Study: eating organic reduces pesticide exposure

11 Feb 2015

A new study published in Environmental Health Perspectives is among the first to predict a person’s pesticide exposure based on information about their usual diet. The study was led by Cynthia Curl, an assistant professor in Boise State University’s School of Allied Health Sciences. She recently joined Boise State from the University of Washington. Curl and […]

Study: eating organic reduces pesticide exposure

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-farmer-spray-pesticide-rice-field-image28984418A new study published in Environmental Health Perspectives is among the first to predict a person’s pesticide exposure based on information about their usual diet.

The study was led by Cynthia Curl, an assistant professor in Boise State University’s School of Allied Health Sciences. She recently joined Boise State from the University of Washington.

Curl and her colleagues analyzed the dietary exposure of nearly 4,500 people from six U.S. cities to organophosphates (OPs), the most common insecticides used on conventionally grown produce in the United States. OP pesticides are linked to a number of detrimental health effects, particularly among agricultural workers who are regularly exposed to the chemicals.

Results showed that among individuals eating similar amounts of fruits and vegetables, those who reported eating organic produce had significantly lower OP pesticide exposures than those consuming conventionally grown produce. In addition, consuming those conventionally grown foods typically treated with more of these pesticides during production, including apples, nectarines and peaches, was associated with significantly higher levels of exposure.

“For most Americans, diet is the primary source of OP pesticide exposure,” said Curl “The study suggests that by eating organically grown versions of those foods highest in pesticide residues, we can make a measurable difference in the levels of pesticides in our bodies.”

This study included dietary data collected from participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, a large, multi-institutional project funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute that is investigating factors that influence the onset of cardiovascular disease.

The researchers were able to predict each participant’s exposure to OP pesticides based on the amount and type of produce each participant typically ate and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s measurements of pesticide residue levels on those foods. The researchers then compared these predictions to pesticide metabolite levels measured in urine samples from a subset of 720 of these people.

While Curl’s study is not the first to link organic produce with reduced pesticide exposure, the method she used may have significant implications for future research. By combining self-reported information on typical food consumption with USDA measurements, researchers will be able to conduct research on the relationship between dietary pesticide exposure and health outcomes in bigger populations, without needing to measure urinary metabolites.

“If we can predict pesticide exposure using dietary questionnaire data, then we may be able to understand the potential health effects of dietary exposure to pesticides without having to collect biological samples from people,” Curl said. “That will allow research on organic food to be both less expensive and less invasive.”

“The next step is to use these exposure predictions to examine the relationship between dietary exposure to pesticides and health outcomes, including neurological and cognitive endpoints. We’ll be able to do that in this same population of nearly 4,500 people,” she said.

One way people can reduce their pesticide exposure, said Curl, is to eat organic versions of those foods that are listed on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list, which ranks fruits and vegetables according to pesticide residue level.

 

Related tags

New Natural

Related news

Mintel highlights innovative, surprising new products in 2018

Mintel highlights innovative, surprising new products in 2018

15 Aug 2018

Food and drink innovation in 2018 continues to be influenced by flavour extremes and the impact of social media in spreading visually stimulating and fun concepts, notes Chris Brockman, EMEA Research Manager at Mintel.

Read more 
Glanbia announces performance nutrition ingredients

Glanbia announces performance nutrition ingredients

25 May 2018

Glanbia Nutritionals has announced what it describes as two new pioneering and innovative performance nutrition ingredients for formulation in functional beverages in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Read more 
Ecotrophelia UK shortlist announced

Ecotrophelia UK shortlist announced

24 May 2018

The growing trend for plant-based diets has inspired the teams that have entered this year’s student food innovation competition – Ecotrophelia UK. All five of the shortlisted products are meat-free and four are also vegan.

Read more 
Healthcare continuum drives Lonza growth

Healthcare continuum drives Lonza growth

10 May 2018

Lonza has reported what it describes as a positive start to 2018 with businesses along the healthcare continuum as growth drivers.

Read more 
Arla enters breakfast food-to-go market

Arla enters breakfast food-to-go market

9 May 2018

Arla Foods is set to launch into the breakfast food-to-go market with the introduction of its new Milk & Oats range of ready to drink beverages.

Read more 
Eurofins to acquire Covance Food Solutions

Eurofins to acquire Covance Food Solutions

7 May 2018

Global life sciences company LabCorp has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement under which Eurofins Scientific will acquire the Covance Food Solutions business from LabCorp for $670 million.

Read more 
Engaging with the Instagram generation

Engaging with the Instagram generation

3 May 2018

Colourful, exotic and unusual foods are on the rise as a growing number of consumers look for food experiences they can share on social media.

Read more 
New shake makes children taller

New shake makes children taller

1 May 2018

Nutritional Growth Solutions is introducing Healthy Height, a kids’ protein shake the company says is clinically shown to improve children’s height, to the European market.

Read more 
Mintel: Europe leads on private label launches

Mintel: Europe leads on private label launches

27 Apr 2018

Europe accounted for over half (57%) of all private label launches with premium claims globally in 2017, according to new research from Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD).

Read more 
Ohly launches maple syrup powder

Ohly launches maple syrup powder

1 Aug 2016

Ohly has launched a new Maple Syrup Specialty Powder. The latest addition to the ProDry range is said to deliver authentic maple syrup flavour and sweetness in a free flowing powder form.

Read more