More benefits to choosing Organic
When you think about why organic food is good most people think it is because they are reducing the intake of harmful chemical into their body as non-organic food is sprayed with pesticides which include herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. This is very true, but there are additional benefits to eating organic aka pesticide free. Ten pesticides frequently used by farmers on salad vegetables (lettuce, tomato, cucumber etc.,) were tested to identify their ability to support pathogenic bacterial growth. Three bacterial species Salmonella typhimurium, E. coli O111:NM and Pseudomonas fluorescens were able to not only survive in two of the pesticides but actually increase in numbers.
Pesticides must be reconstituted and diluted with water before being applied to vegetables and many farmers utilise the water they have available to them from an agricultural source. So the same ten pesticides were mixed with agricultural sourced water (from a dam, ground water or from a river). The water was analysed prior to being mixed to identify what bacteria already existed in the water. After 48 hours in a storage temperature of 30 degrees Celsius nine out of ten of the pesticides mixed with the water had nice little pathogenic communities growing in the pesticide bottles. These pesticides are then sprayed onto fruits and vegetables and as they are invisible to the naked eye end up being an extra addition to your salad. One more reason to go organic.
Another important point is that some researchers found that the use of oil and vinegar salad dressing can neutralize E.coli and reduce the threat of food poisoning from these nasty pathogens.
At the Taymount Clinic, we advise people that organic is best but we know that this places a financial burden on the housekeeping budget for most people. To compromise, we would say select your salad vegetables and any green leaf like spinach, kale, etc., and fruits that involve eating the skin (e.g. berries), from the organic counter and save money on anything that needs peeling like avocados, bananas, etc. Any green leaf or skin that is to be eaten should be pesticide-free if possible and if you peel your non-organic fruits and veggies, you can peel away most of the pesticides previously sprayed on. Of course, there are some systemic pesticides which may infiltrate the whole fruit or vegetable, but life is about compromises. Shop organic where you can and focus on the leafy ones and skins that are eaten, and buy the value things that you are going to peel.
Remember the organic fruits and vegetables will carry a bio-film of natural probiotics so don’t wash them, just brush off the caterpillars and dust and eat them how nature intended.
By Annie McCue
Patient Liaison Manager