Got Organic?

Fast way to get an unpleasant reaction from Mom? Come to dinner with mud on your face and hands. You're full of germs...eeeww. March right into the bath young man!

The farm market bothers some at this visceral level: visible "earth" on fresh produce especially reinforces it. See what you did Ma? We're scared of organic.

The news that grade school aged children shed measurable pesticide residues in their urine is going to have parents "getting" more organic produce. A little mud on the hands, maybe not so bad in comparison.The peer-reviewed study found that the urine and saliva of children eating a variety of conventional foods from area groceries contained biological markers of organophosphates, the family of pesticides spawned by the creation of nerve gas agents in World War II.

When the same children ate organic fruits, vegetables and juices, signs of pesticides were not found.

"The transformation is extremely rapid," said Chensheng Lu, the principal author of the study published online in the current issue of Environmental Health Perspectives.

"Once you switch from conventional food to organic, the pesticides (malathion and chlorpyrifos) that we can measure in the urine disappears. The level returns immediately when you go back to the conventional diets," said Lu, a professor at Emory University's School of Public Health and a leading authority on pesticides and children.

Within eight to 36 hours of the children switching to organic food, the pesticides were no longer detected in the testing.

Contrast Grandma's folk belief that dirty faces are unhealthy and needing of soap and water remediation,...with present-day Mom's concern with pesticide residues. Did Grandma need scientists to convince her to wash the kids face and hands? Doubt it. Folk wisdom doesn't come with a text book on parasitology .

Does it surprise anyone, then, that the popularity of organic food is rising several percent each year, in spite of the protestations of Men In White Lab Coats? Possible underlying motive for Department of Homeland Security wanting owners and users of hazardous material sensing equipment to be licensed: Must...Stop..Hippie Scientists...From...Communicating...With...Mothers Of America.

TreeHugger strongly recommends reading the entire Seattle PI article (linked below).

Abstract and link to full peer reviewed publication are here, in Environmental Health Perspectives.

Via::Seattle Post-Intelligencer, "Harmful pesticides found in everyday food products,
Mercer Island children tested in yearlong study" Image credit::ABC News, "Moss leads fashion pack at Glastonbury," Mud Challenge

Tags: Pesticides | Seattle