RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Most of us are exposed to pesticides several times a day. Even if you live far away from chemically treated farm fields, the toxins still find you—because they often hitch a ride on your food. And new research shows that over half of the most commonly used pesticides are known endocrine disruptors. That means our food can be contaminated with 180 chemicals that mess with hormone function, and ultimately, our health. The good news: Organic food is more available than ever and, according to research highlighted in a new report from The Organic Center, there are six ways in which organic food and farming can slow or reverse the epidemic of obesity and diabetes that’s putting so many people at risk.
THE DETAILS: Each day, the average American ingests 10 to 13 different pesticides or pesticide metabolites through food, beverages, and drinking water. According to USDA sampling, 75 percent of fruit and 60 percent of vegetables tested contained at least one type of pesticide residue. Because they avoid these chemicals and contain greater nutrient content, organic foods can affect the obesity epidemic in these ways, the report states:
In infants and children:
• Promote healthy development of the endocrine system, which regulates blood sugar and calorie intake.
• Establish taste-based preferences in children for nutrient-dense, flavorful foods.
• Eliminate exposure to 180 pesticides that can disrupt the endocrine system.
• Help reinforce a sense of fullness and reduce the intake of unneeded calories.
• Lessen damage done by free radicals, lowering risk of inflammation-related diseases like diabetes.
• Protect the brain from neurological damage that occurs with aging, preserving memory and cognitive skills.