ARTICLE IN A NUTSHELL
1. If it is not labeled “Organic,” chances are you’re eating foods sprayed with pesticides. Research shows pesticides contribute to adverse health events including neurological, carcinogenic, respiratory, and reproductive disorders as well as cancer, Alzheimer, and Parkinson’s. Additionally, pesticide consumption has demonstrated neurodevelopmental effects leading to autism and ADHD.
2. The research is clear, GMO, or bio-engineered, foods have been linked to chronic health conditions including gastrointestinal disorders, decreased immune function, thyroid hormone disruptors, liver and kidney dysfunction, and damages to DNA in human cells. It has also shown to inhibit mitochondrial energy production.
3. Studies show eating organic supports a healthy ecosystem and keeps plant and animal life safer. Additionally, it reduces health risks while providing higher nutrient content of key vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus to name a few.
Before we explore Principal #2 of the 16 Healthy Guidelines Checklist, “Is your meal made of Organic Sourced Foods for Optimal Nutrient Density?” ask yourself this question: Can food containing poison still be considered food? At the Energetic Health Institute, we have done the research and are here to share with you why being adamant on supporting an organic lifestyle has enormous health benefits for you, those you love, and Mother Earth.
Studies show over 5.6 billion pounds of pesticides worldwide, of which 1 billion is used in the US alone, are manufactured and used annually on the very ground we grow our food. Since the 1940s, mainstream agronomic research has focused primarily on profits regardless of the consequences. Achieving these industrial goals is interlinked with the increased use of chemical pest and weed control and the exponential growth of genetically modified plant, animal, and microorganisms known as GMOs (genetically modified organisms). (1)
Let’s take a closer look at the detrimental effects this has on our health and the world we live in.
What are pesticides?
Pesticides are defined as “chemical substances used to prevent, destroy, repel, or mitigate any pest ranging from insects (i.e., insecticides), rodents (i.e., rodenticides), and weeds (herbicides) to microorganisms (i.e., algicides, fungicides, or bactericides).” Human exposure to pesticides is unavoidable due to the fact that they are utilized everywhere including schools, public urban areas, sport fields, building materials, and agriculture throughout the world. (2)
Today there are more than 17,000 pesticide products currently on the market. Many of which are approved through “conditional registration,” a regulatory loophole that allows products to enter the market faster, without thorough research, testing, and/or review. (3)
Research shows the long-term use of pesticides has had a tremendous ecological impact over the years, from pest and weed resistance to environmental contamination. Its residue lingers in our atmosphere, soil, and water and is a major contributor in the decline of the honeybees. (3)
In terms of human health, pesticides have been associated with chronic health conditions including, dermatological, gastrointestinal, neurological, carcinogenic, respiratory, and reproductive disorders, as well as cancer, Parkinson’s, and neurodevelopmental effects like autism and ADHD. Science shows that infants and children are most at risk. As studies confirm, pesticides disrupt the nervous system and due to the fact that they are fat soluble, they can be trapped in the body for decades, bio-accumulating and gradually creating chronic health conditions. (2)(4)(5)
How do pesticides kill insects and why does it matter?
The majority of pesticides work by significantly disrupting the nervous system which affects heart and respiratory function. It does this by inhibiting a critical enzyme called Acetylcholine Esterase which is utilized by both humans and insects to communicate between nerve cells and muscle cells. When an insect comes into contact with pesticides it causes them to suffocate while having a heart attack.
Similarly, when humans come in contact with pesticides, nerve and muscle cells are also inhibited, just at a slower rate. Research shows pesticides are just as deadly to humans as they are to insects. Over the years, pesticides will bio-accumulate in the body, leading to adverse health conditions. (6)(7)(8)
What are GMO’s, Bio-Engineered products and Glyphosate?
GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, also labeled as “bio-engineered” foods, are an increasingly controversial topic. The food industry is all-in with GMOs because they allow modifications to plants, making them resistant to pesticides, able to grow faster and bigger, and disease and drought resistant. (9)
On paper, GMO foods seem like a technological advancement, but when you take a look at the research that evaluates their safety and the chemicals they possess, a much darker side is revealed.
Despite the fact that many companies claim GMO food is perfectly safe, there’s a growing body of research that proves otherwise. Studies have found that GMO food can cause organ damage, immune system disorders, infertility, intestinal problems, and even accelerate physical aging. (10)
Glyphosate, or Roundup, is an herbicide used by farmers when growing GMO crops, but glyphosate was also known as Agent Orange, utilized in chemical warfare during the Vietnam War. Research shows this deadly chemical, now being sprayed on the foods we eat, causes cancer, kills off healthy bacteria in the gut, promotes the development of gluten intolerance or Celiac disease, and has been associated with developmental delays and neurological problems in children. (11)(12)(13)(14)(15)(16)(17)
Twelve GMO’s hidden in plain sight!
Corn is used as animal feed and refined into countless different additives or fillers in food. This includes corn syrup, ascorbic acid (the vitamin C found in many supplements), corn starch, dextrose, maltodextrin, MSG, sorbitol, xylitol, and over 60 additional additives.
Studies show that over 90% of corn grown in the United States is GMO. Since processed corn is used in so many foods this means a massive portion of food is tainted with GMO corn. This is concerning since research on animals has found that GMO corn may negatively affect the kidneys, liver, heart, and adrenal glands. (18)(19)(20)
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, around 94% of soy is GMO. Soy is utilized by the food industry as an additive in a long list of foods including soybean oil, soy lecithin, soy protein, tocopherol (vitamin E), MSG, and mono-diglyceride. (21)(22)
3. Canola Oil
Research shows canola oil causes a wide range of health issues including chronic inflammation, weight gain, and memory impairment.
Many types of generic vegetable oils are a mixture of GMO corn, soybean, cottonseed, or canola oil. These oils are typically used in fast food restaurants. All of these oils are genetically modified to resist herbicides like glyphosate, which means they are likely contaminated with Roundup. (23)
Aspartame is a widely used artificial sweetener found in diet sodas, low sugar beverages, and low-calorie sweets. Studies found aspartame to be associated with chronic health conditions including cancer, seizures, depression, lupus, birth defects, weight gain, Alzheimer’s, and ADHD. (24)(25)(26)
5. Sugar Beets (Sucrose)
Sugar Beets are widely used for the production of sugar or sucrose. This GMO product is known to be saturated with glyphosate. Currently, approximately 95% of sugar beets grown in North America are genetically modified.
6. Non-organic multi-vitamins
Unless derived from organic foods, non-organic multi-vitamins can contain GMO ingredients made from corn and soy. This includes ascorbic acid, tocopherol, and magnesium stearate. If the vitamins are chewables or gummies, they also likely contain aspartame or some other artificial sweetener.
7. Baby Formula
Baby Formula often contains GMO ingredients that should never be consumed by an adult, let alone an infant. This includes corn syrup, soy protein, soy oil, sucrose, and canola oil.
Most Hawaiian varieties of the papaya fruit are genetically modified to be disease resistant. If you don’t want to risk eating the GMO versions look for organic, which is always non-GMO.
9. Artic Apples
Arctic Apples were developed using a new, experimental GMO technique called RNA interference to prevent the apple from browning. It’s unknown what safety implications this holds for human health. When it comes to apple varieties, always choose organic since apples are one of the most heavily sprayed crops. (27)
10. Cottonseed Oil
Approximately 85% of cotton in the United States is genetically modified. Even though cotton is not a food, the food industry cleverly repurposed it into cottonseed oil. Countless food companies and restaurants sneak it into their food or use it for cooking. (28)
Cotton is known as one of the world’s top polluting crops due to the high amounts of pesticides and herbicides sprayed in the process of cottonseed oil production. It is then heavily refined with hexane, bleach, and deodorizers, so not only is it GMO, but it is processed with multiple toxic chemicals. (29)
Potatoes are one of the most recently approved genetically modified crops using the new GMO technique of RNA interference. Sold under the brand name of “White Russet” these potatoes were designed not to show signs of bruising and browning. Little research has been done on long-term safety of the potatoes, however, the scientist who developed these potatoes, Dr. Caius Rommens, wrote a book called Pandora’s Potatoes in which he renounces his work and raises serious concerns about the process and safety of GMO foods. (30)
12. Animal Meat
More than 95% of all animals used for meat and dairy in the US eat GMO crops. Food for thought, it is not only about what we eat, but also what we eat has eaten.
Do organic foods contain higher nutrient density than conventionally grown foods?
Each year the Environmental Working Group provides a list of produce that contains the highest amount of pesticide residue known as the “Dirty Dozen.” Numerous scientific studies have shown that consuming produce high in pesticide residues increases the risk of adverse and chronic health conditions.
Studies show that organic varieties do provide significantly greater levels of vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus than non-organic varieties of the same foods. Additionally, organic produce has been shown to have more antioxidants and flavonoids. To boot, farm animals that are fed an organic, non-GMO diet have higher levels of Omega 3 fatty acids and show a reduced number of dangerous types of bacteria that are extremely common in conventionally raised animals. (31)(32)(33)
It should be noted that pesticide residues are absorbed via the root system of the plant, becoming part of the plant, fruit, and vegetable we eat. Therefore, washing and peeling cannot completely remove the residues. Overtime, consumption of pesticide-laden foods leads to bio-accumulation of toxins in the body, which in turn creates the perfect environment for chronic and debilitating health conditions. (34)
As Dr. Henele from the Energetic Health Institute states in Energetic Health Volume 1, “we vote with our dollars.” Every time you buy organic, you are persuading more farmers to grow organic. Our choices today impact the world we leave for our children and future generations. When aiming to purchase fresh produce with the lowest pesticide residue, buy organic, and when possible, locally grown. Buying organic and non-GMO foods creates sustainable food practices that are healthier for people and the planet, and supports local business instead of large corporations.
About the Author
M. Moriah Mor, a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, is the owner of GreenSilk.com. The company is committed to helping individuals live a healthier lifestyle through education, nutrition, the research of life science, and the development of Professional High-Grade Premium health products.
Recognized for her outstanding dedication and contributions to the health and wellness industry for more than 18 years, Moriah is a graduate of the Energetic Health Institute and the University of Southern California. Her interest is focused on researching the latest scientific breakthroughs in the holistic health field. She is currently working toward her Doctorate in Natural Medicine.