The main difference between organic and non-organic produce comes down to one factor: the use of the herbicide Glyphosate. There has been much debate in this area, with some touting the safety and widespread use of the herbicide. However, research shows it can not only pose a health risk to you and your family, but it can be harmful to the environment. Let’s take a look at why:
It’s true…Glyphosate is everywhere. It is still one of the top selling herbicides in the US, even though there is strong evidence that exposure can lead to cancer, endocrine system disruption, fertility issues, and more. Most don’t use it in large amounts, but it is used commercially on a much larger scale. In fact, weed killers containing this toxic ingredient are used on over half of the corn and soybean crop land in the US.
It is also used on farmland where oats, cotton, wheat and fruits are grown. Even though major companies have labeled it as ‘the safest herbicide ever made’, the evidence suggests otherwise.
The History of Glyphosate
For over 50 years, conventional farmers have been using glyphosate (Roundup) to control weeds around their crops. It is even used in between plantings to keep the land clear of unwanted weeds. Since this herbicide can kill any plant it comes into contact with, the makers of glyphosate created a solution… a genetically modified crop that is resistant to glyphosate.
These genetically modified plants are not only altered to withstand the glyphosate, they are also sprayed directly with it.
Limiting exposure to herbicides like glyphosate is one way you can lower your toxic load and protect your gut.
Glyphosate exposure has been linked to leaky gut and other digestive issues in many studies. These studies have shown that our gut bacteria are actually directly affected by the genetically engineered crops and glyphosate itself. In fact, it is believed that exposure is one of the main causes of leaky gut in the US.
Leaky gut, also known as intestinal permeability, allows toxins from your gut to enter the bloodstream, causing widespread inflammation; a precursor to autoimmune issues.
In California, glyphosate is listed as a cancer-causing chemical and many other countries have banned it due to large scale water contamination. Yet, its use continues to skyrocket in the US. This is one of the main reasons we are seeing such an increase in gluten sensitivities and celiac disease. Many of the processed foods Americans consume are soy or corn based, and tainted with glyphosate. It has been found in breads, children’s cereals, and many processed foods containing wheat, corn and soy.
How you can lower your exposure to glyphosate:
Limit exposure is to avoid genetically modified (GMO) foods: Most companies are now labeling their products with statements such as ‘produced with genetically modified ingredients’. However, not all companies share this information. You can bet that most processed foods will have varying amounts of glyphosate in them.
Luckily, there are some third party companies that have stepped up to partner with brands that do not use GMO ingredients. This helps when identifying brands or products that are safe.
If you are really serious about lowering exposure as much as possible, it is best to avoid processed foods as much as possible. This also lowers the amount of inflammatory ingredients (wheat, corn, and soy) you are consuming as well.
Buy organic when possible:
Organic produce can be a little pricier. We recommend watching your local supermarket for weekly sales on produce and even buying frozen organic varieties to supplement. If you don’t have access to organic produce, there are some great companies that now offer delivery to many areas in the US.
We know that most families are budget conscious and can’t afford 100% organic produce. The good news is that not every piece of produce you buy has to be organic for you to avoid glyphosate.
Each year the Environmental Working Group puts out their annual ‘dirty dozen’ and ‘clean 15’ list. Items listed on the ‘dirty dozen’ side contain the highest amounts of glyphosate and/or pesticides. Focusing on replacing these items with organic options, can make a big difference when it comes to exposure levels.
Dirty Dozen- Always Buy Organic:
Wheat, Oats, Peas, Soybeans, Corn, Flax, Rye, Buckwheat, Sugar Beets, Sunflowers, Potatoes, Canola, Millet, Lentils, and Triticale.
Take away: Glyphosate not only disrupts a healthy microbiome, exposure alone can mimic symptoms of celiac and gluten sensitivities and contribute to more serious health concerns. Limiting exposure is crucial.
A clean, whole-food based diet is the foundation of care here at F8. If you are dealing with gut related health issues, or autoimmune issues, learn more about how F8 can help you restore balance and health to your body: https://f8wellcenters.com/blog/