Is organic really better for us?

February 7, 2012 § 2 Comments

Turns out eating organic is, and isn’t good for us.  I just discovered that the content of bisphenol-A (BPA) in cans of organic fruits and vegetables sort of negates the effect of eating canned organic food.  All this time, I thought those organic fruits and vegetables were doing us good.  But, they’re not.  In fact, eating just one serving of canned “organic” soup a day for 5 days results in a 1000 percent increase in urinary BPA.

BPA is linked to diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer, genital defects in males, early onset of puberty in girls, obesity, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.  You can read about some of the research here, here, and here.    Bisphenol-A is used as a lining in many canned goods, and is also present in many plastic food containers.  Although there are regulations that disallow BPA for use in items that come into contact with food meant for babies, there isn’t enough regulation governing the use of BPA in food items for the rest of us.

A few months ago, I tossed the last of our plastic food storage containers into the trash, switching to glass replacements.  While I suspect my replacement containers’ plastic lids probably contain BPA (from now on, if a plastic container, lid, or can doesn’t say “contains no BPA,” then my assumption is that BPA’s in there), I usually protect my food with a sheet of waxed paper or foil before applying the lid anyway.  We’ve continued to still buy food in cans (until today, I never realized that manufacturers were still using BPA in the manufacturing process).  Until the regulations change, I suppose I’ll have to phase out most canned goods as well.

I also think we’ll start growing our own vegetables, just so we can have a little more control over what we eat.  This last weekend, I started some tomato seedlings, and am looking forward to a vegetable garden this summer…maybe I’ll do some canning (I wonder if the Ball canning jars I love so much have BPA in the lids?).

This isn’t the first time I’ve tried growing my own produce.  The summer before last, I planted tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and squash in large pots on our patio.  We lived in a different house then, and the patio was really the only place I had to grow vegetables.  After investing money in dirt, pots, and vegetable seeds, I enthusiastically watered my plants every day, picked little bugs off their leaves, staked the plants to keep them growing tall and straight, and finally cultivated about 20 tomatoes, and a few peppers.  I think my investment (not counting labor) made those vegetables about $10 each.

For my seedlings this year, my financial tally so far is $2 for dirt, $1 for the little biodegradable pots, and $2 for seeds = $5 (not counting labor).

I also have to somehow convince Dave to till the future vegetable garden bed for me (he doesn’t trust me on the tractor, and I’m not sure why, but I suspect it has something to do with the time when I was helping him build a fence, and I accidentally slipped the tractor into gear when he was standing on the hitch…I can’t help it if he TOLD me to do it, and what was he doing standing on the hitch anyway?).

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