Since the year 1974, more than 1.6 billion kilograms of glyphosate have been applied to crops in the United States. Two-thirds of that have been applied in the last 10 years alone.
There’s been a lot of stories about glyphosate in the news lately that have gotten a lot of people curious about this ingredient and why it’s so problematic.
Read on to learn more about glyphosate, the effects of glyphosate in food, and what you can do to reduce your exposure to it.
What Is Glyphosate?
Because glyphosate has been in the news so much recently, lots of people are eager to find out more about it. Here are some basic pieces of information you ought to know regarding glyphosate:
- Glyphosate is an herbicide applied to the leaves of various crops
- The purpose of glyphosate is to kill broadleaf plants and grasses
- Glyphosate in sodium salt form also regulates plant growth and ripes certain crops faster
- Glyphosate is one of the most frequently-used herbicides in the world
- Glyphosate is the active ingredient in a weed killer known as Roundup
- A company called Monsanto produces Roundup
- The parent company Bayer owns Monsanto
The World Health Organization (also known as WHO) has deemed glyphosate to be a “probable carcinogen.”
Effects of Glyphosate in Food
There are many ways in which a person can expose themselves to glyphosate. They could consume food sprayed with Roundup or have it come in contact with their skin.
Consumption of food sprayed with Roundup is one of the most common ways average people get exposed to glyphosate.
Glyphosate exposure has been linked to a wide range of health problems, including the following:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Birth defects
- Brain cancer
- Breast cancer
- Celiac disease
- Kidney disease
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Miscarriages and stillbirths
There’s also a connection between glyphosate exposure and higher rates of chronic respiratory diseases.
Which Foods Contain Glyphosate?
Glyphosate gets sprayed on tons of crops throughout the United States. Some are more likely than others to be exposed, though.
The following are foods most likely to contain glyphosate:
- Canola seeds
If you consume any of these foods on a regular basis (and chances are you do consume at least one), you could be increasing your risk of glyphosate exposure and consumption.
How to Avoid Glyphosate
Clearly, glyphosate is problematic, to say the least. Exposure to glyphosate does not guarantee that a person will develop any of the conditions listed above. But, it may increase one’s risk, especially if they’re exposed on a regular basis.
Because of the risks associated with glyphosate exposure and consumption, it’s important to take steps to minimize your exposure as much as possible. The following are some steps you can take to avoid glyphosate:
Look for the Label
When you’re shopping at the store, purchase products that contain a Glyphosate Residue Free label. This is a sign that the product has been vetted and does not contain any glyphosate.
Look for foods that contain a USDA Organic label, too. This shows that food producers do not spray their food with any chemical pesticides, including glyphosate.
Locally grown organic foods are less likely than other organic foods to contain glyphosate and other pesticides. Some organic foods come in contact with non-organic foods during the shipping process and become exposed to pesticides as a result.
Shop at the Farmer’s Market
When you shop at the farmer’s market to pick up your favorite summer foods, you have a chance to talk to farmers directly and ask them what they’re spraying on their crops. This way, you’ll know for certain which foods contain glyphosate and which do not.
Grow Your Own Food
Another safe way to avoid glyphosate exposure is to grow your own food.
You might not be able to have a full-fledged garden. You could, however, try growing a few things yourself, such as tomato plants or herbs.
Cook at Home
Enjoy the food you’ve grown yourself and cook at home, too, as much as possible. Your favorite restaurants might use food that contains or has been exposed to glyphosate, so eating at home helps to reduce your exposure.
Use a Water Filter
To avoid consuming water tainted with glyphosate and other pesticides, invest in a high-quality water filter. This will make your water taste better, too.
Protecting Yourself from Glyphosate
Try as you might, there are still going to be times when exposure to glyphosate happens. It’s going to happen, and you’re going to be okay — you can’t live in a bubble your whole life.
To minimize the potential damage glyphosate can cause, though, try taking these steps:
Eat More Sulfur
Glyphosate depletes sulfur in the body and affects sulfate pathways. This, in turn, can make it harder for your body to detox and remove harmful compounds.
Eating more sulfur (in the form of eggs, onions, and garlic) helps to make up for the depletion caused by glyphosate and ensures your body can continue to detox in an efficient way.
Glyphosate acts as an antibiotic and can strip your gut of beneficial bacteria. Taking a probiotic helps to counter these effects.
Eat More Manganese
Glyphosate binds to the mineral manganese and can deplete your body’s levels of it. A manganese deficiency can lead to poor gut health and cognitive deficits. Good sources of manganese include spinach, pineapple, and pumpkin seeds.
Get More Health Advice Today
As you can see, glyphosate is pretty scary stuff. There’s no need to fear, though.
If you keep this information in mind and remember these tips for avoiding glyphosate in food, you’ll be able to reduce your exposure significantly and minimize potential health risks.
Do you want to learn more about healthy eating and healthy living? If so, we’ve got lots of resources available on our website.
Start with this article on how to avoid problems with food while you’re traveling in the U.S. or abroad. It’s a great resource on how to stay healthy while you’re on the go.