rate of cancer, birth
defects and illnesses seldom seen before. The tobacco
companies denied the link between smoking and cancer, and took
decades to recognize the truth. The biotech and agrochemical
corporations are the same as the tobacco industry; they lie and
favor business over the health of the population.”
– 
Dr. Medardo Avila Vazquez, a paediatrician
specializing in environmental health ( "http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_round_up/2525411/cancer_deaths_double_in_argentinas_gmo_agribusiness_areas.html"
target="_blank">source
)( "http://bigstory.ap.org/article/argentines-link-health-problems-agrochemicals-2"
target="_blank">source
)( "http://soundofheart.org//galacticfreepress/https://www.organicconsumers.org/news/cancer-deaths-double-argentinas-gmo-agribusiness-areas"
target="_blank">source
) (Related CE Article on the GMO/Cancer
link in Argentina "http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/09/08/death-rates-double-in-argentinas-gmo-agribusiness-areas-its-due-to-this-one-illness/"
target="_blank">here
)

The list literally goes on and on, the pesticides that are
sprayed on our food have been linked to a variety of diseases, and
high risk pesticides rarely appear as residues in organic food, and
when they do, the levels are usually much lower than those found in
conventional foods -especially the levels in imported produce.
( "http://caff.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Annals_Response_Final.pdf"
target="_blank">source
)

“I recently completed an assessment of relative
pesticide health risks from residues in six important fruits –
strawberries, apples, grapes, blueberries, pears, and peaches.
Using the latest data from USDA’s Pesticide Data Program (USDA,
2012) on these foods, I found that the overall pesticide risk level
in the conventional brands was 17.5-times higher than the organic
brands. The differences translate into a 94 percent reduction in
health risk from the selection of organic brands.”

Charles Benbrook, research professor and program leader for Measure
to Manage (M2M): Far and Food Diagnostics for Sustainability and
Health at Washington State University, from his letter that was
published in the Annals of Internal Medicine ( "nofollow" href=
"http://caff.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Annals_Response_Final.pdf"
target="_blank">source
)

This is very clinically significant, and this is why more and
more people are starting to be concerned about pesticide related
health risks.

The work of Chensheng (Alex) Lu, from the Harvard School of
public health is well known. He has shown that when school-age
children switch to a predominately organic diet, exposures to
organophosphate (OP) insecticides are almost completely eliminated.
 ( "http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1367841/" target=
"_blank">source
)

“Children today are sicker than they were a generation
ago. From childhood cancers to autism, birth defects and asthma, a
wide range of childhood diseases and disorders are on the rise. Our
assessment of the latest science leaves little room for doubt;
pesticides are one key driver of this sobering trend.”

October 2012 report by Pesticide Action Network North America
(PANNA) ( "http://www.emagazine.com/earth-talk/pesticides-and-childrens-health"
target="_blank">source
)( "http://www.uniteforsight.org/conference/ppt-2014/sseneff.pdf"
target="_blank">source
)


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