To know how organic food actually affects your body, two Japanese families, both with two children who usually eat mostly conventional food, challenged themselves to switch their diet to 100% organic food for 10 days.
These two families decided to switch over to organic food.
“My second daughter was suffering from allergic reactions when she was an infant. I thought her sensitivities to allergies might have been caused by food…” – Ms Hirukawa.
“I don’t think the impact on adults is big but we have children, so I’m worried about the impact on their bodies.” – Ms Naka.
Before and after 10 days, urine samples from these two families were collected and tested to check for different levels of pesticides in their bodies. The study was commissioned by Greenpeace Japan and testing samples were analysed at independent laboratory in Germany (full report here).
We found that pesticides levels in the urine showed a striking decrease after eating organic food, and that there were comparatively higher levels of some pesticides among the four children, compared to the adults.
Children can be very susceptible to the effects of toxic chemicals as their organs are still in development. A child’s developing brain is also more susceptible to neurotoxicants, and the dose of pesticides per body weight is likely to be higher in children due to their small size.
The study shows that eating organic food is an effective way to reduce chemical pesticides in the body. But to promote really “chemical pesticides free” life, the solution is to switch diet to ecological food or “eco food”.
So, what is “eco food”?
Eco food and organic food have many things in common. Both are crops or livestock grown without chemical pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, GMOs or antibiotics. But eco food goes a step further in that is also means food that is locally grown, seasonal, nutritious and promotes biodiversity. It is independently produced by innovative farmers, who receive a fair remuneration for their crops.
Will you take the challenge?
It seems the greatest barrier to more families eating more organic food isn’t the lack of benefits for people and the planet, but its availability and affordability. Consumers can make a real difference to this situation by letting the retailers that you shop from know that you want to change how you eat.
Join us. Challenge yourself to switch to organic food and help promote pesticide-free food for families everywhere. Together, we can fix the broken food system!
Kenji Ishihara is a Food Campaigner for Greenpeace Japan