(NaturalNews) Recent research has shown that eating organic foods for as little as one week can dramatically reduce the amount of pesticides found in the body.
The study found that adults who ate only organic foods for seven days showed an 89 percent drop in urinary biomarkers that indicate the presence of organophosphate (OP) pesticides. OP pesticides (such as glyphosate) can cause “fertility, growth, and development” problems in both males and females.
From the Healthy Sustainable Living blog:
Males exposed to OP pesticides can show poor semen and sperm quality have been seen, including reduced seminal volume and percentage motility, as well as a decrease in sperm count per ejacuate. In females, once age of menstruation is reached, cycle disturbances may occur, longer pregnancies, spontaneous abortions, stillbirths, and some developmental effects in offspring have been linked to OP pesticide exposure.
Research has linked OP pesticides to neurotoxic effects in humans and may also be responsible for an increased risk of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism in children.
Dr. Liza Oates of RMIT University in Australia was the lead researcher in the study that showed the drop in urinary pesticide metabolites associated with eating organic foods. She said the research indicates that ingestion of foods is the main source of pesticide exposure in humans.
How about a nice helping of nerve gas?
As reported by The Conversation, Dr. Oates also points out the fact that many OP pesticides were originally developed as components used in nerve gas, so it’s no surprise that they have neurotoxic effects on humans:
There is some emerging research suggesting some links between chronic low-dose exposure to OPs and some issues with the nervous system and that’s not surprising because the activities of these agents is they are toxic to the nervous system to humans.
A lot of these agents were initially developed as nerve gases for chemical warfare, so we do know they have toxic effects on the nervous system at high doses.
What’s less clear is at what dose they’re considered to be completely safe and that’s probably very different for different individuals depending on other factors like their ability to eliminate and detoxify these chemicals.
Organic foods are generally around 80 percent pesticide-free. One reason that they are not 100 percent pesticide-free is the fact that there are approximately 315 natural pesticides that are approved by the U.S. National Organic Program for use in organic agriculture “under specific restrictions imposed by organic certifiers.”
Synthetic pesticides are also sometimes found in organic food due to “drift, carryover in the soil, or movement in the air.”
Reducing pesticides in your diet
Although there are almost no 100 percent pesticide-free organic foods available, the study showed that a diet of organic foods is still much healthier in terms of pesticide exposure than conventional foods.
According to Healthy Sustainable Living:
There are several ways to reduce your risk of pesticide exposure. Even though they are not perfect, buying organic food and naturally raised meat like free-range organic chicken is the most effective way, as these foods will have the least (and sometime zero) synthetic pesticides and other chemicals.
It’s important to know which foods are most likely to contain pesticides. Foods with thinner skins, or ones that are grown underground, for example, are more likely to contain high levels of pesticide residues. Some foods
The list of pesticide-prone foods include apples, carrots, celery, tomatoes, almonds and many more. Whenever possible, the organic versions of these foods should be purchased.
Some non-organic foods, due to thicker skins, preparation methods that remove most of the pesticides, or the lack of need for pesticides in their cultivation, can be safely eaten without a high risk of pesticide exposure.
These foods include asparagus, avocadoes, bananas, garlic, onions, dried beans and several others.
For a list of 48 foods ranked from worst to best in terms of pesticide content, click here.