Organic foods can contain pesticides…and some may be harmful
As NPR says….
When people are buying organic food, they often make the incorrect assumption that there are no pesticides. It’s true that organic production often uses fewer dangerous chemicals, but certain pesticides are allowed.
It turns out that a key factor in chemicals being cleared for use on organic crops is whether they occur naturally. Spinosad, for example, comes from the soil bacterium Saccharopolyspora spinosa. It can fatally scramble the nervous systems of insects. It’s also poisonous to mollusks.
In the USDA tests, there was ten times as much spinosad on organic lettuce than was found on conventionally cultivated fruits and vegetables.
The USDA maintains an official list of substances that can and can’t be used for organic farming.
This is interesting, but not alarming. This is a bacterium in the soil that has been producing this pesticides probably for hundreds of thousands of years. It’s reasonable to assume that it might produce more of this pesticide if synthetic pesticides were absent. Still, however, I don’t appreciate farmers applying extra pesticides - I feel that the spirit of organic products is pesticide free, and this is frustrating to me…
When you test synthetic chemicals for their ability to cause cancer, you find that about half of them are carcinogenic.
Until recently, nobody bothered to look at natural chemicals (such as organic pesticides), because it was assumed that they posed little risk. But when the studies were done, the results were somewhat shocking: you find that about half of the natural chemicals studied are carcinogenic as well.
A recent study compared the effectiveness of a rotenone-pyrethrin mixture versus a synthetic pesticide, imidan. Rotenone and pyrethrin are two common organic pesticides; imidan is considered a “soft” synthetic pesticide (i.e., designed to have a brief lifetime after application, and other traits that minimize unwanted effects). It was found that up to 7 applications of the rotenone- pyrethrin mixture were required to obtain the level of protection provided by 2 applications of imidan.
Unless you know your grower personally, there is no guarantee that your produce has been grown without pesticides or other chemicals.
Rotenone is a slow-acting organic compound derived from a number of subtropical shrubs from the Lonchcarpus, Derris and Tephrosia plant families. The compound poisons the system of targeted pests through ingestion or by contact and retards electron-transport in the nervous system. Rotenone breaks down rapidly in sun and is most effective when used during evenings. The insecticide has shown consistently good results in the control of a wide range of insects including whiteflies, melon aphids, rosy apple aphids, grape leafhoppers, mealybugs and a number of beetle species.
Pyrethrum is an organic compound with insecticidal properties obtained from a number of flowers from the Chrysanthemum group, mainly C. cinerariaefolium, C. marshalilli and C. coccineum. The organic insecticide is rapid acting and has a knock-out effect on targeted pests by affecting the nervous system and leading to nerve discharges that cause paralysis and eventual death. Pyrethrum is often used in combination with rotenone to increase efficacy of control over greater number of pests such as flea beetles. Pyrethrum is highly effective in controlling a number of beetle species, leafhoppers and whiteflies. The insecticide is also used for beet armyworms, black cutworm, thrips and sawflies.
However, Cox (2002) cites several studies indicating the possibility of a connection between pyrethrins and cancer, including one study showing a 3.7-fold increase in leukemia among farmers who had handled pyrethrins compared to those who had not. In 1999, a USEPA memo classified pyrethrins as “likely to be a human carcinogen by the oral route” (Cox 2002). Currently EPA is undertaking a review for pyrethrin, which is scheduled for completion and issuance of a Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED document) in June 2006. The RED summarizes the risk assessment conclusions and outlines any risk reduction measures necessary for the pesticide to continue to be registered in the U.S. (EPA 2004).
So I see that Pytherin and rotarone have been removed from the USDA database of allowed organic pesticides/fertilizers - either that or they are listed under a different names…spinosad is still there….
Still, there may well be other pesticides used in the “organic” produce you eat, so I hope that more of these so called organic pesticides are better regulated.
British dentists are now recommending that people, especially small people between the ages of five and 10, not brush their teeth after every meal. The reason is that the acidity in food and beverages causes tooth enamel to soften, and brushing right after eating an acidic meal strips enamel from the teeth, leaving them vulnerable to cavities. … brushing twice a day is generally still believed to be the best practice. But you should do it away from mealtimes to give your teeth time to recover from acid wear … Studies show that flossing is much more important than brushing. Dental floss actually removes the bacteria that clump together between your teeth, without scrubbing and stripping layers off them.
showering or bathing daily… wreaks havoc on something hilariously called the horny layer. … damaging this protective layer of skin makes us more susceptible to disease. … Studies have shown that there are no measurable differences in the number of microorganism colonies a person is host to regardless of how frequently that person showers. … There’s no magic number of showers each week, though it’s generally agreed that the number would fall somewhat shy of seven. Skipping showers, or, if you’d like a fancy French term, celebrating sans douche days, gives your skin time to repair some of the damage that the last shower caused.
Those foul smelling, small, white-ish, chunks that you can sometimes feel at the back of your throat are called Tonsilloliths or Tonsil Stones.
tonsil stones are stinky little globs of mucus, dead cells, debris and bacteria that form in the tonsil crypts which are simply small pockets or divots that appear in everyone’s tonsils. When the trapped dead cells, mucus, and debris harden or calcify, they form white/yellow ball in the tonsil pockets.
The strong unpleasant odor is caused by a build-up of sulfur-producing bacteria that feeds on the tonsil stones collected in the crypts of the tonsils and is a combination of hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan, and other stinky substances that form in it.
tonsils play a role in the immune system and are meant to function like nets, trapping incoming bacteria and virus particles that are passing through your throat.
I get these when I’m sick.
Weaves and braids may contribute to a type of permanent hair loss that appears to be common among black women, a new study has found. More than one-quarter of the 326 black women who participated in the study had hair loss on the top of their scalp, and of those women, 59 percent had signs of central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, or CCCA, a poorly understood form of baldness that begins at the crown of the head and leads to scarring.
The average age of the women with CCCA was 58. The condition often presents itself when women are in their 40s, but it’s sometimes seen in women as young as their 20s and 30s.
Black women often maintain these styles for long periods of time, and the stress they exert on the scalp can lead to the development of pus-filled bumps, says the lead researcher, Angela Kyei, M.D., a dermatologist and chief resident at the Cleveland Clinic’s Dermatology and Plastic Surgery Institute. “Over time, these bumps can develop bacteria” that can lead to scarring, she explains.
“Blood type, meet bug type.”
In the early 1900s, scientists discovered that each person belonged to one of four blood types. Now they have discovered a new way to classify humanity: by bacteria. Each human being is host to thousands of different species of microbes. Yet a group of scientists now report just three distinct ecosystems in the guts of people they have studied.
People with type 1, for example, had high levels of bacteria called Bacteroides. In type 2, on the other hand, Bacteroides were relatively rare, while the genus Prevotella was unusually common.
I think this is in the stay tuned category in terms of how it impacts health, but it’s interesting.