Things to Always Buy Organic & Why

I just read a very interesting article on the top 11 things you should buy organic by Shine from Yahoo! (as buying EVERYTHING organic can really put a dent in your wallet). As I want all my Valley Girl readers to live a long and healthy life, I thought I’d share the ones I thought were most interesting…

Shine proclaims that the most important food to buy organic is beef and quotes that “Research suggests a strong connection between some of the hormones given to cattle and cancer in humans, particularly breast cancer,” says Samuel Epstein, MD, professor emeritus of environmental and occupational medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. Ted Schettler, MD, science director at the Science and Environmental Health Network told Shine that these “estrogen-like agents used on cattle could increase your cancer risk.” He also told Shine that going organic in the beef department allows you to bypass the “antibiotics cows typically receive, which the USDA says may lead to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in people,” according to Shine from Yahoo!.

Who doesn’t love strawberries? Shine says that you can find up to 13 pesticides on the fruit and according to an Environmental Working Group (EWG) analysis, conventional “strawberries have a large surface area and all those tiny bumps, which makes the pesticides hard to wash off, so you’re ingesting more of those chemicals,” Marion Nestle, PhD, a professor of nutrition and public health at New York University and author of “What to Eat” tells Shine from Yahoo!.

Who would have thought pans came organic? Shine from Yahoo! says your cookware is just as important as the food you eat and quotes Olga Naidenko, PhD, a senior scientist at the EWG, saying “Most nonstick cookware contains a fluorochemical called PTFE that breaks down to form toxic fumes when overheated. Those fumes can coat the inside of the lungs and cause allergy-like symptoms.” Toss those non-sticks non-sense and pick up either stainless steel, ceramic, or cast iron cookware!

Why do you think your popcorn doesn’t stick to the paper when its being zapped in the microwave? Well, studies have shown that popcorn companies may be adding a toxic chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, to prevent any sticking, according to Shine from Yahoo!. And according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), PFOA could very well be a carcinogen. Shine quotes David Carpenter, MD, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany as saying “We don’t know all of the hazardous effects of PFOA yet, but we have some evidence of a link to cancer, as well as to effects on the immune, nervous, and endocrine systems.” Alternatives? Shine says to switch to an air-popper or make your popcorn in a pan on the stove top.

Water Bottles
Shine also says that water bottles may contain BPA, or bisphenol A, another “endocrine disruptor” according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. “For adults, the biggest concern with BPA is that it may increase the risk of breast cancer in women and reduce sperm counts in men,” says Dr. Carpenter. Shine from Yahoo! says to drink from an unlined stainless steel or BPA-free plastic bottle.

Food-Storage Containers
Just like water bottles, many food-storage containers may contain BPA. It’s better to use glass containers (Rubbermaid and Pyrex make glass ones with BPA-free plastic lids) according to Shine from Yahoo!.

Drink a latte every day? Think again! Shine says “Dairy products account for a reported 60 to 70 percent of the estrogens we consume through our food.” Dr. Schettler explains to shine that “elevated levels of IGF-1 in people are associated with an increased risk of cancer, including breast cancer.” Although these haven’t been totally proven yet, Dr. Schettler says to purchase milk that hasn’t been treated with it. So choose the milk labeled rBGH-free, rBST-free, or is produced without artificial hormones, according to Shine from Yahoo!.

Guess which fruit/vegetable scored the highest for pesticide retainment by researchers at the EWG? Celery! Shine from Yahoo! says “celery stalks are very porous, so they retain the pesticides they’re sprayed with—up to 13 of them”, according to the EWG analysis.

Tomato Sauce
Steer clear of the cans when in comes to tomato sauce! Shine from Yahoo! quoted Cheryl Lyn Walker, PhD, a professor of carcinogenesis at MD Anderson Cancer Center and past president of the Society of Toxicology saying “The lining on the inside of food cans that’s used to protect against corrosion and bacteria may contain BPA… What can happen is that BPA in the lining can leach into the food.”

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