With all the chemicals in food, you’re probably consuming a lot of pesticides without even realising it. These toxins can lead to various health issues and diseases. A study shows yet another good reason to opt for an organic diet – it can lower your pesticide exposure.
Published in the Environmental Research journal, a study by RMIT University in Australia found that consuming an organic diet for a week can be enough to ensure an almost 90 percent reduction in pesticide levels in food! Most interesting of all, the diet didn’t even have to be completely organic for its positive effects to show.
The study participants formed two groups: one was fed a diet that contained at least 80 percent of organic food in it and the other was given a diet of at least 80 percent ‘conventional’ food. This was made up of foods that have been genetically modified, contained man-made fertilisers, or was produced with the use of pesticides. After a week of the two groups being on their respective diets, they were then asked to change over to the opposite diet. The participants’ urine samples were tested for dialkylphosphates (DAPs), a substance that makes up almost 80 percent of organophosphate pesticides and can be toxic to the body’s nervous system. The findings were clear: participants displayed 89 percent lower DAP levels when they consumed an organic diet for a week instead of a regular diet.
Another good way to reduce your pesticide consumption is to check out the annual ‘Dirty Dozen’ list formulated by The Environmental Working Group (EWG). This list features the top twelve foods that are contaminated by pesticides, ranking them from most to least. This year, the list contained the following items:
- Sweet bell peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
- Hot peppers
Then there’s the ‘Clean 15’ list, featuring fruits and vegetables that have the least amount of pesticides in them. This year’s list is made up of:
- Sweet corn
- Frozen sweet peas
- Sweet potatoes