The true dangers of eating non-organic food depend on several factors, such as the specific type of food, the presence of pesticides, and the individual's sensitivity to such chemicals. However, here are some potential risks associated with non-organic food:
- Pesticide residue: Non-organic fruits and vegetables may contain pesticide residue, which can harm human health. Researchers continue to study the link between pesticide exposure and health problems like cancer, neurological disorders, and reproductive issues.
- Antibiotic resistance: Non-organic meat and dairy products may come from animals treated with antibiotics to prevent or treat infections. Overusing antibiotics in livestock farming can contribute to antibiotic resistance, making it harder to treat bacterial infections in humans.
- Hormones: Non-organic meat and dairy products may contain added hormones, disrupting the body's hormonal balance and increasing the risk of various health problems, including cancer.
- Environmental impact: Non-organic farming practices can harm the environment. For example, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides can contribute to soil erosion, water pollution, and biodiversity loss.
- Nutritional value: Some studies suggest that organic foods may have higher nutrient content than non-organic ones. However, more research is needed to understand the nutritional differences between organic and non-organic foods fully.
The following information is sourced from Michigan State University:
What can I do to remove pesticide residues and other residues?
There are a few simple techniques you can follow that will help remove superficial dirt as well as pesticide residues:
Peeling and trimming: Peeling and/or trimming the outer layer of skin or leaves on fruits and vegetables will help reduce pesticide residues
Rinsing: Rinsing produce in warm water for at least one minute or longer can help reduce pesticide presence on produce.
Soaking: Soaking produce in warm water is one of the easiest and most effective ways to remove pesticide residues
Combination: Using one or more of the above techniques will help you remove dirt and pesticide residues
Should I wash my fruits and vegetables with soap or detergent to remove pesticide residues?
No. The FDA and the USDA do NOT advise washing produce with detergents or soaps as these could be absorbed by or linger on the produce. Soaps and detergents have neither been approved nor labeled by the FDA for washing food and/or consumption (1,2).
Should I wash my fruits and vegetables in a solution to remove pesticide residues?
While you can remove pesticide residues using a soaking solution such as vinegar and water or salt and water, it’s not advisable. There’s a small risk the chemical reaction between the pesticides and the solution could produce potentially harmful compounds.
While this link hasn’t been established or shown to cause harm, it’s easy and effective to use plain water to wash, rinse, and soak your produce.
Another great resource from OSU: http://npic.orst.edu/faq/fruitwash.html
Can thorough washing help reduce the ill effect of consuming non- organically grown vegetables?