- Question from lucy: Are organic foods a better choice than non organic foods?
- Answers - Marisa Weiss, M.D. The word "organic" can mean so many different things. When I shop for organic foods, what I am looking for is foods free of preservatives, hormones, pesticides, and other additives.
- Ronda Gates, M.S., R.Ph. The word "organic" doesn't guarantee anything, because the industry is poorly regulated. If you buy organic, be sure to look for the words "certified organic" to insure there is no fraud. That's the only regulation that guarantees that the foods are grown without pesticides, antibiotics, or any other medications that are added to the feed. Since the industry is growing so rapidly, there is a proposed law right now that includes Marisa's concerns, and two others that aren't of concern to me and most health promotion people. That is that organic food can't be genetically modified or irradiated, because genetically modified foods allow us to have foods that have more vitamins, proteins and minerals and there is no proof that irradiation harms or changes foods because the food is no longer living. In fact, this regulation will actually fly in the face of plant breeding and the hybridization of food, and actually deter pests and methods that can kill the bugs that harm us. I think that it can make food less safe. For example, I can cook a strawberry to kill the bacteria, but it would look horrible. If I irradiate it, it wouldn't, and it wouldn't produce cancer causing substances. It is endorsed by World Health Organizations and the United Nations. So although these laws that are coming are good because they will standardize what is now state regulation, a lot of it may be political.
- Marisa Weiss, M.D. I think for women who have had breast cancer, it is particularly important to avoid purchasing meat or chicken that has been hormone fed.
- Ronda Gates, M.S., R.Ph. The new law will cover that.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Food for Cancer Recovery featured Ronda Gates, M.S., R.Ph. and moderator Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about nutrition and how it relates to cancer recovery.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in July 2000.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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