Organic Food: For Your Health!


I was recently informed by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) through the SUSTAG listserve of three new studies linking pesticide consumption by mothers and their children having lower cognitive development. All three studies were independent of each other, however they found similar results. 
It was determined that if a mother consumed pesticides during her pregnancy it could affect her child’s IQ and working memory at a rate directly proportional to pesticide concentration in her food (Rauh, 2011). 

Organophosphates from pesticides could also have an effect on processing speed, verbal comprehension, and perceptual reasoning (Bouchard, 2011). For this reason it is paramount that mothers consume low concentrations of pesticides, if any. By consuming organic foods mothers can avoid pesticides and their negative effects on their offspring.

Another great health benefit of organic food is the increase in antioxidants found in organic fruits and vegetables, which can be up to 40% when compared to conventional produce (Sample, 2007). Antioxidants are great for your health because they help prevent cancer and other diseases and can even promote better health in offspring. A mother’s antioxidant levels may lower her child’s susceptibility to diabetes and obesity as it has been seen in laboratory rats (Sarbattama, 2010). 

These stunning results show the importance of consuming pesticide-free foods, especially when pregnancy is involved. So what do I propose? Tell everyone you know about these results, especially if they’re pregnant! There’s absolutely no reason to allow our youth to start their lives with poor health, especially in a country with an entire industry developed for parenting including classes, countless books, and therapists. 

It is for this reason, and a plethora of others, that we do not use pesticides on the Cornercopia farm unless absolutely necessary. Instead of pesticides, we combat pests and diseases by finding genetically-resistant cultivars while supporting plant, insect, and microbial diversity.
So remember, even though you can’t see it doesn’t mean it can’t affect you or others!

Dave TenEyck


Articles Cited

Bouchard, Maryse et al. 2011. Prenatal Exposure to Organophosphate Pesticides and IQ in 7-Year Old Children. Environ Health Perspect :-. doi:10.1289/ehp.1003185
Engel, Stephanie et al. 2011. Prenatal Exposure to Organophosphates, Paraoxonase 1, and Cognitive Development in Childhood. Environ Health Perspect :-. doi:10.1289/ehp.1003183
Rauh, Virginia  et al. 2011. 7-Year Neurodevelopmental Scores and Prenatal Exposure to Chlorpyrifos, a Common Agricultural Pesticide. Environ Health Perspect :-. doi:10.1289/ehp.1003160
Sample, Ian. 2007. Organic food is healthier: study. The Guardian, Monday 29 October 2007. Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2007/oct/29/organics.sciencenews
Sarbattama, Sen and Rebecca A. Simmons. 2010. Maternal Antioxidant Supplementation Prevents Adiposity in the Offspring of Western Diet-Fed Rats. Diabetes, Dec. 2010. doi: 10.2337/db10-0301


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