Organic Food for Cancer Prevention: Are These Foods Worth the Cost?
Have you ever wondered if spending money on organic food for cancer prevention or general health is worth it? Could it , on the other hand, just be a way to make you spend more money? I certainly feel that I do not want my food to be full of pesticides . But we need to look at this more objectively. What does the research actually tell us?
What is Organic Food Anyway?
Food that is not organic is grown using pesticides. These include insecticides to kill insects, herbicides to kill weeds and fungicides to kill fungal conditions. Some of these stay on the plant and some can cause cancer. Some vegetables have been found to contain more than one type of pesticide and sometimes as many as eleven are used. These can stay in our bodies for a long time. That is because they accumulate in our fat. The reason why they are bad is that they can act like the female hormone oestrogen in our bodies. This is not good because estrogen is a growth hormone. It is implicated in most breast cancers. One study published in the journal Breast Cancer Research concluded that these pesticides can cause an oestrogenic environment in breasts.
In the past, all food was organically grown and plants that are grown this way are more valuable in other ways too. We know that they are higher in nutrients than non-organic foods. For example, a review, which looked at 343 studies, found that levels of antioxidants were substantially higher in organically grown crops. These are important because they can prevent cancer -causing chemicals like free radicals doing damage.
Organic Meat and Poultry
It is also a good idea to buy organic forms of these if you eat them. Non -organic chickens, for example, have a hard life. They can be dosed with antibiotics and other drugs as well as having no room to roam. Organic chickens are reared more naturally. They have room to move about and there are rules about how much room they are given. Free-range chickens are not necessarily organic but organically raised chickens are always free range.They are not allowed to be given hormones. They can have antibiotics only when ill. This also applies to organically grown beef.
Eggs and milk should also be organic for the same reasons. In the UK, the Soil Association publishes guidelines as to what is allowed on organic farms.