You know how you are told to give your kids organic food because pesticides will give them cancer? Well, it’s technically true that there is a link between the chemicals and illness, but the risk is miniscule in any well-regulated country.
There is another threat that you haven’t been told much about. One of the best ways to avoid cancer is to eat lots of fruit and vegetables. Organic items are 10% or 20% more expensive than regular produce, so most of us naturally buy less when we “go organic.”
If you reduce your child’s intake of fruits and vegetables by just 0.03 grams a day (that’s the equivalent of half a grain of rice) when you opt for more expensive organic produce, the total risk of cancer goes up, not down. Omit buying just one apple every 20 years because you have gone organic, and your child is worse off.
We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.
To continue reading, subscribe now.
Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.
Already have an account or want to create one to read two commentaries for free? Log in