The most comprehensive study of agricultural knowledge, science, and technology in history is the IAASTD Report. It was researched by 400 scientists, who spent three years looking at food production and growing methods that would benefit human health. The report recommended ‘agroecology’, or what most of us know as ‘organic farming’. The word organic means living, and in practical terms, this means natural food that is grown and processed without chemical fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. Organic food is natural food, the way it has been safely growing for centuries. Certified organic foods are not allowed to have been subject to growth hormones, antibiotics, preservatives, dyes, chemical coatings, genetic engineering or irradiation.
“Pesticides such as chlordane, heptachlor, DDT, DDE and other organohalogen compounds do not biodegrade in the environment. Instead they bioconcentrate and are stored in the fat of animals or human beings, who feed at the top of the food chain”
The Journal for Pesticide Reform, USA.
Processed meat and antibiotics
Eating commercial red meat not only damages your digestive system but you are also getting the antibiotic fallout. New Zealand animal farming uses 80,000 kg of antibiotics every year. Hormone growth promotants (HGPs) are still used in areas of New Zealand and Australia, even though they have been banned by the European Union since 1988. Ground beef (used in hamburgers) is typically an amalgam of meat from different cows from different slaughterhouses. So any one burger patty could have come from hundreds of animals and different parts of the world. There is no way of finding this information as the meat is not labelled.
What do my wife Tracey and I do?
Over the years, we have grown our own vegetables when we can. Even in the city, in a small area you can generally grow almost as much leafy green vegetable produce that a family can eat. Things such as greens and herbs grow so easily! Tracey has belong to an organic food co-op for many years. She and 11 others in the local community source myriad organic foods in bulk, such as grains, pluses, nuts, seeds, legumes and much more. We also regularly buy organically grown produce (depending on the price and local availability). We then top up here and there with fresh seasonal produce, often from local markets or farmers’ markets. Selecting organic food is safer for your health and for the environment that our kids will inherit. I am often asked by concerned people, ‘But vegetables have sprays on them so shouldn’t I avoid them?’ No, this is flawed thinking. The bottom line is that all conventional foods are sprayed, so even if you cannot buy organically grown food, you still need to eat lots of vegetables, as sprayed fruits and vegetables are far healthier than sprayed junk food will ever be. Sprayed vegetables still give you unique plant compounds, plantioxidant protection and good fibre (all of which help remove pesticide residue).
Sprayed vegetables and fruits are better than sprayed ‘anything else’
The super plantioxidant disease-preventing secondary metabolites, the unique fibres, carotenoids, polyphenols, flavonoids, alkaloids and terpenoids are all only available in vegetables. Eating more fruits and vegetables is the best way to counteract any damage from pesticides. Vegetables are packed with the most powerful protection you can get so it is always better to be eating more of them — organic or not. You can always back up your vitamin C and plantioxidant requirements with a daily intake of home-grown sprouts (see GOLDEN Rule 16 on page 386). A $70 initial investment in your garden will yield $600 in food for a year. Growing your own sprouts triples that return.
Remove the chemical residues yourself
Fruits and vegetables are the cornerstone of a good healthy diet. Washing fresh produce in water can reduce levels of some pesticides but it does not eliminate them. The best options are to grow the food you can depending on the circumstances in your life, buy organic food when you can, eat a varied, local, plant-based wholefood diet, and wash all sprayed produce with a natural fruit and vegetable wash to remove the residue.
Fruit and vegetable wash to remove chemical spray residues
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
Mix the ingredients together in a spray bottle. Spray your produce and leave it to sit for ten minutes, then rinse thoroughly.
Five key points regarding produce
- Try to get as many fresh fruits and vegetables from your grandma’s backyard. If you can’t do this, grow your own. Or grow a small crop and swap your parsley for your neighbor’s apples. We are blessed with a grapefruit tree next door which our neighbors do not eat but we devour for obvious reasons… Or carefully choose your own at farmers’ markets or wholefood health stores.
- Almost all foods tested have chemical residues so continue to eat lots of vegetables. They are the best foods available and the most protective against all cancers.
- The power that vegetables and plant-based wholefoods have is stronger than small amounts of chemical residues.
- Nearly 95% of the pesticide residue in the typical modern diet comes from meat, fish and dairy products.
- You can remove the pesticide and herbicide residue on your fruit and vegetables by using the cleaning solution above.
The research, studies and food recommendations from the WCRF & AICR 2018, to help lower your risk of, and to prevent, breast cancer, are built around following; a no-alcohol, plant-based wholefood diet.
Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer: a Global Perspective (the Third Expert Report – 2019) is a comprehensive analysis, using the most meticulous methods, of the worldwide body of evidence on preventing and surviving cancer through diet, nutrition and physical activity. It builds on the ground-breaking achievements of the First and Second Expert Reports, published in 1997 and 2007 respectively.
There is a vast amount of evidence that eating a plant-based wholefood diet lowers, and in some cases, reverses, heart disease and hypertension. This has been shown in the fasting studies, the chicken studies, the saturated fats studies, the fibre studies, the plant-based eating studies, and of course, the meat-is-directly-linked-to-heart-disease studies.
A healthy plant-based diet is simply mostly eating ‘plant-based wholefoods’ – such as apples rather than apple juice – as these are plant foods in their natural state, unrefined, and with their natural fibres, antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals intact. Eat mostly plant foods, mostly wholefoods, and you receive the benefits, as the centenarian cultures do.
Additional evidence and studies on how plant-based diets can prevent non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Jason wishes to deeply thank, acknowledge and recognise the effort and contribution that the PIF Foundation has provided on a voluntary basis since 2014, as we educated, motivated and inspired change that helps transform the health, vitality and longevity of people all over the world.