Avoid the Dirty Dozen Pesticides - Paula Owens

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Reduce Exposure to Pesticides: Avoid the Dirty Dozen™

Are you aware that chemicals, particularly pesticides and herbicides have detrimental consequences and negative side effects on our brain, weight, neurological function, hormones, quality of life and overall health?

According to The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, 10 of the 12 most dangerous chemicals are pesticides. The average American is exposed to 10 to 13 different pesticides every single day through food, beverages and drinking water, and 9 of the 10 most common pesticides are disruptive to hormones.

The United States and international government agencies have acknowledged that various pesticides have been linked to a variety of health problems including hormone dysfunction, skin, eye and lung irritation, neurotoxicity, developmental delays, birth defects, weight loss resistance, obesity, cognitive dysfunction, and even cancer. The negative effects of pesticides can take years to show up, and by the time symptoms are clear much of the damage may have already been done.

In 1990, 35 million liters of pesticides were sprayed on fields and crops; in 2013 over 300 million liters of pesticides were sprayed! Pesticide exposure occurs from inhalation, absorption through the skin, and oral exposure in the mouth or digestive tract. Typical sources of pesticide exposure include food, beverages and water, home and personal use items, environmental and occupational exposure.

Did you know that polar bears experience osteoporosis and hypothyroidism from the chemicals they ingest? If polar bears are experiencing adverse health conditions from pesticides and herbicides, you can only imagine the damage pesticides inflict upon humans.

A study out of Harvard shows that even tiny, allowable amounts of common pesticides can have dramatic effects on brain chemistry. Kids with above-average pesticide exposures are ninety-three percent more likely to have ADHD. (Source: Pediatrics) Gestational exposure to several common pesticides can induce developmental neurotoxicity in humans, and has been associated with developmental delay and autism. (Source: Environ Health Perspectives)

At lower concentrations of Roundup and glyphosate (1ppm), the main endocrine disruption is a testosterone decrease by 35%! Pesticides are just one of the many sources of xenoestrogens (a type of obesogen), which are environmental, man-made chemicals that have a chemical structure similar to estrogen that accumulate in fatty human tissue. These chemicals cause tissue damage that disrupt insulin sensitivity, cause blood sugar imbalances, accelerate aging, trigger hormone imbalances, leaky gut, infertility, brain dysfunction and alter satiety so you never feel full or satisfied when eating, thereby promoting fat accumulation and obesity. GMOs, Glyphosate and Pesticide Health Hazards

How does this translate into what we buy at the grocery store? Do you know which fruits and veggies are most important to buy as organic to avoid pesticide/insecticide intake and overload? The Environmental Working Group (EWG) created a Shopper’s Guide on the fruits and veggies that contain the highest pesticide residues and which fruits and vegetables are best to buy organic. A study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives reported that eating an organic diet for just 5 consecutive days can reduce circulating pesticides to non-detectable or near non-detectable levels.

The Dirty Dozen

Fruits & Veggies with the Highest Amount of Pesticides

          * Apples * Strawberries/berries * Grapes
          * Celery * Peaches & nectarines * Spinach, kale, collards & leafy greens
          * Sweet bell peppers * Hot peppers * Cherry tomatoes
          * Potatoes * Cucumbers * Snap peas

The EWG added a “plus” to their Dirty Dozen list. The items on the plus list include kale, collard greens and summer squash, which may contain organophosphate insecticides that the EWG characterizes as highly toxic and of special concern. All 48 fruits and vegetables with pesticide residue data.

EAT ORGANIC!Buy Organic! You can lower your pesticide exposure nearly 80% by eating organic foods.

Many pesticides are systemic, meaning that the pesticides are taken up by the plant’s roots and distributed throughout the plant so unfortunately while washing fruits and veggies is important, no amount of washing completely removes them. Included in this class of pesticides are genetically engineered crops, which express an endotoxin that is impossible to wash off.

Eating an organic diet for just one week can reduce pesticide levels in adults nearly 90%.

Did you know that organic fruits and vegetables have up to 40 percent more antioxidants and approximately 180 times lower pesticide content than non-organically grown produce?

A salad today (mixed greens, peppers, onions, tomato, olive oil) has from 15 to 76 percent less nutrient value plus residues of pesticides and nitrates compared to this same salad mix in 1940.

Other common items of concern include Atlantic, farmed salmon and catfish. Farmed salmon has up to 90% more pesticides than wild-caught salmon. Other common dietary sources of concern include dairy products, grains, factory-farm-raised animal protein and synthetic vitamins, including some brands of fish oil and protein powder. GMOs, Glyphosate & Pesticide Health Hazards

Did you know?

  • Parabens are hormone-disrupting chemicals. Research has detected the presence of paraben esters in 99% of breast cancer tissues sampled. Parabens are found in deodorants and antiperspirants, moisturizers, shaving gels, cosmetics, shampoo, shaving gel, toothpaste and they’re also used as food additives. It’s important to recognize that whatever you spread on your skin is absorbed into your body and can potentially cause serious damage over time. Instead, opt for natural skin-care products that are chemical-free.
  • What type of cookware do you use? Did you know that Teflon (PFOA) is an hormone-disruptor and carcinogen? Next time you go shopping, consider replacing your Teflon cookware with ceramic or stainless steel cookware. Here’s a simple test that will tell what type of stainless steel cookware to purchase. Take a magnet with you when you go shopping. The magnet should stick to the cookware indicating that the cookware has a low nickel content and will not leach nickel into the food. Nickel can be more toxic than mercury. Less expensive stainless contains metals that will leach into anything you cook in the cookware. Replace plastic, hormone-disrupting storage containers with glass storage containers.

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