What is Glyphosate?
The Health Effects of Glyphosate
Why Might Glyphosate Cause Cancer?
If glyphosate can be avoided or reduced in our daily consumption (and it absolutely can!), then to me it makes sense to at least try. I personally believe this is one of the most important environmental toxins to avoid when it comes to making food choices, as it is so prevalent within our food system and has an obvious negative effect on our gut microbiome.
How to Avoid Glyphosate Now
While glyphosate is abundant in our environment, there are a lot of simple and incremental changes we can make in our daily lives to reduce our exposure to this chemical. Every little bit counts, and you don’t have to avoid it completely to still gain the health benefits of reducing your exposure.
Here are a few key, affordable ways to avoid glyphosate now:
Buy organic when possible, especially grains and legumes
- In terms of produce, you can always look at the Dirty Dozen list produced by EWG if you want to keep the grocery bill down—things like onions I often buy non-organic because I figure I’m peeling them first, it all depends on though and the Environmental Working Group’s “dirty dozen” list helped me to sort through this!
- Non-organic grains and legumes are the most likely to contain traces of glyphosate, so when possible look for organic chickpeas, oats, flour, soy, etc. There are specific product recommendations below.
Don’t get fooled by green-washing & read labels carefully
- While products listed as “organic” is unlikely to contain glyphosate, other labels such as “non-GMO” and “natural” are frequently mentioned on food labels and these labels do not require companies to ensure their products are glyphosate-free.
- If you’re not sure, you can contact the company. I did this with one company I wasn’t clear on, and the person got back to me with a vague answer about how their current supplier was “transitioning” to organic. I decided to forgo this brand as I believed their product was sprayed with glyphosate and they were strategically avoiding the question. Also, after a transition to organic there would be a few years there where you’d want to test and make sure glyphosate residues aren’t still on the crops if the same fields are being used.
- Many oat brands are undergoing the transition to organic or glyphosate-free and noting this on their packaging, sometimes with a “glyphosate free” label. I believe this is because there is an increasing awareness of glyphosate amongst customers. It takes the action of consumers advocating for products that do not contain glyphosate for companies to change, so sending an email to a company to ask about glyphosate might also help to convince companies to seek out glyphosate-free alternatives to maintain their customer base.
- Some theorize that people respond well to gluten-free diets because of the frequent presence of glyphosate in products containing gluten such as non-organic flours, breads, and pastries. If you find it works for your body, eating gluten-free is an easy and cost-effective way to avoid these products in your diet.
Avoid lawns that don’t have weeds
- If you don’t see clovers, dandelions, or other weeds growing on a lawn, this undoubtedly means it has been sprayed with Round Up or a fertilizer containing glyphosate. Golf courses, garden attractions, as well as some parks are likely to do this. Be especially careful letting children and pets near these lawns as they are more likely to get closer to the lawn with their face and hands.
Use organic and fish-safe fertilizers and pesticides when possible.
- Skip the Round-Up.
Lundberg Family Farms (grown in California, also has lower arsenic levels)
Soleil, which can be purchased here at well.ca
One Degree Organic Foods Gluten-Free Sprouted Rolled Oats (third party verified glyphosate free by “Biochecked”)
Organic oats by Grain Millers which are glyphosate-free (I emailed the company to confirm) can be found in bulk at some grocery stores. You can email the company here to source them out locally, and to confirm they are still free of glyphosate.
While some argue there are no safe chickpeas, Eden Organic chickpeas which are grown in the U.S.A. were tested and found to be glyphosate-free. I trust their other dried beans as well.
If you prefer canned beans, Eden Foods coats their cans with an enamel so you don’t have to worry about BPA plastics inside these cans either.
If you can source out other organic brands of beans grown in North America I would feel safe eating these too, but I might email the company first to confirm.
Crackers and breads
Look for crackers or wraps, etc., that are made with organic ingredients especially organic wheat
Silver Hills makes organic bread and wraps.
Fertilizer and Pest Control
You can also look up recipes for natural fertilizers (such as coffee grounds) and pesticides (neem oil, vinegar, etc.) that can be used for organic growing.