By Charlotte Vallaeys

Image by Petro
Image by Petro

For babies and children, whose brains are rapidly developing, it is especially important to buy organic versions of foods whose counterparts are commonly sprayed with neurotoxic pesticides or fumigants. Even on relatively “clean” conventional foods, if pesticides were used someone was exposed to them – if not you or your child then farmworkers and possibly their children.

But avoiding neurotoxic residues is not the only reason to buy organic. Organic also means avoiding genetically engineered organisms, solvent-extracted ingredients, synthetic growth hormones, and other potential hazards to children’s healthy development. Whenever possible choose organic, especially for these 10 foods:

  • BERRIES – The USDA found 52 different pesticide residues on blueberries and 54 different pesticide residues on strawberries. Many of these are neurotoxins and listed as “probable human carcinogens.”
  • LEAFY GREENS – The USDA detected 55 different pesticide residues on kale and 48 on fresh spinach. Many are neurotoxins and suspected endocrine disruptors, and several are “probable human carcinogens.”
  • CEREAL – Buying organic means avoiding GMO corn and soy as well as toxic fumigants used in grain storage.
  • MILK – Only organic milk is third-party certified to be produced without genetically engineered growth hormones. And the USDA found that 6% of conventional milk samples were contaminated with a neurotoxic pesticide.
  • ORANGE JUICE – Nearly one-third of conventional orange juice samples contained residues of a pesticide that is a neurotoxin, “possible human carcinogen,” and suspected endocrine disruptor. No organic OJ samples were contaminated with this pesticide.
  • APPLES AND APPLE JUICE – Nearly 30% of conventional apples were contaminated with a neurotoxic pesticide; nearly half of conventional apple juice samples contained residues of a fungicide classified as a “probable human carcinogen.”
  • BREAD AND BAKED GOODS – USDA testing found residues of a neurotoxic insecticidal fumigant on half of wheat flour samples.
  • POTATOES – The USDA detected 37 pesticide residues on conventional potatoes, with 11% containing residues of a known carcinogen and suspected endocrine disruptor.
  • GRAPES – Nearly 25% of imported conventional grapes contained residues of a neurotoxic pesticide.
  • MEAT AND POULTRY – Buying organic eliminates the risk of exposure to antibiotics and growth hormones that are routinely used in conventional livestock production.

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