We’re all aware of everyday hazards that can wreak havoc on our health — smoking, pollution and radiation, just to name a few. But some of the greatest health risks may be lurking in the seemingly wholesome foods we eat daily.
In this week’s Stronger podcast, LIVESTRONG.COM VP and GM Jess Barron dives deep into a new report from LIVESTRONG.COM that shows the 40 foods Americans eat most often and which of those you should absolutely be buying organic. “At LIVESTRONG.COM, we’re committed to helping people make simple choices that will better their lives and their health,” Barron says. Her passion for learning about organics came from personal experience. “I felt next-level better when I started eating organic."
The report looked at the past four years of food-tracking data from millions of users of LIVESTRONG.COM’s MyPlate (and our free iPhone and Android apps). It turns out that coffee is the most consumed food among MyPlate users — and while it contains loads of antioxidants, it also contains loads of pesticides. Barron spoke with organic growers to get the inside scoop on how to determine what’s going into your morning java, and how to make sure it's not covered in harmful chemicals.
Another favorite treat to consider buying organic is: wine. The popular beverage is made from grapes, and grapes are #8 on the Dirty Dozen list of fresh produce in the U.S. with the highest levels of pesticide residue. Wine is made from grapes fermented with their skins on, so those pesticides could very well be ending up in your glass!
Thankfully, biodynamic farms are building in popularity, making it easier than ever to find healthier wine that’s still chock-full of the antioxidant resveratrol, which is found naturally in red wine and can protect against inflammation, oxidative stress and cancer.
“Pesticide exposure in the U.S has collectively killed 16.9 million IQ points,” Barron explains. “We just don’t know 10 or 20 years from now what the effects of our pesticide use or genetic modification will be on our health and our environment.”
Listen in and learn more about the history of pesticides in the U.S. and what foods to make sure are certified organic when you shop.