Did you know that more than one million Australians regularly purchase organic foods and beverages? And for good reasons – not only does it taste better, but Friends of the Earth recently assessed pesticide residue and scientific reports that revealed potentially alarming impacts of pesticides on human health.
According to Friends of the Earth, of the 125 types of pesticides detected on the Australian fruit and vegetables surveyed, 45 percent are suspected endocrine disruptors and 62 percent of the number of detections related to suspected endocrine disrupting pesticides. So what does that mean in real life?
Endocrine disruption 101: What you need to know
Endocrine disruption occurs when a synthetic chemical is absorbed into the body and either mimics or blocks hormones. This disrupts our body’s normal functions causing hormone levels to alter, halt or stimulate production and this can change the way hormones travel through our body. Many health issues such as reduced fertility, skewed male/ female sex ratios, early puberty, brain and behavioral problems, impaired immune functions and various cancers can be related to endocrine disruption.
According to Australian Organic, the most ‘at risk’ foods in Australia due to pesticide exposure include apples, wheat, strawberries, pears and grapes.
Organic or not?
If you have to choose…
Have you ever chosen non-organic because it’s cheaper? You’re not alone – 80 percent of people surveyed by Australian Organic said cost was the biggest obstacle to buying organic. If your wallet requires you to make a choice, here are some tips from the American “Environmental Working Group” to help you prioritise when to go organic or not.
This list is based on US conditions, but it can give you some guidelines if you’re not sure when to go organic and not.
Did you know...
• Australia has the largest surface area of certified organic land in the world!
• Queensland is the most organic certified area of all the Australian states. It has the single most certified area of land in the world, along with the highest value of organic agricultural production!
• New South Wales accounts for the highest number of organic operations in Australia in terms of number of individual certified organic businesses.
• The Australian organic sector remains a shining example of industry self-regulation. Australia is one of the most open organic markets in the world!
• Australian consumers are taking organic to heart. Three out of four organic purchases are now at major supermarket chains, underscoring an ongoing ‘mainstreaming’ of organic products.