Got Organic: Cereal & Beer?

January 29, 2019

breadgrainscereal2When you’re looking to avoid pesticides in your diet, it’s important to go beyond organic produce. A good place to start is grains, such as cereal, bread, pasta, etc. These crops are also treated with pesticides, especially grains engineered (GMOs) to be resistant to herbicides like glyphosate, which is now considered a probable carcinogen to humans by IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer).

Pesticides in grains aren’t cleared from the food by the time crops are harvested, which means some of the residues make it into your cereal box or loaf of bread and ultimately into your body. Studies, including those by the FDA, EWG, and others, have detected many pesticides in grain-based foods, some at levels exceeding what is considered safe, though there are disagreements on what safe levels are. Because use of pesticides is so widespread, even organic crops can become contaminated, though at much lower levels than those grown ‘conventionally’, e.g. with pesticides.

So buying products made with organic grains can help reduce your exposure to these toxic chemicals. Also, as more of us switch to organic foods, we can reduce the presence of pesticides in our environment, as we support farmers who crop without them. And don’t forget products made with grains. A recent study on German beers, which are made with grains, showed residues of glyphosate.

A Toxic-free New Year

January 1, 2019

14502768_539160869614590_3277597365892536645_nJoin me in 2019 for tips on creating a cleaner diet, free of many of the toxic chemicals that come from the use of pesticides, processing, packaging, and environmental contamination.

There are numerous sources of problematic chemicals in our diets and many ways that they find their way into our food and water. It can be overwhelming to deal with all the possibilities at once. To help with this, I’ll tackle one key issue each month in 2019. I’ll also be providing advice for small steps you can take to clear toxic chemicals from your diet and reduce your body’s toxic burden.

These posts come from a book I’m writing on this subject. Over the last several years, I’ve given presentations on where toxins come from in our diets and what we can do to reduce them. In addition to this blog, join me on Facebook ( and Twitter (@Laurel_Standley) for more information.

fresh fruits and vegetables

Let’s start the year right by transitioning to or increasing your consumption of organic foods, meaning those grown without pesticides that are used to control weeds and insects. So why eat organic foods rather than conventional? Studies on animals and in people who’ve had higher exposures to some pesticides show links to health issues such as cancer, brain damage, and reproductive impairment. When you decide to ‘go organic’, it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing effort – you can do as much or as little in a way that works for you. The best way to get the biggest bang for your buck is to switch to organic for the foods most likely to contain the highest levels of problematic pesticides. Each year, the Environmental Working Group publishes a list of the dirtiest dozen foods, as well as a list of the cleanest fifteen ( So if you can’t afford to go all in for organic foods, use their resource to help you choose which conventional foods to stay away from. And, if you can afford to do so, I highly recommend donating to EWG to help support their work in this important area.