Eat Organic and Live Organic in 2017: Ten New Year’s Resolutions from The Organic Center
One: Be Organically Beautiful.
Think organic outside of the food box. Choosing organic skin care can drastically reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals, finds a new study led by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley and Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas. The study looks at the impacts on teenagers of avoiding personal care products with synthetic chemicals such as phthalates, parabens, triclosan and oxybenzone -- chemicals widely used in personal care products and shown in animal studies to interfere with the body’s endocrine system. The findings shows teens had significantly lower levels of chemicals in their bodies even within three days of using alternatives to conventional body care products. The Organic Center conducted an interview with Dr. Kim Harley, the lead author of the study, who noted that teen girls may be at particular risk for exposure to these dangerous chemicals.
Two: Nurture Developing Minds.
The use of pesticides can have a dramatic impact on children’s cognitive development. A study published in 2016 finds that just living near agricultural areas where pesticides are sprayed can result in high enough exposure levels in children to decrease their IQ scores and verbal comprehension. Make sure to nurture the developing minds of youth by choosing organic!
Three: Stay Smart as You Age.
Exposure to pesticides doesn’t only impact IQ in young children. Exposure to pesticides can also reduce cognitive function in elders. A study that came out in 2016 shows a link between exposure to persistent pesticides and low cognitive scores in adults ages 60 – 85. Avoid pesticides now to stay sharp as you age!
Four: Feed yourself, Your Family – and the World – Sustainably.
Five: Be Sweet to Wild Bees.
neonicotinoid pesticides can lead to population declines. This is the first long-term, large-scale study to investigate the effect of neonicotinoids on wild bees, so know that choosing organic can help both honeybees and native bees!
Six: Decrease the Dead Zone.
The issue of nitrogen pollution was a hot topic in 2016, since it contributes to many environmental problems including dead zones in the ocean -- low-oxygen areas caused by excessive nutrient loads from sources such as synthetic fertilizers. In 2016, the vast dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico was the size of the state of Connecticut. By choosing organic, you’re helping to decrease the amount of new reactive nitrogen released into the environment. During 2016, The Organic Center introduced an interactive tool allowing people to measure their own nitrogen footprint and to explore ways to decrease their impact.
Seven: Nourish the Soil.
Choosing organic is still the best way to support healthy soils, and every year more and more research comes out reinforcing this fact. This year, a study focusing on soil in fruit orchards found that organic orchard production improves soil biodiversity and soil nutrient content. Specifically, the study shows soils from organic orchards have more healthy microbial diversity, more organic matter, and more of the important nutrients phosphorus and sulfur than conventional soils. Additionally, plant material collected from peach and apple trees in organic orchards were found to have more of the nutrients phosphorus and copper.
Eight: Drink Responsibly, and Deliciously.
As if you needed another reason to drink organic wine, this year a new study found that organic production positively influences the quality of wine. Researchers compared experts’ rankings of over 70,000 California wines, and found that wines certified as organic or biodynamic scored higher in quality tests than conventionally grown wines. Cheers!
Nine: Avoid Antibiotic-resistant Bacteria.
Choosing organic animal products can cut the risk of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and protect you and your family from exposure to these deadly diseases. The Organic Center released a report that reviews all the primary literature on antibiotic-resistant bacteria, showing that you can reduce your exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria through choosing organic. Organic doesn’t use antibiotics in its production, so there is less prevalence of resistance with organic animal products.
Ten: Be Heart-healthy with Organic Meat and Dairy.
For more information on The Organic Center and the science behind organic food and farming, visit www.organic-center.org.