Making food choices is one way we empower our lives. It is a daily activity that supports us to have energy, feel good, look good, and stay well.

Lisa and Susan in Kitchen #2

Researchers find more Anti-Oxidants and Less Pesticides in Organic Crops*

Lower levels of pesticides in organic fruits, vegetables and grains compared to conventionally grown produce.

Carlo Leifert, professor of Ecological Agriculture in England, led the research. He stated “If you buy organic fruits and vegetables, you can be sure you have, on average, a higher amount of anti-oxidants at the same calorie levels.”

So what does that mean for you and me? Let’s talk first about are anti-oxidants and why are they important. Anti-oxidants are parts of nutrients that help to prevent or decrease cancer cells forming; decrease inflammation; slow down aging and reduce the damage caused by smoking and pollution.

Some damage to cells is caused by free radicals. “Free radicals” are Oxygen molecules, which normally like to be hooked up to another molecule, like H2O, and not be just an O alone.  They are formed naturally in our bodies when digestion takes place, or we are exposed to pollution, or smoke, etc.

Anti-oxidants, typically coming from Vitamins A, C, E and the mineral Selenium, float around in your body and “quench” free radicals by hooking up with that free floating O molecule. This lessens your toxic load and enables your body to be strengthened to fight off disease.

As far as having a lower level of pesticides, (read poisons), in our body, common sense tells us that is a good thing.  Where it is most important is in children’s bodies. The current level of most allowable pesticides are based on adult size bodies. This means that children eating conventionally grown produce are getting higher level of pesticides that their smaller bodies can probably handle easily.

Most people cannot afford to buy all organic food, so it is wise to pick foods that your family eats more often. Milk is a good example of this. If hour family consumes a lot of milk, you might want to look at least for brands that do not give hormones to their cows. At the end of this article is a list of the most highly pesticides fruits and vegetables. You can also consider avoiding these where possible. Many foods sold at Farmer’s Markets, while not being Certified Organic, are often grown without commercial pesticides, so they are good choices too.

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*Seattle Times, July 12, 2014. Kenneth Chang from the New York Times

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