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Why is it Essential to Eat Organic and Non-GMO?

We dive deeply into the subject to define organic and non-GMO foods as well as any potential threats pesticides and glyphosate have on human health and the environment.

In a world where the foods we eat play such a huge role in our health and the environment, why is it so important to eat organic and non-GMO foods? And, what risks do pesticides and glyphosate pose to our health and the environment?

Before we can truly comprehend what this implies, we need to dive deeply into the subject to define organic and non-GMO foods as well as any potential threats pesticides and glyphosate have on human health and the environment. Let’s get right into it…

An Overview: What Are Organic and Non-GMO Foods?

First, let's examine a general overview of organic and non-GMO foods:

Organic Foods

Organic foods are grown and manufactured without any use of harmful, artificial pesticides, herbicides, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Instead, they employ natural farming techniques that foster soil vitality, mitigate pollution, and enhance biodiversity. The purpose of organic certification is to guarantee that these products adhere to rigorous criteria, providing customers with confidence in their food's purity.

Non-GMO Foods

Non-GMO foods are those that have not undergone genetic engineering or modification. In traditional agriculture, genetic modification frequently entails modifying crops to develop resistance against pesticides, herbicides, or other external influences. Non-GMO foods provide a genuine, unmodified option that circumvents any hazards linked to genetic alteration.

Both organic and non-GMO foods are produced with an emphasis on sustainability, health, and ethical agricultural methods. They offer customers a clear option to endorse food systems that promote the well-being of humans and the responsible management of the environment.

Opting for organic and non-GMO foods entails selecting items that are devoid of detrimental synthetic chemicals, advocating for sustainable farming practices, and preserving the authenticity of our natural food resources. These decisions not only promote our health but also help to create a more sustainable and durable food system for future generations.

The Importance of Eating Organic and Non-GMO Foods

The significance of consuming organic and non-GMO foods is paramount in the modern day.  As we previously mentioned, these dietary choices have numerous advantages that affect not just personal health but also the environment and the future of our food production. Some important factors include:

  • Healthier Food Choice: Organic and non-GMO foods are devoid of artificial pesticides, herbicides, and genetically modified alterations. Opting for these choices minimizes the risk of being exposed to potentially hazardous substances or chemicals and enhances overall health and wellness.
  • Enhanced Vitamin Consumption: Organic and non-GMO foods are generally more abundant in vital nutrients, minerals, and vitamins that your body needs daily.
  • Minimized Environmental Impact: Organic agricultural practices give priority to maintaining soil health, minimizing water pollution, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Preserved Biodiversity: Organic farming promotes biodiversity by abstaining from monoculture and creating natural habitats for beneficial insects and wildlife. This promotes the sustainability of ecosystems and contributes to the preservation of a harmonious and adaptable environment.

To summarize, consuming organic and non-GMO foods is not solely an issue of individual well-being, but also a conscientious and ecological decision. It promotes sustainable farming practices, minimizes contact with potentially hazardous pesticides, and contributes to the conservation of biodiversity and long-term food safety.

What Are the Long-Term Benefits of Eating Organic and Non-GMO Foods?

Consuming organic and non-GMO foods has numerous long-term advantages that go beyond immediate enhancements in health. These are a few of the notable long-term benefits:

  • Diminished Health Risks: Prolonged consumption of organic and non-GMO foods can mitigate the likelihood of chronic health ailments such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. These foods are generally devoid of synthetic chemicals and genetically modified organisms, which have been linked to a range of health issues.
  • Increased Nutritional Content: Organic crops frequently exhibit elevated concentrations of vital elements, such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Over time, consuming a diet abundant in these essential nutrients can lead to improved general health and decrease the likelihood of experiencing vitamin deficiencies.
  • Environmental Conservation: Advocating for organic and non-GMO agriculture contributes to the safeguarding of the environment for future generations. Minimizing the application of pesticides, implementing soil conservation techniques, and promoting biodiversity are crucial for ensuring long-term ecological viability.
  • Resilience to Climate Change: The implementation of organic farming techniques, including crop rotation and reduced tillage, can enhance soil health and fortify it against the detrimental effects of extreme weather phenomena. Consequently, this can contribute to the long-term adaptability of agriculture to climate change in the future.

What Are the Health and Environmental Dangers of Pesticide Exposure?

Now that we’ve gone over the importance of eating organic and non-GMO foods, let’s look at the health and environmental dangers of pesticide exposure.

To quickly summarize, pesticides are chemical compounds specifically formulated to eliminate or deter pests that cause damage to food crops. However, their effects go beyond the intended targets, presenting substantial risks to both human health and the environment.

Health Risks

 Acute Poisoning: Brief exposure to elevated quantities of pesticides can result in acute poisoning, manifesting as symptoms such as nausea, vertigo, emesis, and perhaps fatality in severe instances.

  • Chronic Health Effects: Extended periods of pesticide exposure have been linked to persistent health complications, including but not limited to reproductive disorders, neurological diseases, and cancer. Many pesticides are also categorized as carcinogenic by health organizations.
  • Children's Susceptibility: Children are especially susceptible to the impacts of pesticide exposure due to their ongoing physical development. Childhood exposure to pesticides has been linked to developmental delays, cognitive impairments, and behavioral problems.
  • Endocrine System Disruption: Certain pesticides can interfere with the endocrine system, resulting in disturbances in hormone levels, difficulties with fertility, and impairments in the growth and development of both humans and wildlife.

Environmental Risks

  • Water Contamination: Pesticides can seep into the soil and pollute groundwater, endangering the safety of drinking water sources. Agricultural runoff can also transport pesticides into rivers and streams, impacting aquatic ecosystems.
  • Soil Degradation: Soil degradation occurs when pesticides have detrimental effects on soil organisms, leading to a decline in soil fertility and ultimately diminishing the long-term productivity of agricultural land.
  • Pest-Related Issues: Prolonged utilization of pesticides can result in the emergence of pesticide-resistant pests, hence requiring the application of increasingly potent chemicals.
  • Reduced Pollinators: Pesticides, namely neonicotinoids, have been associated with the reduction of pollinators, such as honeybees, which are vital for agriculture and biodiversity.
  • Negative Effects on Wildlife: Pesticide usage can worsen the decline of biodiversity by harming wildlife species and disrupting ecosystems.

What Are the Health and Environmental Dangers of Glyphosate Exposure?

Now, let's explore the precise health and environmental dangers linked to exposure to glyphosate. To quickly summarize, glyphosate is a commonly used herbicide that is widely utilized in agriculture and various other industries. This chemical has been associated with a range of potential negative impacts on human health and the environment.

Health Risks

  • Increase Risk of Cancer: The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a division of the World Health Organization (WHO), has categorized glyphosate as a human carcinogen. Extended exposure to glyphosate has been associated with a heightened likelihood of acquiring different types of malignancies, particularly lymphomas.
  • Disruption in Hormone Levels: Glyphosate has been found to potentially disrupt the endocrine system, leading to imbalances in hormone levels. This disturbance can result in several health complications, such as fertility concerns, abnormalities in growth and development, and disturbances in hormonal equilibrium.
  • Genotoxicity: Glyphosate has been found to induce genetic damage in controlled laboratory studies, raising concerns about its ability to cause mutations and DNA damage, both of which can lead to the development of cancer and other health concerns.
  • Food Contamination: Glyphosate residues are frequently found in many food items, such as cereals, vegetables, and fruits. Persistent ingestion of glyphosate-contaminated foods can lead to continuous, chronic exposure, resulting in permanent health consequences.

Environmental Risks

  • Effects on Soil Quality: Glyphosate can remain in soil for an extended time, deteriorating soil quality and disrupting microbial populations. It can also penetrate groundwater and pollute surface water reservoirs, harming aquatic habitats and our drinkable water.
  • Effects on Non-Target Species: Glyphosate-based herbicides can affect non-target plants, insects, and aquatic animals due to their wide spectrum of effectiveness. This might disrupt ecosystems and reduce biodiversity.
  • Weed Management: The over-dependence on glyphosate has resulted in the emergence of glyphosate-resistant weeds, which requires the application of supplementary herbicides and contributes to the overall escalation in pesticide usage in the environment.
  • Detrimental Impact on Pollinators: Glyphosate has the potential to adversely affect pollinators, such as honeybees, who play a crucial role in agriculture and biodiversity.
  • Air Contamination: Glyphosate may be emitted into the atmosphere during its application, possibly exposing local communities to the toxin through inhalation.

Learn More About Organic and Non-GMO Products and Their Importance on Our Health and Environment at Mitogenesis in Scottsdale, AZ

At Mitogenesis in Scottsdale, we understand the importance that organic and non-GMO products offer to not only our health but also to our environment. If you’d like to learn more about these products or want help implementing these changes in your health regimen, contact Dr. Mel Schottenstein, by giving us a call or by filling out a contact form. We’re here to guide you every step of the way!   

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