According to the Beyond Pesticides nonprofit organization, at least eleven diseases are linked to pesticides in our bodies.
260 pesticides are linked to cancer; 65 are linked to Parkinson’s; 41 are linked to asthma; 26 are linked to learning and developmental disorders, etc. Disturbing statistics!
Most of the post World War II pesticides were (and many still are) related to DDT – that persistent insecticide that was sprayed everywhere, but ultimately banned in the western countries. Because DDT and other chlorinated pesticides linger a long time in the environment (and in our bodies), new faster-degrading pesticides were developed. Unfortunately, these organophosphate and carbamate type pesticides – related to warfare nerve gases – are quite deadly. About 90 million pounds per year are used in the U.S. Most people have evidence of these potent pesticides in their urine. (While circulating in the blood they are broken down by the liver prior to excretion in the urine.)
Okay, you wash your vegetables and salad greens to remove common pesticides. Good, but are you now safe from these toxic chemicals? No, because they inhabit other places. For example, they are found in cooking oils, especially cotton and soybean oils, because cotton and soybeans are two of the most heavily sprayed crops. So you are careful in your purchase of cooking oils. Are you now safe from agricultural pesticides? Again, No, because these two oils are used in virtually all packaged foods, such as cereals, crackers, cookies, bread, cakes, donuts, etc. It is a distressing picture!
What can a person do to avoid having their body contaminated by pesticides? One, buy organic fruit and vegetables. Two, when you can’t buy organic, rigorously wash or peel the fruit and vegetables. Three, minimize use of pesticides in your garden and on your lawn, and check the ingredients to avoid the most toxic. Four, do not buy packaged food that contain cotton seed oil or soybean oil, unless they are organic.
In the next blog we will explore the heavy topic of cancer – the dreaded disease.