Why Bother With Organics?
I came across a video online this week that really puts into perspective the difference between conventionally and organically grown produce. First, watch the 2.5-minute video at the link below (created by a 3rd grader who wanted to try and sprout potatoes) and then come back here for a bit of info on the difference between organic and conventional produce.
So what’s the big diff between conventional and organic farming practices?
Conventional: farmers plant many fields of a single crop, which over time leads to soil nutrient pollution – then to maintain soil balance, they add synthetic fertilizers. To control their weak crops (weak because they’re grown with synthetic nutrients in tired soil) they spray hundreds of millions of pounds of chemicals – pesticides, fungicides, herbicides – per year.
Organic: farmers plant many different crops, which they rotate, which work in harmony to maintain the soil balance and prevent the land from becoming depleted. They use natural compost-based fertilizers, and encourage friendly bugs to inhabit their fields and out-compete the more harmful ones.
And, what are the health implications of farming chemicals?
Studies have linked farming chemicals to increased risks of chronic diseases. The farmers who grow these crops are at a very high risk, and that risk is passed on to us when we buy their produce from the grocery store. Here’s a short list of farming chemical – related diseases: brain tumours, sarcomas, birth defects, endocrine disruption (hormone disruption), leukemia, Parkinson’s disease… Not so lovely.
When we’re talking fertility, we know the hugely detrimental effect that playing with your hormones can have on your chances of conception and delivering a healthy baby. The more you can reduce your exposure to chemicals in all things you contact (household cleaning products, foods, beverages, makeup, skin care products, etc.) the more you reduce your toxic burden and increase your fertility.
What can I do about it?
I always recommend the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen as a great place to start. Organically grown foods can be more pricey, so making smart choices – choosing organic for the produce that is most contaminated by chemicals – can make the transition easier on your wallet. The Dirty Dozen should always be bought organic, the Clean Fifteen are your safest bets for conventional.
Always wash your produce well in a sink full of warm water and natural vinegar (apple cider or other) before storing it, so you don’t forget, and to minimize surface build-up.
As you transition to buying more organic produce over time, you’ll start to notice a change in how you feel when fueled by organics. You’re making a great change for your body, your mind, and your fertility.
Ask any Acubalance practitioner if you have questions about organics!
Dr. Kali MacIsaac HBSc, ND