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To buy organic or not – Bridgeford’s Best Bites: Nutrition Tips

FreshfruitIN THE NEWS: Organic food is the biggest growing sector of the UK food market, worth £1 billion with 4 in 10 people buying organic despite higher costs. The soil association reports that 500 chemicals are routinely used in conventional farming. The belief is that herbicides and pesticides in food can damage our health, taking 7-10 years to clear these toxins from our bodies, leading to a variety of health risks including cancer and developmental problems in children. British Nutrition Foundation says organic food has no more health benefits than conventional food and our health is affected by many factors related to lifestyle and environment so no one knows if conventional farming is really to blame.

Less Health Risks from Industrial Chemicals: The combination of pesticides is believed to be particularly dangerous to our health, with over 3800 brands of insecticide, herbicide and fungicide approved for use in the UK. Some fruit and vegetables are sprayed as many as 10 times before reaching supermarket shelves.

Boost Vitamin / Mineral Intake: Organic food can increase our intake of vitamins and minerals by around 30% reportedly, vitamin C by 27% and iron (making blood), magnesium (muscle tissue) and phosphorous (building bones) by 29%.

Better for Children: Additives and artificial flavorings can affect highly sensitive immune systems of young children, who need the best quality nutrients to develop properly.  Foods containing chemical sulphites can cause adverse effects, may trigger allergic reactions in sensitive people and have been linked with hyperactivity in children. British Nutrition Foundation says hyperactivity can be caused by several different reasons including behavioral problems and mild medical complaints.

Protection against Breast Cancer: Organic dairy produce, especially milk is thought to be free of the pesticide lindane which has been linked to breast cancer. Lindane, found in non-organic milk is part of a group of chemicals called organochlorines, which include the banned chemical DDT, outlawed in Britain but 100 tonnes of lindane are still used on our fields annually. Cows are thought to pass lindane to humans through their feed.

Less likely to give Hangovers: Sulphur dioxide preservative is heavily used in non-organic wines causing hangover headaches.

SCIENCE: Studies are divided, mostly reporting no significant nutritional difference between organic and non-organic food, yet significant differences were found in vitamin / mineral content and antioxidants were significantly higher in organic. Pesticide residues were 4 times higher and toxic metal cadmium levels were higher in conventional crops. In conclusion, organic crops have higher antioxidants and lower cadmium and pesticide residues. These are linked to decreased cardiovascular, endocrine, neurodegenerative and certain cancers. Pesticide residues are found in air, soil, water. The full effects of these chemicals on our bodies is a much bigger subject than can be covered here. 3 main effects:

Neurotoxin: alzheimers, autism, parkinsons

Endocrine (hormone) disruptors: block or mimic hormone reactions affecting developmental, reproductive, neurological, cardiovascular, immune and metabolic systems, interfere with vitamin D metabolism; affecting thyroid, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, obesity and fertility. Other disruptors are found in everyday products like plastic bottles, metals cans, toys and cosmetics as well as pesticides.

Cancer: particularly breast, non-Hodgkin lymphoma.


Clean 15 Nonorganic Foods: 15 fruits and vegetables were selected based on their levels of pesticide contamination and thought to be better at fending off pesticides so a safer choice to buy non-organic:

Avocados, asparagus, cabbage, cantaloupe, eggplant, grapefruit, kiwi, mangoes, mushrooms, onions, pineapples, sweet corn, sweet peas, sweet potatoes, watermelon or papaya.

The ‘Dirty Dozen’ Fruits and Veggies: Lower your overall pesticide exposure by avoiding non-organic versions of these most contaminated fruits and vegetables:

Apples, blueberries (domestic), celery, grapes (imported), kale/collard greens, lettuce, nectarines (imported), peaches, potatoes, spinach, strawberries, sweet bell peppers. Also meat and milk.

Best buy is fresh, local and organic or grow your own. We are happy to advise you on your health matters.

Lin Dec 2014Lin Bridgeford DO KFRP MSCC ICAK (UK)
Registered Osteopath & Kinesiologist & Yoga Teacher

Aether Bios Clinic

01273 309557
07710 227038

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