What Does “Organic” Mean??

I recently learned that wheat is often sprayed with glyphosate right before harvest to kill off the weeds in the field- leaving the heads of grain covered in poison!  No wonder more and more people are developing allergies and sensitivities to wheat!  Our bodies are made to react negatively to poisons, so of course anything coated with poison will also cause issues in our digestion.  Well, at least Organic wheat is safe, right?  Apparently not.  Because the spraying is often done using crop dusters, and glyphosate doesn’t just stay on the plants, but saturates the ground and runs into the surrounding water sources, any farms near fields sprayed with glyphosate are also at risk.

Wheat is not the only organic product contaminated with glyphosate.  Other organic grains, as well as organic flax seeds, organic hemp, and organic freeze-dried strawberries were found to be contaminated as well when a company called Tropical Traditions did their own testing of organic products they were selling on their website last year.  Organic barley has been found to have the highest levels of glyphosate among organic grain crops, corresponding to conventional barley having the highest levels of glyphosate among conventional grain crops.  So much for barley being good for your digestive health…

So what’s a mom to do?  Most organic crops are not even tested for glyphosate residue, so there is little way of knowing how safe the organic produce is that you buy at the grocery store.

One thing we can do is to support companies like Tropical Traditions, that take it upon themselves to test their own products and only sell products that don’t contain glyphosate.  We can also encourage other companies to do their own testing.  Another thing that I always recommend is to buy locally, from a farmer you trust.  Go visit the farm and see for yourself the techniques and chemicals (or lack thereof) being used to grow your food.  Notice if the farm is adjacent to a commercial farm that uses glyphosate or not, and ask if the farmer is taking measures to protect his or her crops from groundwater and over-spray contamination.

I believe the most important thing we can do to make sure we are eating healthy, herbicide free food, is to grow some of our own produce.  Start with something simple like herbs in your kitchen window, and you will experience a new appreciation for fresh, organic produce, as well as improving your family’s health.

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