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Are you aware that there are pesticides in your food?

 

 
     Hey there, it’s Elaine Gardner, the founder of DesignYourHealthyLife.com. After struggling with my health for more than two decades, and really struggling with significant health challenges, I made the commitment to get well. I figured out how to get my health back on track, but there was a lot of trial and error involved in that. So I want to share everything I’ve learned with you so that it can be a whole lot easier for you to take care of your health now, so hopefully you don’t get sick like I did. And then if you do have health challenges, you can know how to improve your health a lot more quickly than what I had access to.

     Today I want talk to you about pesticides. Long before I knew the potential health risks of pesticides, my common sense told me that a substance that kills living creatures is not something that I want in my body. And I hope that common sense argument makes sense to you. So when I first started considering all of these aspects of my health and potential threats to my health, my children were really young. My husband and I had just brought a house with a rather large yard, and one of the first things I was thinking was, I understand wanting to have a beautiful lawn, but there’s no way that I want to apply pesticides to our lawn. This is the place that our children are going to play on. Especially when they’re little and they’re crawling, and their hands are in it and it’s all over them. That just didn’t make any sense to me.

     I don’t even think that at that time, I was really aware of the level of pesticides, or the risks of pesticides, or where pesticides show up in our food supply. That knowledge came to me much later. But when I started learning about that, of course I was plugging that into my common sense argument. It does not make sense to have pesticides in our food, especially to feed my young children who I want to protect from every potential risk that I possibly can. I want their bodies to be strong and healthy, and to give them the things they need in order to grow strong. Yet we have an issue with our food supply where we aren’t necessarily aware that pesticides exist there unless we do our homework and look for those things.

     We’re not going to go to the grocery store and see next to the conventionally raised strawberries, a list of all the pesticides they use on them. That kind of transparency doesn’t exist in the American food supply. So we have to understand how to actually avoid those kinds of things. Choosing organic is one of the simplest ways because none of those pesticides and insecticides are allowed in organic food production. And organic food is labeled that way, so it is very transparent. You can go to the grocery store, you can see what’s conventional, what’s organic, and choose the organic options and know that you’re not going to have pesticides or insecticides.

     And while organic food production is a growing field, there’s still many, many stores that don’t have a lot of organic options. So I would encourage you to consider this and change where you shop if need be, so you can get more organic options and avoid those pesticides and insecticides, and so many other things that are not allowed in organic food production.

     Another really fantastic tool to reduce or eliminate pesticides from your food is to use the guides published by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). If you go to their website, they have a list called the Dirty Dozen and another called the Clean Fifteen. You can print these guides out or get them on an application on your iPhone so you can always have access to them. These are fantastic guides because the EWG actually tests produce for pesticide residue every year and then they publish those guides telling you which are the most contaminated (Dirty Dozen) and which are the least contaminated (Clean Fifteen).

     So if you don’t have a store in your area where you can get all organic produce, then I highly recommend that you use those guides from the EWG and not choose the produce that is on the Dirty Dozen list because that’s where you get the most pesticide exposure, again, especially if you’re feeding your children. Those small bodies really need our protection, but for long term health for you as well. Even for our adult bodies, we need to avoid these things that damage our health. Any chemical needs to be processed by your liver so it’s making your body work harder than it should. And also, studies show that organically grown produce actually has more nutrients as well, so you get less of the things your body doesn’t need that require it to work harder, like the pesticides and insecticides, and you get more of the things that make your body work beautifully, which are nutrients.

     So I highly encourage you to find as much organic food as possible, even if it means changing where you shop so that you’re not getting pesticides and insecticides. And then as a backup plan, if you really and truly do not have stores anywhere near you (and I mean within an hour – I drive 45 minutes to an hour to get to the grocery store so I can get lots of organic options) then use those EWG lists so that you can choose wisely and protect yourself, and really reduce your exposure to pesticides. They’re not something your body needs, they make it work harder, and you deserve to have excellent health so that you can live the life that you deserve!