We’ve long known that pesticides on our produce are no good, but there’s more benefits to eating organic than just avoiding pesticides. Thanks to a recent study, we now know that by eating organic produce, we can actually reduce the amount of pesticides stored in our bodies and help eliminate the problems associated with them. 

Here’s the Scoop:

The most commonly used type of pesticides that are sprayed on produce are known as Organophosphate pesticides (OPs), which have been used as insecticides in the US for over 30 years. Even low levels of these pesticides in our body have been shown to significantly affect nervous system function, making organic truly worth it.

A recent study was done to see how much these pesticides affected a large group of people over an extended period of time. Here’s what they found: Out of 4,466 participants from women and men in the United States who ate produce over the course of a year, they measured how much organic food each one ate. Their urine was also tested and researchers found that those who consumed pesticide laden produce (with OPs), aka conventional produce, most of the time had significantly higher levels of pesticides in their body. Those who always bought organic or bought organic most of the time had significantly lower levels, up to 65 percent.

This study didn’t involve other types of pesticides that are also regularly sprayed on commercial crops, just OPs, since they are the most common and most often used.

What to Keep in Mind

Since we can’t all buy organic produce all the time, we should do our best to buy organic produce whenever possible. If you’re on a budget, do what you can when you can and look for the 9 in front of the four digit code on all your produce to ensure you’re getting organic if it’s not labeled.

Pesticides have been linked to a problem with fertility and endocrine health, as well as thyroid and metabolic health. They’ve also been shown to increase the risks of cancer. This makes sticking to the Dirty Dozen list more important than ever.

Lead Image Source: rick/Flickr