Eating fruits and vegetables that are grown without pesticides reduces the amount of toxic chemicals you eat. And if you choose organically farmed beef, you'll minimize your exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
These conclusions seem obvious, but Stanford University put them to the test. In a recent analysis of 230 field studies and 17 human studies conducted in the U.S. and Europe, Stanford compared pesticide residues, antibiotic resistance and vitamin and nutrient levels in organic and conventionally produced foods.
In the study, organic foods were deemed to be just as nutritious as those grown with pesticides. Moreover, “The study confirms … that consumers who eat organic fruits and vegetables can significantly reduce pesticide concentrations in their bodies,” Sonya Lunder, senior analyst at Environmental Working Group, said. “This is a particularly important finding for expectant mothers and kids, because the risks of dietary exposures to synthetic pesticides, especially organophosphate and pyrethroid insecticides, are greatest during pregnancy and childhood, when the brain and nervous system are most vulnerable. These are two groups that should really avoid eating foods with high levels of pesticide residues.”
Based on its review of the research, the Stanford research team also concluded that conventionally raised meat (cows raised in crammed feed lots that are routinely given antibiotics to fight outbreaks of disease) harbors more antibiotic resistant bacteria. In fact, the study found that people who eat non-organic chicken or pork are 33 percent more likely to ingest three or more strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria than those who eat organic meat.
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