healthy pregnancy

Organic vs. conventional produce during pregnancy: How does conventional product impact the baby?

Lynn Griffith
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It wasn’t long ago that people in America were unaware of the concerns connected to Genetically Modified Foods.  Now, many European countries have banned or restricted GMOs and their associated pesticides.  (1)

Organic farming is on the rise in the United States, with organic produce growing to 4 percent of total U.S. food sales.  It’s no longer difficult to find organic food, with it being sold at conventional grocery stores, natural food stores, and farmer’s markets.  (2)  Organic farms are not allowed to use any GMOs and must be free of synthetic materials; whereas conventional food can be sprayed with pesticides and genetically modified ingredients. (1)

There is a 94 percent reduction of health risks with eating the organic form of fruits that are sprayed heavily with pesticides!

Experts are now beginning to look at the risks associated with pesticides.  A publication in the Annals of Internal Medicine reported that there is a 94 percent reduction in health risks associated to pesticides when eating the organic form of six different fruits that are often sprayed heavily with pesticides. (1)

Charles Benbrook, a research professor at Washington State University, explained that when comparing organic vs. conventional apples, strawberries, grapes, tomatoes, milk, carrots, grains and other raw foods, that organic farming increases several nutrients by 10-30 percent. Organic foods tend to have higher levels of vitamin C, antioxidants and phenolic acids 60 to 80 percent to the time. (1)

Another study found that the consumption of organic produce is connected to a 12 percent higher level of absorbed nutrients.   A recent study reported that just one week on an organic diet reduces pesticide exposure in adults by 90 percent. (1)

One week on an organic diet reduces pesticide exposure in adults by 90 percent!

If it is true that organic produce is better for your health than conventional produce, how does organic vs. conventional impact pregnancy? GMOs have only been around since the 1990s, and children who were exposed to these GMOs are just now growing up.(1)

Pesticide exposure is very common with more than three-fourths of women, whose babies did not have birth defects, reporting at least one source of contact with pesticides while pregnant.  Fifteen percent of these women were exposed to three or more sources.  The California Birth Defect Monitoring Program found that there is increased risk of birth defects if you do conventional household gardening.  They found that this can increase risk of oral clefts, neural tube defects, heart defects and limb defects.  They also found that risk increased if you live within a quarter mile of an agricultural crop.  (3)

One long term study found that GMO corn and roundup herbicide exposure leads to cancer, liver/kidney damage and severe hormonal disruption.  Recently, the World Health Organization labeled glyphosate as carcinogenic. (1)

They have also found that pesticides sprayed on foods have been linked to birth defects.  One study reported that prenatal exposure to pesticides could cause reduced birth weight, length and head circumference. Several studies are also linking pesticide exposure to autism.(1)

Monsanto’s Bt toxin is shown to cross the placenta to the fetus!

A Canadian study found the presence of Monsanto’s Bt toxin in maternal, fetal, and non-pregnant women’s blood.  The study reported that the toxins are clearly detectable and cross the placenta to the fetus.  The study reported that the fetus is highly susceptible to adverse effects of foreign chemical substances. (1)

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, eating organic foods can help decrease the risk of associated birth defects or ongoing complications.  It may seem more expensive to purchase organic foods, but is cheaper in the long run if you and your family are able to avoid medical interventions and decrease the risk of related health concerns.

Sources for this article include:
(1) www.collective-evolution.com
(2) www.ers.usda.gov
(3) www.cdph.ca.gov

Image attributions:
 "Cosmin & Sasha" by Cristian Bortes (Featured Image)
Licensed under CC BY 4.0, images may have been modified in some way

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