Ask Dr. Merrell: Your Health Questions Answered


Buying Organic

Q: How important is organic food to my overall health?

A: The Environmental Working Group released a study that identified 232 chemicals in the cord blood of babies, which showed that even before we're born, we're bombarded with toxins from our environment. Buying organic is a key way to reduce exposure to pollutants.
Organic fruits and vegetables are grown without pesticides, which are poisons designed to keep pests away from produce. At low levels, some have no proven dangerous effects on humans, but there aren't studies on the lifelong cumulative effect of exposure. When choosing to buy organic focus on most vegetables, and thin-skinned fruits like apples, cherries, and berries (the thicker the skin the less pesticides inside). Wash any non-organic produce you buy in a citrus-based fruit and vegetable wash, which helps to lift pesticides from the skin.
When you're shopping for meat, also consider organic. In non-organic poultry, cattle, and fish farms, chemical additives are used heavily -- including growth hormones, antibiotics, and grains grown with pesticides -- which are then passed on to you when you eat them. In contrast, organic animals eat whole foods and consequently, cattle and pigs that forage have higher omega-3 health fats.


  • rarara
    23 Nov, 2012 To ashton_deardlocks:
    I'm not a doctor, but I had the same problem.
    I added 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a reused 16-oz glass bottle filled with water, some honey and some lemon.
    I took a couple sips whenever I was feeling the burn, and it would go away in like 30 seconds, and stay away.
    The only important ingredient above is apple cider vinegar, so mix with it with whatever. Another mixer of mine is juice. Also, if you don't want to go to the trouble of mixing...
  • ReidDDS
    23 Jun, 2012 You might want to look into a sleeping disorder known as Upper Airwar Restriction Syndrome. You can google the research done by a Pulmonologist from Stoney Brook.
    Be well,
    Reid Winick, D.D.S.
  • ashton_dreadlocks
    20 Jun, 2012 Hi Dr.
    My name is Ashton and my to-be husband is Ryan. He has constant daily indigestion and heartburn, GERD is being treated currently with i believe Prilotec OCT (sorry for spelling) and I want better ways to help him, he gets pain when hungry and after eating, we stray from pills. If you have any advice we'd very much appreciate it.
    Thank you, Ashton

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