Pesticides In The Food Chain

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“Pesticides kill pests by damaging their cellular function,” explains Dr. Jesse Hanley, MD, public speaker, instructor, and co-author of Tired of Being Tired. “We have enough in common with insects that we are damaged, too.”

The Pervasiveness of Pesticides

Two and a half million tons of industrial pesticides are used each year around the world to suppress or destroy a variety of organisms considered a nuisance to human beings. Specifically formulated to be deadly to living organisms, pesticides are acutely toxic to human beings…and most of them end up in our food and water sources. They include,

  • Insecticides, the most widely used of all pesticides, kill insects
  • Herbicides destroy weeds or unwanted vegetation
  • Fungicides protect seeds against fungi living in soils
  • Bactericides control harmful bacteria
  • Virucides suppress viruses
  • Nematicides control nematodes (roundworms)
  • Miticides kill mites and ticks
  • Rodenticides control rodents

“When herbicides and pesticides were invented, 37 percent of our crops were being destroyed by pests,” explains Dr. Hanley. “Now, 57 years later, more than 37 percent are being destroyed.

Of the more than 800,000 species of insects known to exist, very few are harmful to plants, animals, or human beings. While pesticides offer some benefits, many question why they are still so widely used; rather than killing insects, pesticides seem most effective at destroying human health.


Chronic, Long-term Health Effects Of Pesticide Exposure

“Herbicides kill plants,” says Dr. Hanley. “The reason these chemicals work is because they’re toxins. Things that damage the plant’s ability to reproduce, damage our ability to reproduce, too. Humans are in the midst of an infertility epidemic. There are all of these substances in the food chain that interfere with reproduction.”

Chronic health problems linked to pesticides include adverse neurological effects such as a fourfold increased risk of early-onset Parkinson’s disease, shortened attention span, memory disorders, and reduced coordination; reproductive problems including miscarriages; reduced infant development; birth defects; depression; and cancer.1


Acute Health Problems Linked To Pesticide Exposure

Pesticides are especially harmful to children because of their developing physiology. And, relative to their size, they’re exposed to higher amounts of pesticides.

Acute health problems – which are sometimes misdiagnosed or not recognized as being associated with pesticide toxicity – include blurred vision, headaches, salivation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, wheezing, eye problems, skin conditions, seizure, coma, and even death. Mild to moderate pesticide poisoning mimics intrinsic asthma, bronchitis, and gastroenteritis.2

Reducing Exposure To Pesticide Residues In Your Food

While it is nearly impossible to avoid exposure to pesticides completely, there are several things you can do to limit the amount you ingest through your food:

  • Wash food with clean water before cooking or eating. Do not use soap.
  • Peel if possible.
  • Trim fat from meats; some pesticides collect in animal fat.
  • Cook food. It helps reduce pesticide residues that aren’t removable by washing or peeling.
  • Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains. Specific pesticides are used for specific crops. Eating a variety of food prevents ingesting the pesticide residues a particular food may carry.

Finally, try to buy food grown using “Certified Organic Methods.”While organically grown food is not guaranteed to be totally free of pesticide residues, organic farmers attempt to offer consumers a superior product, by striving to

  • use agricultural land that has been chemical-free for a number of years;
  • avoid synthetic chemicals such as fertilizer, pesticides, antibiotics, food additives, and genetically modified organisms; and
  • maintain a strict physical separation between organic products and non-certified products.

Organic farms undergo unannounced, periodic on-site inspections, and are required by law to keep detailed production records.


Fight Pesticide Poisoning With Colon Cleansing

One of the natural ways the body cleanses itself of impurities is through bowel movements. Once upon a time, multiple bowel movements each day were the norm. Eating high fiber diets and living a less hectic lifestyle resulted in more productivity in the bathroom.

Today, folks in less developed countries still enjoy a lower incidence of constipation than Americans. It’s estimated that the majority of American adults over the age of fifty suffer from constipation – the number one health complaint of visitors to this web site.

Colon cleansing is one method, among many offered throughout this site, of fighting constipation. The end result of more productivity in the bathroom is a quicker elimination of the pesticides and toxins from the colon, providing less opportunity for them to be absorbed into the body and cause harm.