Food for Thought

by Susan on May 23, 2010

Why do you come to a raw food website? I believe it is because you are making the connection between what you eat and your health. We are learning more and more every day about our food sources work and how they affect us and our planet.

Did you happen to see the news this week? One of the breaking stories talked about a newly discovered link between the pesticides that we spray on our food crops and ADHD. ( According to The Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics)

In examining the relationship between organophospates, (certain toxic pesticides) and the rate of ADHD, a link was discovered. Organophospates cause damage to the nerve connections in the brain.  The chemical works by disrupting a specific neurotransmitter, acetylcholinesterase, a defect that has been implicated in children diagnosed with ADHD , which is exactly how they work against the pests they kill. It is interesting to note that organophospates are also used in the production of nerve gas.

Who is most vulnerable? Our babies and children. Their brains are still developing. Which fruits and veggies are most likely to contain high amounts? Peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, imported grapes, spinach, lettuce, and potatoes. The smart thing to do would be buy organic when eating them. Yes, it costs more but honestly, think of the payoff. You are talking about how your child will walk through life.

I have a lot of experience with ADD. My youngest approached me when she was about to go into 8th grade by saying”Mom, I think I have ADD”. My first response was, no…you are just fine. Then I took a step back. I started watching her. She was not getting good grades, mostly c’s and d’s at the time. It was confusing to me because I knew she was highly intelligent.

I took her to a specialist in ADD. After two full days of extensive testing, including brain scans, we got the results. She did have ADD, which often goes undiagnosed in young women because they don’t have the “H” or hyper association. Society still doesn’t expect the level of studiousness for young girls as it does for boys, so her teachers had just labeled her as “spacey”. Yes, spacey because her brain was not functioning correctly. She underwent treatment and that year and ever since has been an incredible student scoring near the top of her class.

ADD and ADHD have been on the rise. In part, because it is a convenient diagnosis. But ADD and ADHD are real. And if your child has it, it can be horribly debilitating. Think of it this way. You are going to do and fix a car. You are given a tool box full of all the tools you need to fix the car. But somewhere between leaving the house and arriving at the car, someone has taken half of your tools out of your box. You are still expected to fix the car exactly the same way, and with the same speed that the people with full toolboxes do. Extremely frustrating and difficult.

Let’s get back to the extra cost of the organic produce. It is time to ask ourselves what our priorities are. Isn’t the few extra dollars that you spend worth it for your children (and yourself)? Isn’t helping their toolbox to stays intact important? It is about quality of life. It is food for thought. As always, it is about educating ourselves and being responsible for how we walk on this earth. Sticking our heads in the sand is no longer an option. There is strength in knowing.

The Environmental Working Group has a very good, down-loadable shopper’s guide to pesticides (here). They also have great articles on environmental health. Check it out, there is some great reading there.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Ian May 23, 2010 at 6:50 pm

How undeniably accurate your post is! Schoolchildren today are experiencing ADD and ADHD in such numbers that we all need to take a step back. Your post helps us do that, thanks!

Barth Anderson May 24, 2010 at 7:09 am

Thank you for this very personal and insightful post, Susan. Organophosphate pesticides are not to be messed with. That said, there’s hope. To drive your last point home, a 2008 Emory University showed that a diet rich in organic fruits and veggies reduces organophosphates in kids’ bodies.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1367841/

That Emory study was doubly significant since it also showed that children are most likely exposed to organophosphates through their diets.

Stay safe. Choose organic.

Susan May 24, 2010 at 7:12 am

Thanks for the great link, Barth!

Raw Food Mamas May 24, 2010 at 10:18 am

I couldn’t agree with you more!!! What we give our kids will “feed” them their entire life.

This is a very valuable post. thank you.

Kyle Weber May 24, 2010 at 11:16 am

I could not agree more with your message. I used to get awful migraines all of the time. When I switched to eating organic foods, they suddenly disappeared. The cost might be a little higher to eat organic products, but the increase in the quality of life is worth the price.

LBrandt May 24, 2010 at 11:33 am

Think about this too. The fast food places and all the sprayed/chemically induced crap that is shoved down children’s throats daily with the incentive of a “happy” meal? Happy? Not! It’s sad. Very sad and scary.

Barbcam May 24, 2010 at 11:38 am

I am asked by friends about how expensive it is to buy the organic products I buy, and to me, there is no price too high to potentially avoid not only ADD but many of the other diseases where chemicals in our environment (and food!) may play a role. The way I see it–pay a little more for organics now, or pay a lot more in healthcare bills later.

jenny (green food diaries) May 24, 2010 at 1:12 pm

thanks so much about your personal post. i am inspired to buy organic celery and lettuce from now on (spinach and carrots are the only organics i buy so far). i did try organic kale last week when it was on sale and it tasted like it was from a different universe, it was so delicious.

Tressey May 24, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Yes I did see that news report. My husband lend over to me and said, thanks honey for working it out so that our family can enjoy organics and improved health. He saw us all sinking into ill states, but with organics and a great deal of living foods, life, well, has given us back all of our “tools”.

Faith Lubitz May 24, 2010 at 4:33 pm

this is a great post…..reminds me of what I used to say to my chiropractic clients who balked at spending the extra money for organic foods….” Consider that extra money your health insurance payment” For real, it is much more effectively spent on organic food than being poured into BCBS etc as so many are doing monthly.

Joanna Rawvelous May 24, 2010 at 11:32 pm

Thanks for the great info, Susan! This gives us more food for thought about what are important things to change!

Elizabeth May 24, 2010 at 11:35 pm

Please share about the year of “treatment” and what that entailed and any ongoing support. I have an 11 yr old son who has grown up in a primarily raw and organic green home since birth, unvaxed and unmedicated (I treat him holistically). He has had ADD type “symptoms” that have been apparent since about age 5 and are now really becoming an issue. I’d love to hear more about what has worked for you. I have worked with his diet and supplements and plan to do cranial sacral work.

Susan May 25, 2010 at 6:11 am

Please email me at Susan@rawmazing.com. Since this is personal for my daughter, I would rather discuss privately.

Jane May 25, 2010 at 12:11 pm

WOW!! and that is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg.. the connection with memory, dementia and the preservatives in the “flu vaccine” and “aspartame” is HUGE!! beware on ALL levels of consumption.

Kat (My Fruity Life) May 25, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Thank you so much for this post! I am forwarding this on to my family and friends with young children.

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