Are Organic Foods Worth it?

Vibrant Living
Welcome To Your April Newsletter

Hi Vy!

Spring is just around the corner, and I am sure that you are anxiously awaiting the warm weather as much as I am.

I have been receiving a lot of questions about organic foods, and whether or not they are worth the extra money. This month, I have dedicated this newsletter to the reasons why I believe that organic foods are the better choice for the health of you and your family.

We also have an exciting upcoming lecture on Natural Labour from our homeopath Sarah Pepper. Please see the details below.

We at Vibrant Living hope you all had a wonderful Easter.

Robin and the Vibrant Living Team


What’s In This Newsletter
You will find the following great information in this month’s newsletter:

  1. Robin answers the question “Should I invest in organic foods while shopping?”
  2. Organic food fun fact
  3. This month’s featured product – Vega Energizing Smoothies
  4. Recipe of the Month: Guilt Free Rhubarb Strawberry Ice Pops
  5. Upcoming Event: Homeopathic Birthing Kit Info Session
Should I Invest In Organic Foods?
Robin Walsh, BaSC, ND

With the growing popularity of organic foods, it comes with its fair share of controversy as well.   Researchers, medical and health professionals and even popular TV shows will all give their opinion on whether or not the extra cost provides any additional health benefit.

To complicate the issue, there was a study recently released from Stanford University that stated that there was very little nutritional difference between organic and non organic foods.  These kind of headlines lead people to believe that there is no benefit to eating organic, however there is more to this story than simply nutritional value.

It has been well known for some time that you do not simply eat organic foods for their extra nutritional value. Instead you eat organic foods for what they don’t contain.  Part of creating health is making sure that you are adding enough nutrients in to allow the body to function. The other part is making sure that you are not adding things that interrupt with the internal working of the body.  Things like pesticides, heavy metals, dioxins, and parabens to name a few.

Lets look at what else this study found.

Pesticide Residue

Conventional produce is more than five times more likely than organic to have any pesticide residues (38% of samples versus 7%).

The study didn’t go a step further and consider that when pesticides are found on conventional produce, the pesticides are often more toxic, present at higher levels, and come as mixtures of different chemicals.

The study also didn’t include the large body of literature about the toxic effects of some of these pesticides.

The authors concluded that this five-fold difference in pesticides couldn’t matter because the total amounts are so small.

Some would strongly disagree.

Pharmaceutical drugs are powerful, refined chemicals designed to improve health. They can have desired health effects on our brain function, sexual function, and fertility at concentrations in our bodies of only parts per billion. Synthetic pesticides are also  powerful, refined chemicals, but designed to destroy or inhibit life. Why couldn’t they have undesirable health effects on our brain function, sexual function, and fertility when present in our bodies at similar concentrations?

Unborn Babies Have 21 Chemicals Already Present

Environmental Working Group did a study where they analyzed the umbilical cord blood of newly born babies. Pesticides were found in every baby tested.  To be more specific, 21 different synthetic pesticides were present in babies’ blood.

One group of pesticides, the organophosphates, were produced as nerve agents during World War II. There is still have much to learn about their health effects, but higher levels of exposure have been linked to lower IQ, memory problems, developmental problems, and ADHD. In fact there was a study published in Pediatrics in 2009 that found the children with levels of organophosphates higher than the median of detectable concentration had twice the odds of ADHD.

The good news is that these organophosphate pesticides do not accumulate in the system, and choosing organic foods can literally drop a child’s load overnight.

While childrens health has been referenced, it is important to understand the impact in relation to everyones health. My stance typically is that if children and pregnant women shouldn’t be eating it, none of us should be eating it in vast quantities.

Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

Conventional food is `three times more likely to bring multi-drug resistant bacteria into your home than when buying organic  (48.4% of samples versus 15.9%).

The authors found this difference, but concluded it was not important because they felt bacterial resistance is fueled primarily by human antibiotic use.  When bacteria are exposed to antibiotics, they develop ways to survive, making them more resistant to antibiotics. According to the World Health Organization, one of the biggest threats to human health today is antibiotic resistant bacteria. The use of antibiotics by the agrifood industry far exceeds that of human use. In fact, it has been estimated that the use of antibiotics in fish and farm animals is almost 1000 fold that of human use.

The problem extends beyond the use in animals. It has been shown that manure spread on the fields from animals given antibiotic feed contais antibiotic residue which is taken up by the plants. One study from the Journal of Environmental Quality in 2007 showed that a sulfonamide class of antibiotics was taken up by all of the crops that grew in the manure amended soil. The most highly resistant bacteria discovered so far were found not in hospitals or clinics, but in the soil.

Organic food, which doesn’t allow the use of antibiotics, is part of the solution to resistant bacteria.

What Foods Should be Eaten Organic?

Dirty Dozen

Every year the environmental working group puts out a list of the foods that contain the most pesticide residue. While it is virtually impossible to become pesticide free, choosing the organic form of these fruits and vegetables will greatly reduce your load

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Bell Peppers
  4. Peaches
  5. Strawberries
  6. Nectarines
  7. Grapes (imported)
  8. Spinach
  9. Lettuces
  10. Cucumbers
  11. Blueberries
  12. Potatoes

(plus green beans and kale)

Animal Products

It is important to consume all animal meats and byproducts organic. That includes milk, butter and all meats and cheeses.

These foods can not only contain antibiotic residue, but are usually fed foods that contain genetically modified feeds like corn and soy.

These products can be found at your local health food store, or grocery store in some cases.

Where To Shop In Waterloo Region

  • Pfennings, St Agatha
  • Bradys Meats, Albert Street Waterloo
  • Fenwood Farms, Ayr
  • Hilltop Farms
  • Poultry Place – antibiotic free
Quick Fact

Did you know according to a study by Walter Crinnion in the Alternative Medicine Review in 2010 that organic foods typically provide greater levels of a number of important antioxidant phytochemicals (anthocyanins, flavonoids, and carotenoids)?  While the vitamin and mineral content of organic and non organic do not seem to be vastly different, the phytochemicals or disease fighting units of the plants are higher in organic foods.

Product Of The Month

Take advantage of our Vega sale this month! Vega is on for $15/package. This is almost 7$ cheaper than most retail stores. Enjoy!!

Energize your day with a convenient, on-the-go nutrient boost.

Energizing Smoothie gives you the all-natural, plant-based goodness you expect from Vega-compete with protein, fiber and Omega-3-but unlike traditional smoothies, you only need water to shake and go.

In four mouth-watering flavors: mixed tropical fruits, chocolate, vanilla almond and berries (plus an unflavored natural), Energizing Smoothie is so delicious it will make you forget how healthy it is.

One serving of Vega Energizing Smoothie features:

  • Two servings of
  • 10 g of complete, plant-based
  • 5 g of
  • 1 g of Omega-3

Just add water, shake and go!


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