Women's Health : Go Organic for Women's Health

This month is all about the women in our lives. Choosing organic isn't just an eco-friendly move, but it's also one of the healthiest decisions a woman can make.

Research shows that toxic and synthetic pesticides, which are prohibited in organic farming practices, can affect our health negatively. One group of chemicals in particular -- endocrine disruptors -- are adept at interfering with reproductive health, even when exposure levels are low. Some of these chemicals are similar to human hormones, so they can throw the body's natural system out of whack.

Recent studies find that endocrine disruptors affect women's health in a variety of ways:
  • Exposure to the herbicide atrazine has been linked to menstrual disorders and low birth weight babies.
  • Pesticides have been implicated in miscarriage and premature birth.
  • Some pesticides are linked to reduced fertility in women.
  • Research is ongoing, but limited evidence shows that toxic pesticides may be linked to breast and ovarian cancer.
  • Pesticides may also be associated with early-onset menopause.
Organic is an important choice for women who are pregnant. Studies find that toxic pesticides pass through the placenta, and prenatal exposure to chemicals can have negative results. One study shows that babies who had been exposed to pesticides in utero were more likely to be born prematurely and have abnormal reflexes. Research also finds that pesticide-exposed babies may also have smaller heads and abnormal neurological exams, which are a good predictor of behavioral problems like ADD.

The bottom line? Organic is worth it! If organic isn't available, opt for locally grown produce. Local growers who have smaller crops and shorter distances to travel often don't have a need for toxic pesticides. It's a safer choice for women's health, as well as the health of the environment and the whole family.