The answer to this question is, sadly, that there are SO many ways conventionally grown foods have devastating impacts on our health. Leaving Genetic Modification (GMO’s) out of the picture, the biggest issues stem from the fact that conventional foods (a.k.a ones that are NOT grown organically) have been sprayed with chemicals that severely damage both human health and the planet!
The main culprit used to grow conventional foods is the highly toxic chemical called “Glyphosate.”
This chemical is found in Monsanto’s herbicide, “Round Up“, which is sprayed on most of the conventional produce grown around the world. For those of you who aren’t aware, Monsanto (now owned by Bayer) is a highly controversial agrochemical company who happens to be the largest producer of chemicals around the world. Round Up is Monsanto’s trademark product, which is sprayed around crops to help with the control of unwanted weeds. The problem with Round Up is that the harmful bi-products that it contains to kill weeds, continue to linger on the crops it’s sprayed around. This causes the glyphosates to find their way into our food, drinking water, and the air we breathe. The researchers at “Farmer’s Footprint” have found that “in the southern United States, 75% of the air and rain are contaminated with glyphosates!”1
There is increasing research that suggest glyphosates are linked to numerous of the health conditions we are seeing major increases of today. Below are some alarming facts found by the folks at “Farmers Footprint”:
- 1 in every 2 people will be diagnosed with cancer before they die1
- 1 in 36 children are now diagnosed with autism, compared to a mere 1 in 5,000 in the 1970’s1
- 1/3 of males in the U.S. are now sterile, and 1/4 of women in the U.S. are now infertile2
One of the main reasons for the devastating impacts glyphosates have on human health is due to the fact they have a direct effect on the permeability of the gut membrane. If you’ve at all dabbled into the world of wellness you’ll know that “gut health” is pretty well everything! By damaging our gut membrane, glyphosates can be considered one of the top contributors to the alarming statistics listed above and numerous other health conditions such as; digestive disorders, autoimmune diseases, cancers, decreased immunity, mental health conditions, and neuro-disorders.
Because of poor modern agriculture practices the sad truth is that not many people would imagine their conventionally grown broccoli or kale might actually be causing them more harm than good in the long run 🙁
The good news is that Monsanto has estimated that if “16% of food in the United States was purchased organically, the chemical fertilizer industry would lose financial stability.”2
So What Can We Do?
- Grow our own food – we can do this year round for the most part. Pictured below is me with Parsnips I harvested in December!
- Eat ONLY organic foods. Try your best to boycott companies who you know spray “Round Up” and other harmful pesticides
- Shop at local farmers markets and eat seasonal foods – beyond organic, Regenerative Organic Agriculture is the sort of growing practices we ought to be supporting. These kinds of foods are mostly only available at farmers markets!
- Eat naturally fermented foods (sauerkraut, kombucha, pickles, sourdough bread, kimchi)
- Spend time in nature and breathe in the air of as many different ecosystems as you can (waterfalls, forests, lakes, rivers, mountains, etc.)
- Spread the word to others about this topic!
- NOTE: new research on probiotics suggests that these supplements actually narrow your guts’ ecosystem over time and so are NOT recommended as an adequate solution to healing your gut biome3
The research I used to write this post primarily comes from Dr. Zach Bush, a brilliant American Medical Doctor who is leading the way in helping to reform “regenerative agricultural” practices. He is also bringing to light the absolute necessity of cultivating a healthy gut biome through the consumption of only organic foods and exposure to natural ecosystems. I used the resources listed below to write this post and refer back to them often. Definitely check them out!