Many of my clients ask me when is conventional food okay to buy.
I’m Kirstin Nussgruber from http://www.kirstinscancercare.com
I focus on helping people with cancer get out of overwhelm by teaching them how to reclaim their lives. In the world of nutrition, we need to understand why we need to eat real quality produce. What we put into our body is what it can convert to create an inner sanctuary that strengthens us from within and gives us a fighting chance. However, we may be on a budget and sometimes buying full out organic isn’t always possible, or perhaps the organic produce that we find isn’t at all buyable. Sometimes we look over at the conventional produce shelves, and see a much larger variety on display.
Is conventional okay?
My brief answer is: when it comes to fresh produce, it would make a huge difference if we can minimize exposure, for example by peeling off layers. – Tweet this!
When fresh produce, in particular vegetables and fruits are sprayed with pesticides, fungicides, insecticides or herbicides, these chemicals, although sprayed on the surface, can get absorbed. There are different absorption rates depending on the nature of the produce. Certain produce absorbs these chemicals at a higher rate, as well as allowing for deeper penetration.
But what if we simply do not have access to organic choices?
I personally live by this rule: Living constantly with very high expectations it’s just not a reality, unless we grow all our food. Having access to a 100% clean food, all the time, is simply not realistic. I try to be 80% clean, then that 20% percent allows me a little wiggle room to, for example, enjoy fresh crips Kohlrabi – a cruciferous anti-cancer vegetable that is simply delicious as a raw snack, grated in a salad or cubed in your favorite Roasted vegetable medley – which is hard to find organic if you don’t live close to a Whole Foods or an actual farm that grows it (my local farm now does upon my request ;). Kohlrabi needs to be peeled, so that allows for any potential pesticide residue exposure to be greatly diminished.
When it comes to non-fresh produce foods that we consume on a very regular basis, for example, dairy products, cultured yoghurt and eggs, and we put that in the 20% category (non-organic and conventional) all the time, we are exposing ourselves to a higher toxic exposure on a very regular basis. Remember, toxins accumulate, and our organs of detoxification, such as the liver, kidneys, digestive tract, lungs and skin will be stressed as they try and deal with this heavier burden.
Some of us have certain genetic mutations (called “SNP’s”, or single nucleotide polymorphisms) that cause the toxic burden that we have to be a little bit higher than perhaps in somebody else, as these SNP’s can hinder our body from fully breaking down those toxic metabolites efficiently. There can be all kinds of bio-individual factors that contribute to, and potentially exacerbate this, such as nutritional deficiencies and digestive issues such as intestinal permeability (leaky gut).
Is conventional okay when it comes to meat? – Tweet this!
Conventional meat production in the US uses antimicrobial drugs in food-animal production mainly to control animal diseases and enhance food production. While prophylactic antibiotic use is considered a potential contributing cause to the “looming public health crisis of antibiotic resistance” , the debate on the risks versus benefits of whether a reduction or withdrawal of antimicrobial drug use is overall beneficial or harmful to public health, is a so-called “double-edged sword”, especially in developing countries experiencing a population explosion and subsequent rise in food demand,.
Studies involved with the risk assessment of antimicrobial resistance “require multi-dimensional information, including the relationship between antimicrobial use in animals and the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance in human pathogens, and the genetic aspects of antimicrobial resistance in animals and human populations” and in order to fully understand the health impact on humans, accurate risk assessment methods need to be further developed .
Nevertheless, since 2006, the use of low-dose antibiotics in food animals were banned in the European Union due to the negative impact of antibiotic-resistant development in humans. No such actions have been taken, to date, in the Unites States.
I prefer to support my body as much as is within my own scope of control. My advice is to overall eat less meat, as that way you can buy the highest quality you can find. We don’t have to have meat as a protein every single day. Compared with fresh produce, you can’t peel off any meat layers, this is a food you consume whole. I would personally rather stay on the safe than sorry side.
Do I eat only organic? No! Sometimes conventional is indeed acceptable, for example when you know exactly where it is coming from, and how it was produced, every step of the way. Your local farm for example. Not all small farms can afford to be organic, but you can establish a relationship with your farmer. Ask a ton of questions regarding how they raise their animals and fresh produce. That enables you to decide whether or not to trust this food source. Ask questions like: “Do you spray?”, “How do you control the spread of potential animal diseases?” You’ll probably be surprised that many of these smaller farms could indeed call themselves organic even though they don’t officially carry this label. Often they are using more sustainable and less toxic farming methods than the conventional large scale farms, whose produce we find in the supermarkets.
Related Article: SMART FOOD SHOPPING LIST!
Kirstin Nussgruber, CNC, EMB
PS: My Smart Food Shopping Guide is available for you NOW!
I’ve talked about that and a little bit more in there than what I do here in the video. It’s available for download. Why don’t you take a look and it gives you a couple of tips to become smart shoppers and to be able to create really delicious, scrumptious meals in your kitchen. Take care for now.
REFERENCES Landers, Timothy F et al. “A review of antibiotic use in food animals: perspective, policy, and potential” Public health reports (Washington, D.C. : 1974) vol. 127,1 (2012): 4-22.
 Hao, Haihong et al. “Benefits and risks of antimicrobial use in food-producing animals” Frontiers in microbiology vol. 5 288. 12 Jun. 2014, doi:10.3389/fmicb.2014.00288
 Jeong, Sang-Hee et al. “Risk assessment of growth hormones and antimicrobial residues in meat” Toxicological research vol. 26,4 (2010): 301-13.