Welcome to week one of our Organic Challenge! This week, we’re focusing on our organic non-negotiables when it comes to food. There are nearly 3,000 chemical additives that find their way into foods that we consume on a daily basis. There are quite a few foods on the Dirty Dozen food list to always buy organic, but these are our top choices!
1. Microwave Popcorn
The bag of almost all microwave popcorn is lined with perfluorooctanoic acid, which is the same chemical found in teflon pots and pans and has been linked to infertility, cancer, and other diseases in lab animals. It is listed by the EPA as a carcinogen. Another chemical, known as diacetyl, can cause debilitating respiratory disease. Some brands have discontinued use of these chemicals in their products, but be on the look for them on the ingredients list!
Non-organic strawberries use chemicals and fertilizers for plant growth, weed control, and to reduce pests and diseases. Furthermore, growth hormones and antibiotics are used to stimulate plant growth and prevent disease. A report by the USDA found that a single sample of a conventionally grown strawberry found more than 13 traces of chemicals. Some of them are Methyl Bromide, Chloropicrin, and Telone. Buy organic strawberries whenever possible!
Conventional milk can be treated with something called rbST, which is a genetically engineered hormone that is injected into cows to stimulate and increase milk production. This increases the cow’s risk for painful inflammation and health problems and these issues can transfer to humans in the form of antibiotic resistance. Some researches also believe that rbST is linked to increased rates of colon, breast, and prostate cancer.
Many producers of non-organic beef inject their meat with different solutions to increase shelf life, add flavor, and tenderization that include MSG. In the beef industry specifically, it’s been a normal practice to administer low levels of antibiotics to prevent sickness in overcrowded feedlots. These antibiotics boast substantial evidence that they are considered a carcinogen, and can be viewed as having negative endocrine, developmental, immunologicals, neurobiological, and immunotoxic properties. Every single one of these hormones is approved by the FDA.
Celery consistently lands itself on EWG’s “Dirty Dozen,” a list of foods you should always buy organic. This list changes based on the pesticides being used on the products. Celery’s lack of protective skin makes it a prime target for the chemical absorption of pesticides. When tested, celery contained 15 different types of pesticides.
While major research still needs to be conducted on the side effects of these chemicals, there is action being taken against them. The European Commision (EC) has prohibited use of majority of the hormones that are allowed in food production in the United States. The research that we do have guides us in the right direction to live a happier and healthier life. Making quick and easy changes to your everyday food consumption can significantly lower your exposure to harmful chemicals.
We challenge you to make the organic decisions that matter most. Start with our non-negotiables and you’ll be on your way to a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle!
For more information on our full challenge, click here.