When people find out what I do, they always ask why. Why buy organic? Why pay more for food? Why cook so much and shun the convenience of so many packaged foods?
The short answer is this: I switched to organic when my daughter was born eight years ago. No one could say for sure what level of contaminants was safe for her little body, so I decided to be safe and minimize her exposure. Now an alarming article in today’s paper supports my choice.
In “Research Links Pesticides with ADHD in Children“, Carla Johnson reports on a study in Pediatrics suggesting a link between high pesticide levels and ADHD in children. Pesticide levels can be measured in urine, and it seems that the higher the pesticide level, the higher the risk of having ADHD. Even children who don’t live on farms are exposed to pesticides from the foods they eat. Pesticide residue remains on fruits and vegetables even after they’re washed and peeled, and some produce is more contaminated than others. The good news is that after switching to organic, pesticide levels in urine drop to near zero, according to other studies.
Not sure what’s safe and what’s not? The Environmental Working Group puts out a list of the so-called Dirty Dozen, the 12 most contaminated foods. Click here for a link to a downloadable Shopper’s Guide of the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15. Whenever possible, if you want a fruit or vegetable on the “dirty” list, buy organic.
Please pass the word to friends — especially parents — who still need convincing why the cost of organics is worth it.