By now, I think most people understand that organic food is supposed to be healthier for you. But I think there are still some people who feel that the health benefits are a bunch of marketing hype.
Well, this new study suggests that it isn’t just hype—organic food really does reduce kids’ exposure to some potentially risky pesticides. From the Seattle P-I:
The peer-reviewed study found that the urine and saliva of children eating a variety of conventional foods from area groceries contained biological markers of organophosphates, the family of pesticides spawned by the creation of nerve gas agents in World War II.
When the same children ate organic fruits, vegetables and juices, signs of pesticides were not found.
The interesting thing to me was that, after just 5 days of going all-organic, the organophosphate pesticide markers virtually disappeared from kids’ urine. That’s a pretty remarkable result, and enough that it led the scientists—normally a restrained bunch—to state:
[W]e were able to demonstrate that an organic diet provides a dramatic and immediate protective effect against exposures to organophosphorus pesticides that are commonly used in agricultural production. [emphasis added]
All the more reason to spring for the organic apples.
And in other toxics news: make sure you don’t use boiling water to sterilize your polycarbonate bottles! Apparently, heat can make your bottles leach chemical yuckos (actual scientific term!) into your water. Consider yourself warned.
I am not claiming to know much about this. What I am about to say is merely the intuition that I had. Perhaps someone can explain to me if I am correct.I always thought that the problem with pesticides and PCBs and other chemicals was that they are long lived in the human body (and ecosystems). The fact that evidence of them can disappear after just 5 days implies that maybe they aren’t so bad for you after all???
I always thought that the problem with pesticides and PCBs and other chemicals was that they are long lived in the human body (and ecosystems). The fact that evidence of them can disappear after just 5 days implies that maybe they aren’t so bad for you after all??? First, many organophosphate pollutants are properly called POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants). The problem is that they are organic (having a C atom). This means they easily cling to molecules in the body by virtue of their C. Thus they can disrupt metabolic function among other things. Next, the assumption was that because POPs adhere to certain silicate materials, they must persist in the body as well. The takeaway – if this paper holds up and other studies confirm it – is that POPs can be flushed from the body by our diet. This is big. This should also trigger a reaction from Big Ag, as their practices – again – will come under scrutiny (rightly so*).*Agriculture affecting Mississippi River more than climate changeAnalysis of North America’s largest river indicates that changes in agricultural practices are affecting its water discharge and bicarbonate flux more than climate change. That’s according to a team from Yale University and Louisiana State University in the US, who used data rescued from a warehouse with records going back to 1902.”Mid-western farming has significantly changed the hydrology and chemistry of the Mississippi River, injecting the equivalent of five Connecticut Rivers annually into the river during the past 50 years,” said Peter Raymond of Yale. “It’s like the discovery of a new large river being piped out of the corn belt.”The agricultural practices most likely to be causing the changes are liming, changes in crop type, rotation and tile drainage, say the scientists.Both water-discharge and bicarbonate levels in the Mississippi have increased over the last 50 years—water discharge by around 50 km3 every year and bicarbonate flux by 4.6 Tg, an increase of around 40%.”A majority of riverine bicarbonate (HCO3—) originates from the atmosphere,” Raymond told environmentalresearchweb. “It starts off as atmospheric carbon dioxide, is taken up by plants and plants respire it into soil water—where the carbon dioxide interacts with rock minerals and is converted to bicarbonate. So this process removes atmospheric carbon dioxide: it is modelled to remove Ëœ0.4 gigatonnes of atmospheric carbon dioxide a year, while we pump more than 6 gigatonnes.”While bicarbonate flux tends to increase as river discharge rises, the team found that in the Mississippi River, from 1902 to 2005, the amount of bicarbonate flux for average river discharge also showed a large increased, changing by 2.9 Tg.Similarly, while precipitation increased by around 9% over the course of the study due to climate change, the amount of water discharge for an average precipitation year also increased. The team linked these rises in water discharge and bicarbonate flux to agricultural practices.
Dear C W-D, THE SKY IS FALLING, THE SKY IS FALLING.
We really need to come up with a word for the comment thread equivalent of ‘writing in crayon’. Epuerileism or something.