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Most Important Foods to Buy Organically
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Animal Products (Meat, Eggs, Dairy)
More than any other type of food, it is most important to eat organic animal products. Here are the three main reasons why:

1.)
The chemical exposures you get from produce are multiplied in animal products due to an effect called bio-accumulation. Bio-accumulation is a concept that explains how fat-soluble chemicals accumulate in species as the chemicals work their way up the food chain. What it essentially says is that as you work “up” the food chain chemicals become more concentrated. We can look at DDT: You may find 0.ooooo3 parts per million (ppm) of DDT in a lake; then 0.04ppm of DDT in the zooplankton feeding from that water; 0.5 ppm of DDT in the small fish that eat the zooplankton; 2 ppm of DDT in the large fish that eat the small fish; and 25 ppm in waterfowl that eat the large fish.

2.) Animals are often treated with substances like hormones and antibiotics, to which plants aren’t often exposed. There is some evidence that the effects of hormones may be carcinogenic. Roy Hertz, Director of Endocrinology at the National Cancer Institute warned of the carcinogenic risks of estrogenic feed additives, particularly for hormone sensitive tissues such as breast tissue, because they could increase normal body hormonal levels and disturb delicate hormonal balance. A particularly “hot topic” these days is the use of rBGH in milk. Among other things rBGH has been found to increase Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF1) in cows. IGF-1 residues come through in the milk and may be somewhat responsible for increases in Breast and Gastro-intestinal tract cancers. From 1979-1981 3,000 Puerto Rican infants and children were found to have premature sexual development and ovarian cysts. These abnormalities were eventually linked to hormone contamination in milk.

3.)
There are diseases that we can get from eating tainted meat (Trichinosis, Salmonella, Botulism, CJD (Mad Cow). Many of the practices of conventional farming are the cause of the transmission of these diseases (ex., over-populated feed lots; and feeding cows cows). Research has found forty carcinogenic drugs and pesticides in the fat and muscles of livestock. So let me make this clear chemicals travel up the food chain from feed crops to livestock to humans becoming more concentrated the higher the chemicals travel.

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Apples
Apples have been found to have a high percentage of persistent chemical residues. Concentrated apple juice that is not organic is also of concern, because much of this product comes from Eastern Europe and has been shown to have radioactive contamination, due to the Chernobyl disaster. Also beware if apples are waxed, because some of these waxes contain fungicides which may be carcinogenic.

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Baby Food
The reason it is so important to buy organic baby food is that babies and children are very susceptible to toxic exposures. Their developing livers lack the enzymes necessary to break down toxins. Their growing bodies store most things, and purge very little (their cells undergo more rapid growth). Their immune system is not fully developed and they are more susceptible to stressors. It is estimated that a human receives approximately 35% of his or her lifetime's “toxic exposure” by age 5. So please feed your children and infants , clean wholesome food so they can grow big and strong.

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Bell Peppers
Bell Peppers have been found to contain some of the most neurotoxic chemicals. Often Bell Peppers are waxed, which not only makes it difficult to remove pesticides, but some waxes are fungicides themselves that could be carcinogenic.

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Celery & Other Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are often found to contain systemic pesticides and organophosphates (neurotoxins) that cannot be washed off; and they have among the largest amounts of carcinogens. Note: Any leafy greens (including organic) that come from southern California and are irrigated with water from the Colorado River may contain perchlorate residues (AKA rocket fuel).

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Coffee/Cocoa
Like with other forms of imported produce, conventionally farmed coffee may be subjected to US-banned chemicals, and these chemicals aren’t always burned off during roasting. The conventional solvent used in decaffeination is methylene chloride, a carcinogenic chemical, so when purchasing decaffeinated coffee, be sure to purchase water-processed or Swiss-water-processed options.

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Corn
Nearly 50% of all produce pesticides -- including atrazine, an immunotoxin -- are sprayed on corn; and most corn is now genetically modified.

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Grapes
Grapes often contain a high percentage of persistent chemical residues, including the carcinogen methyl bromide, which can diffuse through the skin.

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Imported Produce
The issue with imported produce is that there are a small number of chemicals that the regulatory agencies in this country have banned. Those chemicals are banned from being applied on US food crops, but they are not banned to be produced by US companies and then sold to other countries. The reality is that these banned chemicals (including DDT) are still produced and sold abroad and then applied to crops overseas. Many of those products make their way back to the US and may be sold in conventional produce markets.

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Melons
Of particular concern is that many melons are from outside of the country, particularly, Mexico. As was mentioned above under imported produce there are additional risks. Cantaloupe and Honeydew have been found to have a high percentage of persistent chemical residues, which can diffuse through the skin. Also beware if melons are waxed, because some of these waxes contain fungicides which may be carcinogenic.

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Peanuts
Conventional peanut crops are often rotated on the same fields with cotton crops. The Cotton crops are not subject to the same regulation as food stuffs. Chemicals used on cotton are highly toxic and may persist in the soil. When Peanuts are planted in the same tainted soil as a conventional cotton plant they will often take up the pollutants poured on the cotton crop. An additional concern is the fungus, aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is carcinogenic and is found more readily in the conventional peanut market. One hypothesis for why this may be so, is that an ecosystem is healthier when organic farming practices are followed. Therefore, aflatoxin is more likely to “take hold” in the distressed ecosystem common in conventional agriculture.

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Potatoes
Along with Soy, Corn, Canola, and Cotton, Potatoes are among the most contaminated by genetic modification. Potatoes are frequently sprayed with a strong neurotoxin, Monitor, and a large amount of fungicides.

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Processed Foods
Processed foods have much more significant issues, because all ingredients are not necessarily included on their labels. In addition, processed foods have the same issues as the produce that goes in them; however processed foods may also be subject to “fake” or chemical food stuffs (hydrogenated oils, artificial colors or flavors, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, MSG -- in any one of a myriad forms-- genetically modified enzymes, and the list goes on). When buying processed foods remember two things: Look for the 100% organic label, and remember this: organic junk food is still junk food.
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