In the past few decades, thousands of studies have revealed the negative consequences of herbicides and pesticides on human and planetary health. But few people—even among those who buy organic—think about who’s really most at risk.
According to a report released in June by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 81.4 percent of Americans older than the age of 6 tested positive for high levels of glyphosate, an herbicide linked to cancer.
Three months later, another study, conducted by a nonprofit group dedicated to children’s health, found detectable levels of glyphosate in 95.3 percent of the public school lunches tested. The highest quantities were in soft tacos and pizza.
Research from Mississippi published in 2014 showed that glyphosate was the predominant new herbicide detected in both the air (86 percent) and rain (77 percent) as early as 2007.
Cure for a Common (Weed) Killer
Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, is very effective at killing weeds. However, the herbicide also interferes with the symbiotic relationship between beneficial soil bacteria and plant roots. This results in food crops that are deficient in the nutrients that humans need for optimal health.
That’s why many health experts, including functional medical doctors and nutritionists, urge their patients to buy organic food. When food is grown without pesticides and herbicides and is glyphosate-free, it’s more nutritious.
The good news is that the demand for organic food has increased so much that most supermarkets offer consumers at least one generic, affordable brand.
Glyphosate is found in our water, air, and bodies—as well as most of our food. That's unfortunate for us, and can be tragic for farmers.