Hey Radical Health Seekers 👋
This week we’re exploring one of the most pervasive chemicals in our food system:
Glyphosate aka Roundup, manufactured by Monsanto (now owned by Bayer).
Buckle up and bring your focus, 🤓 because this is something every Radical Health Seeker needs to know about.
Glyphosate was first introduced in 1974 under the brand name Roundup, and since then, over 3.5 BILLION pounds of it have been sprayed on our food.
The company that created it is Monsanto (now owned by Bayer), and they also introduced patented genetically modified crops (called Roundup Ready), which are resistant to glyphosate.
This allowed us to produce vast amounts of cheap, processed food, while blanketing farmland with chemicals that kill everything in sight besides the crop.
Glyphosate isn’t only on GMO corn and soy, though…
It’s also sprayed directly onto wheat and oats before harvest in a process known as “pre-harvest crop desiccation”.
It kills the crop, drying it out more quickly and evenly for harvest time.The widespread use of glyphosate means it’s now found in almost all processed foods, especially those containing wheat, corn, oat, and soy.
The consequence is that between 1993 and 2016, glyphosate levels in humans have increased 1208%:
But is glyphosate really a cause for concern? 🤔
YES. There are now thousands of published scientific papers outlining the damage that glyphosate causes to living organisms, including humans.
Check out this review published in November 2022:
From the abstract:
“Roundup™ exposure has been associated with an increased risk of Parkinson’s Disease and death of neurons in the substantia nigra. There is also some evidence implicating Roundup™ in elevated risk of autism. Other studies have shown the effects of Roundup™ on synaptic transmission in animal and cellular studies. The major mechanism of action appears to be oxidative stress, accompanied by mitochondrial dysfunction. In addition, some gut bacteria utilize the enzyme used by plants, and glyphosate and Roundup™ use has been shown to alter the gut microbiome. There is a large and growing body of evidence that the gut microbiome alters susceptibility to great number of human diseases, including nervous system function. The weight of the evidence indicates that in addition to cancer and reproductive effects, glyphosate and Roundup™ have significant adverse effects on the brain and behavior and increase the risk of at least some serious neurological diseases.”
The World Health Organization has also categorized glyphosate as a “probable human carcinogen”…
And just look at how cancer rates have increased since glyphosate was introduced in 1974:
But wait a minute…
Haven’t Monsanto/Bayer and our very own EPA said that glyphosate is safe? 🤷
Well yes, they have…
But this comes from a company with a net profit of $4.3 billion in 2022…
They also captured the US Environmental Protection Agency long ago.
In 2020, Bayer reached a deal to settle nearly 100,000 then-pending Roundup lawsuits for nearly $10 billion…
And have since said it will remove glyphosate from consumer products.
But this is just a PR stunt.
It means you won’t be able to purchase a little bottle of Roundup to use in your garden… but it will still be allowed where 99% of it is sprayed – on our food!
Besides, even if glyphosate did get banned entirely tomorrow, the food and agricultural industries would just move over to one of the hundreds of other herbicides and pesticides on the market.
Here are a couple:
4,4′-DDD, 4,4′-DDE, 4,4′-DDT, Acephate, Acetamiprid, Acetochlor, Aclonifen, Alachlor, Aldrin, Allethrin, Ametoctradin, Atrazine, Azoxystrobin, Bifenthrin, Boscalid, Carbendazim, Carfentrazone-ethyl, Chlordane-alpha, Chlordane-gamma, Chlorpyrifos-ethyl, Chlorpyrifos-methyl, Chlotoluron, Clomazone, Cyfluthrin-beta, Cyhalothrin-lambda, Cypermethrin, Cyprodinil, Deltamethrin, Diazinon, Deldrin, Difenoconazole, Diflufenican, Dimethoate, Dimethomorph, Diuron, Endosulfan-alpha, Endosulfan-beta, Endrin, Epoxiconazole, Fenamidone, Fenhexamid, Fipronil, Fipronil sulfone, Fluazinam, Fludioxonil, Flufenoxuron, Fluopyram, Flusilazole, HCBD (Hexachlorobutadiene), HCH-alpha, HCH-beta, Heptachlor, Imidacloprid, Iprovalicarb, Isoproturon, Isoxaben, Kresoxim-methyl, Lindane (HCH-gamma), Linuron, Lufenuron, Malathion, Mepanipyrim, Metalaxyl, Methomyl, Metolachlor, Metribuzin, Mirex, Myclobutanil, Oxadiazon, Oxadixyl, Oxyfluorfen, Perathion-methyl, Penconazole, Pendimethalin, Pentachloroanisole, Pentachlorophenol, Permethrin, Phosmet, Piperonyl Butoxide, Propiconazole, Propoxur, Propyzamide, Prosulfocarb, Pyraclostrobin, Pyrimethanil, Pirimiphos-methyl, Quinoxyfen, Simazine, Spiroxamine, Tebuconazole, Tebufenozide, Tetrachlorvinphos, Tetraconazole, Tetramethrin, Thiacloprid, Transfluthrin, Triadimenol, Trifloxystrobin, Trifluralin, Zoxamide, Glyphosate, AMPA, Glufosinate
We hope you now realize how truly toxic our modern food environment is.
But there’s no need to tear your hair out, because now that you know, you can take action to limit your exposure to glyphosate and these other chemicals.
How to reduce your glyphosate exposure
#1 Stop eating processed foods 🍕🥨
If it’s in the middle aisle, comes in a box, and contains wheat, corn, oats or soy, then it WILL have high levels of glyphosate. If you follow an animal-based diet, you will be avoiding these foods anyway, but now you’ve been given another reason to avoid them!
#2 Filter your water 🚰
Because glyphosate is water soluble, it finds its way into our water. And since the maximum allowable levels in drinking water are 7000 fold higher here in the US than Europe, (there’s that regulatory capture again) it’s never been a better time to invest in a water filter.
You can’t go wrong with a countertop reverse osmosis water filter.
#3 Choose grass-fed & finished beef 🐂🥩
Conventionally raised feedlot cattle are fed grains and soy that will have been sprayed with glyphosate and other chemicals. These chemicals can then store in the animal’s fat. It’s one of the reasons we advocate for grass-fed & finished beef where possible. Cattle raised on grass will not have the same levels of glyphosate in their fat.
You’ll also be pleased to know that our products are sourced 100% from grass-fed & finished cattle in New Zealand, AND we 3rd party test them for glyphosate and a bunch of other contaminants. They are super clean 😎
#4 Choose organic fruit 🍌🍑
While fruit might not be sprayed with glyphosate, it IS sprayed with a ton of other chemicals. That’s why choosing organic where possible is the best way to limit your exposure to these chemicals.
#5 Support your local farmer 🧑🌾
Visit your local farmer, shake their hand and ask them questions. Not only will you get the cleanest, highest quality food this way, but you also support your community instead of supporting Monsanto! Start with your local farmer’s market.
If you want to dive deeper into this topic, here are some great resources:
That’s all from us this week 👋
We hope you are having a radical weekend!
The Heart & Soil Team
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