Posted on Thu, 12 Feb 15
A new and clever analysis of exposure to pesticides in food has found that people who occasionally buy organic foods have significantly lower pesticide levels in their bodies.
Your exposure to organophosphate pesticides (OP’s) is thought to be largely determined by your food choices, with people who eat organic food having lower exposure to these potentially toxic chemicals.
Assessing OP exposure in the general population however, is not an easy task. So a research group decided to rank foods OP levels based on residue levels in a national database (much like the dirty dozen) and then crosscheck reported dietary exposure with urinary biomarkers.
They study found that - when matched for produce intake - people who reported rarely or never eating organic produce had higher levels of OP metabolites in their urine when compared to people who at least occasionally or regularly consume organic produce.
And they also found that urinary OP metabolites increase along with increased consumption of foods with higher pesticide residues, which adds strength to their research methods and results.
Curl CL, Beresford SA, Fenske RA, Fitzpatrick AL, Lu C, Nettleton JA, Kaufman JD. Estimating Pesticide Exposure from Dietary Intake and Organic Food Choices: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Environ Health Perspect. 2015 Feb 5. [Epub ahead of print]