Organic – It is THE Safer Alternative

IMG_8914This summer I lived on my own for the first time and discovered that my fridge didn’t magically refill itself; I had to go food shopping. What I soon discovered was that the grocery store is an incredibly overwhelming experience especially living off of a budget and trying to remain true to my belief in good things in, good things out.

Working on Protect Our Breasts, I have learned one of the greatest threats to my health is exposure to pesticides and herbicides by way of the food I consume. The simplest way to reduce your exposure to these synthetic chemicals is to purchase “USDA Organic” labeled items which are produced in the absence of these toxic chemicals. This certificate also ensures that you are not consuming genetically modified organisms, a major contributor to the increase use of pesticides.

GMOs have been altered through biotechnology, often to resist pesticides thus increasing the quantity and frequency of these chemicals. Earlier this month the U.S. Department of Agriculture authorized the distribution of new genetically modified corn and soybean crops. “The Agriculture Department, in its environmental analysis, predicted that approval of the crops would lead to a 200 percent to 600 percent increase in the use of 2,4-D nationally by 2020.”(NY Times, 2014) A new chemical formulation (Enlist Duo) of pesticides 2,4-D and glyphosate to go along with the GMO crops is currently being evaluated by the EPA. Meanwhile, the National Defense Council on Resources states that studies have linked 2,4-D with serious health concerns including, cell damage, hormonal interference, and reproductive problems. Historically, 2,4-D has been linked to an increased risk in breast cancer in young women (Mills, 2005).

Back to the grocery store – when we think organic, many of us think the healthier but unobtainable alternative. Maybe we need to widen that perspective a little bit, and think what goes into the making of organic- or rather what doesn’t. Organic food is grown without GMOs and without synthetic chemicals. It is THE safer alternative.

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