4. CHOOSE ORGANIC FOOD
Organic food is produced by growers who emphasize the use of clean, renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones.
Commercially grown plant foods are often laden with toxic pesticides and herbicides. In order to avoid ingesting more toxins, buy organic, in-season produce from your local market. Organic produce is food that has been grown without using most conventional pesticides, weedicides, fungicides or synthetic fertilizers. Eating organic food, reduces the toxic burden the liver has to cope with.
Do you know that:
- 0 Artificial ripening of fruits - Fruits and vegetables are often harvested in an un-ripened state to preserve firmness and for long shelf life; they are later exposed to ethylene gas or calcium carbide to induce ripening. Picture on the left shows a carbide sachet placed at the bottom of the crate. Mangoes are then arranged over it. Another sachet is placed between the layers. Calcium carbide can cause neurological damage and it is also a hormone disruptor.
0 Wax coatings and preservatives may also be applied to the fruits to help retain moisture and maintain quality, Waxes also help enhance appearance, inhibit mold growth, protect produce from bruising and prevent other physical damage and disease. These waxes could be beeswax, petroleum based wax, shellac based or resin.
While organic food is cleaner, if you cannot find organic produce, don’t use it as an excuse not to eat the plant food. The more you restrict your diet the more likely that malnutrition will set in and lower your healing responses.
In the event that you are not sure if the food is organic, use the following tips to reduce the chemical residues.
- Wash the produce. Washing with water reduces dirt, germs, and pesticide residues remaining on fruit and vegetable surfaces. Wash the produce under running water rather than soaking, even that which you plan to peel. Running water has an abrasive effect that soaking does not have. This process will also help remove bacteria and traces of chemicals from the surface of fruits and vegetables and dirt from crevices. Please note that not all pesticide residues can be removed by washing.
- Remove the outer layer of leafy vegetables such as cabbage and peel fruits and vegetables when possible.
- Scrub firm fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots and root vegetables like sweet potato.
- For meat, poultry and fish, trim fat and skin to minimize pesticide residue that may accumulate in the fat.
- Buy local from the farmers market. Locally grown produce is less likely to have been treated with chemicals to prevent spoilage.
- GOING VEGETARIAN DOES NOT LESSEN YOUR TOXIC BURDEN IF YOUR VEGETABLES ARE NOT ORGANIC.
- Some fruits and vegetables can be organic without the 'Organic' sign such as moringa leaves, fresh coconuts, edible fern leaves (most of these are grown naturally).
Of course, the best is to grow your own vegetables and fruits — this will ensure that the food is totally chemical free. In addition, you will get the benefit of exposing yourself to the outdoor sun, fresh air, exercise and ‘grounding’.