We’ve been talking a lot about ensuring that your food is free of chemicals and pesticides. But there is something we have yet to cover, and probably has not made it into the minds of consumers yet – we are talking about hormones and artificial growth enhancers! While most people think that hormones and growth enhancers are used mainly for livestock such as chickens and cows, we assure you that agriculture farmers do use them in vegetables and fruits as well.
Admit it, how many of you go for the ‘better looking’ fruit at the grocery store? Well, besides using chemicals to ensure a good aesthetic appearance of their produce (See also: Same Old Brand New Crops), chemicals are also used to enhance their growth. Like we said, a large, perfect-looking fruit is a sure sign of chemical use. These growth enhancers promote rich-looking produce and quick, lush growth, enabling farmers to grow them quicker than their regular developmental rate, and sell them off just as quickly.
However, all these are done at the expense of your health.
Water Retention and Bloating
Plump-looking produce are usually raised with chemicals such as chemical fertilizers and chemical salts. Just like in the human body and diets, the salts cause water-retention and bloating in the produce. As a result, these produce grow bigger quickly but instead of being filled with nutrients, are filled mostly with water.
Studies and analysis have shown that organically raised vegetables (versus chemically raised) contain more food and nutrients (as opposed to water). People consume vegetables and fruits for the nutrients they provide to their body. Now, would you prefer produce with more nutrients or water content?
The term ‘malnourished’ usually doesn’t bode well. Hormones and growth enhancers can result in larger-sized cells, and therefore larger sized leaves and fruits.
“Fruits are bigger by nuitritional input. Nitrogen promotes a lot of growth in plants, but plants, like any other organism, can grow big and still be somewhat under-nourished because other basic mineral elements are in short supply. Inputs of fertilizers can result in larger sized cells, and therefore larger sized leaves and fruits.”
– E. Pullins
Organic vegetables are also more nutrient-dense because the organic subsoil processes bring lots of minerals into the plants, and not just the “big three” nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in chemical fertilizers.
Early Onset of Puberty in Children
Consuming hormones, no matter in livestock or produce, has the same effect on human bodies. There has been some talk going on about how consuming hormones in food has led to the early onset of puberty in children.
A 2009 study found that children who consumed the most protein from animal sources entered puberty about seven months earlier than those who consumed the least. “It doesn’t matter so much if it’s milk, cheese, or meat — all these animal proteins have a clear impact on [our] IGF system,” says Thomas Remer, Ph.D., one of the authors of the study and a professor at the Research Institute of Child Nutrition, in Germany.
Even minuscule amounts of estrogen could affect prepubescent girls and boys.
“[For] a girl who’s not producing hormones herself, they could be quite substantial.” – Dr. Willett.
Reverse Growth of the Human Body
The list of the various types of hormones found in our food as stated by this article “BPA and Hormones in our Fruits and Vegetables” is astounding!
As a whole, [they] are known to cause birth defects, learning disabilities, deformations of the body, sexual developmental issues, and cancerous tumors.
There has also been some tests on testosterone levels and sperm count that have been reported to be steadily decreasing in males for at least fifty years.
The fact that these hormones have been in our meat and animal products is not news, though little has ever been done to regulate the industry. This most recent study now warns us of further exposure from our fruits and vegetables. For further reading and understanding of the topic, we encourage you to take a look at our list of references and sources below.
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