It’s infuriating to know that pesticides have ended up in the breakfast we’re feeding our kids, their school snacks, the vegetables at the grocery store and even in our drinking water without warning. So, now that we know traces of glyphosate are found pretty much everywhere, how do we protect ourselves from it and its damaging impact on our health and our environment? Aside from not using it directly in your backyard, where do we even start? How can we avoid glyphosate exposure?
HOW TO AVOID GLYPHOSATE EXPOSURE
Here are five fantastic starting points for you and your family.
AVOIDING PESTICIDES STEP 1:
This one’s a no-brainer! All non-organic products are sprayed with pesticides, including glyphosate. The best way to steer clear of glyphosate-sprayed food is to seek out products that have the USDA Organic label. In order to receive organic certification, food producers cannot purposely spray food with synthetic chemical pesticides such as glyphosate. Be aware that softer fruits and vegetables, such as berries and leafy greens, tend to be sprayed the heaviest, as they are most prone to bugs. But it’s not just produce we have to be mindful of – Even foods like cereals, oats and granola bars contain traces of glyphosate. Results from a study by the Environmental Working Group in 2018 revealed glyphosate in every sample of popular oat-based cereal that they tested, including Cheerios, Lucky Charms and Quaker Oatmeal, which are all marketed to children.
Make your own homemade organic oatmeal packs for the kids with organic gluten free quick oats and maple syrup by throwing it in water overnight and just heating it up in the morning for a quick breakfast.
AVOIDING PESTICIDES STEP 2:
AVOID GMO FOOD
GMO foods usually contain glyphosate because they are genetically modified to survive being sprayed. This means that farmers can spray entire fields knowing that only the weeds will die. Popular GMO foods to be mindful of include corn, wheat, soy and canola (and processed foods made with these ingredients).
When you buy certified organic foods, you’re also guaranteed that it’s non-GMO. But it’s important to note that it doesn’t work the other way around! Non-GMO labels only certify that the product does not contain genetically modified ingredients but does not guarantee that the ingredients are organic.
Always read labels and don’t be fooled by green-washed marketing!
AVOIDING PESTICIDES STEP 3:
DRINK FILTERED WATER
Despite municipalities deeming it “safe”, our tap water actually contains hidden chemicals, toxins, hormones, and synthetic pesticides like glyphosate. In 2009, The Environmental Working Group conducted a 3 year study examining tap water throughout the United States. The results detected a shocking 316 chemicals, 202 of which were either not regulated or didn’t follow legal guidelines/regulations. Use natural spring water when available and use a filter, for your household!
AVOIDING PESTICIDES STEP 4:
EASY ON THE ALCOHOL
The last thing you probably think of when you’re enjoying a glass of rosé with dinner is the amount of pesticides found in it, right? But glyphosate is showing up in many different types of alcohol, and it actually makes hangovers worse! Studies have found it in many popular wine, beer and liquor brands, including organic ones. Despite the efforts of organic and local breweries and alcohol producers, glyphosate contamination is still a huge issue because of its rampant usage.
Beer and wine are some of the worst culprits, since conventionally grown grapes (soft fruit!) and wheat are some of the most heavily sprayed crops. Liquors like vodka, are corn-based, and corn is one of the top GMO crops. Why we want to highlight it is because many of our patients have been saying “I just can’t drink (wine/beer) anymore and I don’t know why”, and this might be why! It’s an alcohol and pesticide bomb! The solution? Limit your alcohol consumption, and when you are going to indulge, always choose organic or small wine and beer producers (like natural wines and organic craft beers) wherever possible.
AVOIDING PESTICIDES STEP 5:
GROW AND COOK YOUR OWN FOOD
If you follow Dr. Bhat on Instagram, she talked about this this week after watching Seaspiracy on Netflix this past week. The ONLY way to truly know where your food comes from? Grow some yourself! If you have any greenspace, we highly recommend getting some organic seeds and start your own little garden! When you grow and cook your own food, you have complete control over what’s on your plate and what foods are going into your body. Just as glyphosate can cause imbalances/issues in our gut by destroying essential good bacteria, we have also ruined soil microbiota (i.e. the nutrient density!). Growing your own food is a great way to control some of these factors and create more nutrient-dense options!