ehem, ehem….http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-06/uoc–psi062209.php…. They found that infant exposure to organophosphate pesticides last longer than expected – resulting in an impaired ability to metabolize toxins. The UC Berkeley center which conducted the study is now suggesting that the EPA reevaluate its pesticide standards because of this result. This is not the first study that has found this result either.
Why do I also value this study so highly? Because it was partly funded by the EPA. If the EPA is saying that the EPA needs to change its standards….we know it’s true, and hopefully it can happen soon. I became very aware of the presence of pesticides/environmental toxins when I read The AutoImmune Epidemic by Donna Jackson Nakazawa. It’s a really amazing book that looks into the growing prevalence of autoimmune diseases. She states that our daily bombardment of chemicals and synthetics make our body work extra hard, and eventually go on hyperactive mode, leading to allergies and autoimmune diseases. These pesticides and other chemicals like BPA (more on that on a different day) are what is driving our body to exhaustion and debilitive diseases. Ick.
I have a constant battle with myself — do I try to ONLY eat organic? 50% organic? Do I buy the apples from far away that are certified organic, or buy the conventional apples from the Union Square Farmer’s Market? (I have yet to see any organic apple options there).
Because I don’t always buy organic, I invested in Environne Fruit and Vegetable Wash (http://www.environne.com/products.php). This product, with sorbitol and Grapeseed extract claims to remove pesticides and waxes that would are insoluble in water ( and therefore…stay on your fruit even after you wash them). My mind (and my boyfriend), claim that it probably does nothing for you. I am tempted to believe the pesticide bit. Most pesticides ARE soluble in organic substances (like alcohols and sugars), and pesticides do bind to compounds that have many polar groups. This study was used to for analyzing the chemical properties of pesticides. It found that simultanously feeding sugars and alcohols with the pesticides allowed for greater clarity in the instrument (because the alcohols binded to the pesticides — http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14570329). That does sell me on the pesticide claim. I’d be interested to see if there is a noticeable difference in the amount of wax on a vegetable after washing.
Meanwhile – a reason to actually buy organic or use some sort of fruit wash http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-06/asoh-iwa061209.php – This study just out from the American Society of Hematology – they found that people that applied pesticides to plants were almost 2 times more likely to develop rare a blood disorder which raises plasma proteins and is a predeterminant for cancer. This study had a broad range of participants and seems pretty legit. I’m sure it’s not the only negative health effect that constant exposure can lead to. And — remember that many farmers and farm workers do not have adequate health insurance…just adding to the burden on the health care system.
Pesticides don’t seem as wonder drug as they did before…