One great thing any mom can do for a growing fetusâeven before itâs conceivedâis to eat organic produce. Studies have already linked pesticide exposure to impaired hormonal function in women and decreased semen quality in men. And just this week, the Presidentâs Cancer panel issued a report urging the public, among other things, to eat foods grown without chemical pesticides, fertilizers, hormones, and antibiotics. (If you are âtrying,â also be sure to check out âNatural Fertility Boostersâ in this monthâs issue, for nutrition, supplement, and self-care tips from the Harvard researchers who coauthored The Fertility Diet.
The panelâs report expressed concern that fetuses today are âpre-pollutedâ with hundreds of chemicals. Many scientists are concerned that being exposed to harmful chemicals during critical early development can lead to various health problems, including lifelong hormone disruption. From the letter to President Obama: âThe American peopleâeven before they are bornâare bombarded continually with myriad combinations of these dangerous exposures. The Panel urges you most strongly to use the power of your office to remove the carcinogens and other toxins from our food, water, and air that needlessly increase health care costs, cripple our nationâs productivity, and devastate American lives.â
Itâs especially important to buy organic when it comes to fresh produce items that have been shown to retain the highest pesticide residues, including celery, peaches, strawberries, apples, and blueberries. For the full list, check the Environmental Working Groupâs brand-new Dirty Dozen/Clean 15 guides.
One last caution: The Presidentâs Cancer Panelâs report advises against heating plastic in the microwave as well as using water bottles that may contain BPA, or bisphenol A, a chemical linked to cancer, reproductive problems, and heart disease.