The study, led by RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, revealed that people who adopted an organic diet have seen a significant drop in pesticide exposure a week in their diet. In the study, researchers took urine samples from participants who were fed both an organic and a non-organic diet and looked for the presence of dialkyl phosphates, a class of compounds the body produces as it tries to break down organophosphate pesticides.
Organophosphate pesticides are widely used in commercial agriculture to control pests in fruits and vegetables, but they can also be found in flea and tick collars, shampoos, and powders for pets; treatments for head lice; and, no pest strips and pest control products for gardens. Despite its widespread usage, direct exposure to these pesticides carry severe health risks, especially for pregnant women. In addition, earlier studies have found that ingesting fruits and vegetables that have residual amounts of pesticides like organophosphates can lead to diminished IQs in children, as well as other dietary risks. Other studies have shown that children with high levels of residual pesticides in their bodies are more likely to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, known as ADHD.
Pesticides have also been linked to certain types of cancer, with multiple studies identifying both direct and residual exposures as a risk factor for environmentally induced cancer. In particular, organophosphate pesticides can increase the risk of breast cancer, where it can be transferred to babies through breast milk.
Unfortunately, much of the fruits are vegetables lined up in stores are riddled in pesticides. In its latest Dirty Dozen report, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found conventionally grown strawberries to have the highest levels of pesticide residues, compared to other fruits and vegetables. (Related: Strawberries are the most pesticide-ridden crop you can eat.)
Other offenders include spinach, which contains the neurotoxic insecticide permethrin; peaches, where the EWG found four pesticide residues, on average; and, grapes, which tested positive residues in 96 percent of its samples.
One of the common misconceptions with organic food is that it's more expensive than its conventionally grown counterparts. In reality, it takes a few simple tips to transition into an organic diet without having to spend more. (h/t to WholeLifestyleNutrition.com.)
Learn more about the many benefits of organic foods by following Organics.news today.