BUYING ORGANIC FOOD IS WORTH IT, HARVARD SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH PROF SAYS
Chensheng (Alex) Lu, PhD, Associate Professor of Environmental Exposure Biology, Harvard School of Public Health. Environmental Exposure Lab
Paying up to 40% more for organic food is worth the investment, wrote Chensheng (Alex) Lu, associate professor of environmental exposure biology at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), in a Wall Street Journal article on June 16, 2013.
While researchers have yet to provide a definitive answer about whether more costly and harder-to-find organic food, such as produce, milk, and meat, is healthier than conventional foods, “It only makes sense that food free of pesticides and chemicals is safer and better for us than food containing those substances, even at trace levels,” Lu wrote.
What’s more, he wrote, “Some convincing scientific does exist to suggest that an organic diet has its benefits.” In 2006 Lu led a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives that showed that within five days of substituting mostly organic produce for conventional produce in children’s diets, pesticides disappeared from the children’s urine.
Both Lu and a University of Florida physician, who countered Lu’s view on buying organic, advised those on limited budgets to consider buying organic versions of foods on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list, or focus on organic versions of foods eaten most frequently. Eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and less processed foods remains the goal, they wrote.
AVOIDING PESTICIDE RESIDUE ON FRUITS AND VEGGIES
Chensheng (Alex) Lu, associate professor of environmental exposure biology at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), discusses the problem of pesticide residue on fruits and vegetables in a new video on the website of Environmental Working Group (EWG), a leading environmental health research and advocacy organization. The video appears in conjunction with the release of EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce 2013.
In the video, Lu cites his 2008 study that monitored pesticide levels in children who normally ate non-organic fruits and vegetables but who were given only organic over a five-day period. “During that five-day period, most of the pesticides [in the children’s urine] disappeared,” Lu said. “We believe the most vulnerable population would be small infants and children, because of their small body weight.” Possible negative health effects from pesticides include impaired mental development or problems with motor skills.
Lu recommends that families seek information about which fruits and vegetables have the highest pesticide residue levels—EWG’s Shopper’s Guide lists a “dirty dozen” on its website, for example—so they can decide when to buy organic instead of regular.
Why do people age differently? Live longer? Why does she still look 35? Find out some secret tips here to maximize your life time and maintain your vitality.
What does it mean to be “old”?
When we are 15 years old, when we meet someone who is 25, we think they are old.
When we are 25 years old, when we meet someone who is 35, we think they are old.
When we are approaching 40 years old, we look back and start to see all the mistakes we have made until then – including ex-lovers, career choices, deleterious habits (e.g. drugs, smoking, excessive drinking), and even our food choices.
When we are 60 years old, we see more days ahead than behind us. And we wonder how many years are left. Life’s focus shifts to preservation of however much time we have left. The facial skincare we obsessed about in our 40s gives way to simply wanting to live as long as possible.
But what is the secret to slowing down aging? Is this even possible?
Through smart and informed food decisions, we can maximize our “life time”. For those who have spent their earlier decades in life eating healthy, clean, nutritious, and organic foods, this would have significantly minimized the accumulation of DNA mutations and disease risk factors. For those who enjoyed their youth and indulged in “sinful” extra helpings of fried chicken, cigarettes, or sweetened soft drinks, it is never too late to start eating healthy meals. Cancer itself is not the result of one genetic bad result, but the accumulation of multiple mutations (triggered by chemicals or other exposure in the environmental and food intake) over years of time.
While the genes (from mom & dad) cannot be changed, our food decisions can. If you knew your decision 20 years ago to eating fast food hamburgers twice per week (instead of eating organic salads) cost you 5 less minutes of “life time”, would you have changed your decision? Of course, the answer is yes.
Carpe Diem. Seize the Day. Seize the hour. Seize the minute. Every second counts. Food decisions matter.
Tips for Anti-Aging:
Some Tips for how to maximize your “life time”:
- Eat unprocessed, natural, organic food. “Organic” simply means pre-industrial-like foods (i.e. human agrarian civilization before invention and ubiquitous application of industrial chemical pesticides and other non-naturally occurring chemicals
- Country of Origin matters. Even if a food is organically certified, many countries have a history of widespread exposure or usage to carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemicals. It can take 20 years or longer for these chemicals to decompose in the soil. Avoid countries whose farmers have a predilection or long history of pesticide, herbicide, or GMO crop usage. Countries which are highly urbanized or have air pollution and poor water quality can also generate substandard foods. Air matters, not just agricultural land!
- Reduce protein intake. This increases cell longevity.
- Eat more dietary fiber, antioxidant omega-3 fatty acids, and beta-carotene. These have been associated with reduced rate of telomere shortening. (Telomeres are the “end caps” at the end of chromosomes, which are basically supercondensed DNA. Telomeres shorten with every cell division, and have been shown to be directly associated with being overweight, stressed, sedentary, and increased skin aging.) A rich Mediterranean diet (see below) is a good source of these important nutrients.
- Drink high-quality green tea from Japan, on a daily basis. Fine, authentic sencha and matcha teas have been proven to sequester free radicals (highly reactive and short-lived atoms with unpaired electrons, which create cellular damage)
- Eat a Mediterranean diet at least 3 times per week. Abundant fruits, vegetables, wholemeal bread, cereals, legumes, nuts and seeds are key. Avoid refined sugars, and substitute honey for sugar in coffee or teas. Note not all honeys are the same! I will discuss this in a future blog posting 😊 Dairy products should be eaten in moderation only, similar to fish and chicken. Red meat and wine modestly also. A rich Mediterranean diet has been shown to lead to lower prevalences of wrinkles, senile dryness, and skin atrophy.
- Eat Superfoods. Though pricey, ounce-for-ounce these powders (e.g. maca, quinoa, chlorella, spirulina, lucuma, others) can be readily mixed into fruit smoothie, juice, salad, or even sprinkled onto dessert cake. But beware of questionable Countries of Origin and brands (see above).
At YUKINO, all of our products are:
- Produced in top quality Countries of Origin (ranging from Japan to Scandinavia and South America) in agricultural cooperatives or handmade by artisanal farmers
- All-natural and/or organically certified by European BIO, USDA Organic, Japan JAS
- We offer a range of gluten-free, vegan, no added sugar, no manmade chemicals, GMO-free, pesticide-free, hormone-free, no preservatives, no artificial colors/aromas/sweeteners, and Halal-certified products
- Backed by our company’s medical credibility and our CEO & Management Team’s decades of combined experience in healthcare, hospital care, and nutritional science
- Delicious! Healthy foods need not taste like rubber chicken or dried cardboard
- Ecologically conscious packaging
More Tips to come in our future blog postings!
Celebrating “Organic Life Time”, by YUKINO Foods Market