A number of pesticides which are commonly found in our food have been identified as likely to cause disturbance to natural hormones in our bodies. Hormone disruptors from pesticides can cause problems at very low doses. Some block the body's natural hormones from working, while others mimic the action of natural hormones. Unless labeled organic, commercially grown fruits and vegetables contain pesticides.

Pesticides can also contain barium, cadmium, arsenic, mercury and lead. Barium toxicity may cause abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. Cadmium can cause edema, kidney stones, chronic fatigue syndrome, impotence, arthritis and high blood pressure. Lead and arsenic are associated with high blood pressure, diabetes, liver disorders, memory/concentration disorders and various anemias.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture found that even after washing, some fruits and vegetables consistently carry much higher levels of pesticide residue than others. Based on an analysis of more than 100,000 U.S. government pesticide test results, researchers at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a research and advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., have developed the dirty dozen fruits and vegetables, that they say you should always buy organic, if possible, because their conventionally grown counterparts tend to be laden with pesticides. The cost can be about 50% more but are well worth the money.

The Dirty Dozen: Must-buy organic foods

Bell Peppers
Grapes, imported

Cleaning up your environment is a very overwhelming task at times. What we are left with is to do all we can for ourselves and our families to avoid the negative factors and incorporate as many of the positive factors as we can. We never know what is going to push us over the edge into poor health. Not everyone who eats refined sugar gets diabetes, not every child that gets a vaccination becomes autistic, and not every smoker gets cancer. It becomes a statistical game in which the person who does the most good usually wins.

We know what each individual chemical can do to our bodies. We don't know exactly how the multitude of environmental chemicals will react in the body. We should be thankful that our bodies were designed to handle a certain amount of assaults. This is why we must be diligent and do what we can to be a little healthier today than we were yesterday.

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