While numerous studies have been done on the subject of pesticides in food and their impact they can have on your overall health, there’s nothing quite like watching the impact that switching to organic foods can have on a real family.
That’s the idea behind a recent two-week experiment conducted by Coop, a Swedish supermarket chain that has pledged to support organic farming, and the Swedish Environmental Research Institute IVL.
Coop approached a large family, used to buying only conventional, non-organic foods in order to save money, and convinced them to switch to organic foods for two weeks.
While the full report is fascinating(1), equally compelling is a brief video made about the experiment(2) where the participants express how going organic has impacted their lives.
In Their Own Words
The Palmberg family was chosen as a family that many could identify with – with three kids, they were used to eating non-organic food.
“(Organic food) costs more than conventional food, and we’re a big family,” said Anette Palmberg.
Before the study began, researchers took urine samples from each family member and had them analyzed. They found high levels of pesticides, fungicides and plant growth regulators.
Then the family’s kitchen was cleared out – all non-organic food thrown away and replaced with organic alternatives. After just two weeks, another round of urine samples revealed that almost all the pesticides had left the family’s systems.
“When you hear this, you think about your children,” said Anette.
“There were a number of chemicals removed from my kids bodies, and I don’t want them back.”
Inspiring The Masses
“We wanted to know more about what happens in the body when switching from conventional to organic food,” writes Coop in their report. “… We want to inspire more people to eat organic – we think it’s good for both people and the environment.”(3)
On their website, Coop answers a few key questions about the study and their role in promoting organic food.
The grocery store chain has a number of initiatives in place to promote the consumption of organic foods over non-organic ones, including regular deals on organic produce in various categories.
They’re not the first or only grocery store to offer organic alternatives to conventional food, although it is true that due to production costs, organic food – even store-brand organic food like Coop’s – tends to be more expensive than non-organic.
But the initiatives of this store and others are showing that the desire for more accessible organic alternatives is out there.