The modern consumer is very aware about the importance of a balanced nutritional diet laden with fresh fruit and vegetables, but simply going to the shop and purchasing any fresh produce from the shelves isn’t enough anymore.
What are herbicides?
Today’s farming involves the use of herbicides, a poisonous chemical which is sprayed on crops in an effort to kill any unwanted plants. They come in a variety of strengths and types, with some designed to target certain types of plants; some only effective when in contact with plants and others designed to be drawn up from the roots, killing the entire plant. One of the biggest concerns surrounding herbicides today is the use of glyphosate, an active ingredient being used in Monsanto’s flagship weedkiller, Roundup. Glyphosate is a chelating agent which can bind with soil nutrients, preventing their absorption into plants. They also act as an antibiotic and are believed to be leading to an imbalance in soil bacteria, as well as upsetting human and animal intestinal flora.
Dangers of herbicides
While herbicides might be an efficient farming tool, the effects on humans who consume herbicide-drenched products can be detrimental. According to the Environmental Working Group, there are a number of health risks associated with herbicides, including:
• Low birth weight
• Early delivery of babies
• Nervous system disorders
• Skin allergies
Glyphosate, in particular, has been associated with several health-related issues, including:
• Kidney disease
• Reproductive problems
• Birth defects
• Liver damage
Because of their developing immune systems, children are more at risk from illnesses related to herbicide exposure. Besides consumption of produce, herbicide is particularly harmful to those in contact with farmland that uses these toxins.
1. Eat organically-grown produce
The most effective way to avoid the risks of herbicides in your food is to choose organic produce, preferably locally-grown. This is particularly important for foods that have a high nutrient density which is minimised by the introduction of herbicides. This includes apples, berries, peaches, tomatoes, grapes, squash, cucumbers, green beans, spinach and lettuce.
2. Be selective about meat, dairy and fish
Remember that what goes into your meat, goes into you. The most Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are found in meat, dairy and fish and have a tendency to accumulate in the fatty tissue of animals and humans. Likewise, dairy cows fed on herbicide-infused crops will produce milk – and associated dairy products – that are tainted. Research where your food comes from, opt for organic, farm fresh every time.
3. Use an antidote formula
Where organic food is unavailable, there are certain ‘antidote’ formulas available to apply to herbicide-contaminated food to reduce the presence of unnatural ingredients. They are usually in the form of a spray which helps to reduce the toxicity. Learn more about Herbicide antidote food sprays
4. Eat fewer processed carbohydrates
Besides the health risks generally associated with these nutritionally-depleted, processed foods, there is also a higher chance of these foods containing acrylamide. This is a chemical used to make a number of materials – such as glue, paper and cosmetics – but is also an additive in herbicide mixtures used to prevent spray drift. It is one of the main sources of glyphosate herbicide formulations, mentioned above. According to the World Health Organisation, acrylamide appears to be produced in some foods prepared at high temperatures, such as chips and biscuits. The problem is that acrylamide is known to be toxic to the nervous system of humans. By avoiding processed carbohydrates, you are also avoiding the intake of acrylamide.
5. Grow your own
Where possible, growing your own produce is one way to ensure you know exactly what you’re putting into your body. Although it’s not reasonable to grow every product you wish to eat, you can certainly start building up that vegetable garden which will benefit your health as well as your budget.
Don’t despair. There is one other very powerful ‘antidote’ to the fear, and terrible effects of GMOs and associated poisons, and that is KNOWLEDGE. Eugénie Rowson has told over 4,000 patients (individually) about the hazards of GM foods and the need to eat Organic.
For lots of helpful information about the way forward in Organic eating, as well as the sourcing of Organic foods, drinks and even seeds/seedlings in South Africa, book an appointment with Eugénie Rowson for a full consultation and evaluation of your health.