The instant organic effect

In case you have missed it, many people are turning to organic foods these days. In 2012 according to Transparency Market Research the Organic Food and Beverages market was valued at US$70.70 billion and is expected to reach US$187.85 billion by 2019, growing at an annual rate of 15.5 per cent from 2013 to 2019.There are many reasons driving this turn to organically produced food and a new study has added another reason to that long list.

It is widely acknowledged that organic food is growing in popularity due to a combination of heightened awareness of the health benefits of organic food, the more sustainable nature of organic farming, and increased organic farming around the world. Even conventional food supply stores like supermarkets are developing private organic labels. Now another study has added to the proven benefits of eating organic food and the effect was surprisingly rapid.

Conventional farming often employs organophosphate pesticides which are neurotoxins that act on the nervous system of insects. Unfortunately, organophosphate pesticides (OPs) can also have toxic effects on the human nervous system. These researchers from RMIT University noted that there is emerging evidence that chronic low-dose exposure to OPs is problematic for the human nervous system.

Since one of the key appeals of organic food is an apparent reduction in exposure to chemicals like pesticides the researchers wanted to test if this benefit is real.

To do this they allocated subjects to either a diet of either 80 per cent organic food or a diet of 80 per cent conventional food for seven days. The two groups switched to the alternate diet for another week. To measure OP exposure the researchers took urine samples before and after each phase and measured six metabolites of OPs known as dialkylphosphates (DAPs).

The results showed that after just one week of eating am organic diet OP levels as measured by DAP metabolites in urine, dropped by 89 per cent.

The study was in part funded by a donation from a co-founder of the company Organic India but that does not reduce the impact of the findings. A drop of 89 per cent after just one week shows that eating organically can significantly reduce your organophosphate exposure doing it pretty much immediately. You can go organic and rest easier knowing that your body has less toxins to deal with.

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

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