for Men

Dr. Andrew Weil Discusses the Benefits of Organic Foods

Joining us today is Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Arizona and the Director of the Program in Integrative Medicine at that institution. He is the founder of the foundation for Integrative Medicine in Tucson Arizona and the Editorial Director of the “Ask Dr. Weil” website Dr. Weil is the author of eight books, including most recently Spontaneous Healing and Eight Weeks to Optimum Health.

Reprinted with Permission from “Eating Well from Optimal Health” Andrew Weil, Alfred A. Knopf Publishers, ©2000

I have talked about the dangers of agrichemicals and of my strong belief in the importance of organic agriculture, which I am happy to report is growing exponentially, here and abroad. The quality and variety of organic produce are getting better and better. And as consumer demand increases, things can only continue to improve. Although organic produce is becoming available in more and more supermarkets, I am aware that it is still difficult for many people to find and it is much more expensive than conventional produce. One strategy for dealing with this situation is to learn which crops are most likely to carry unhealthful residues of pesticides and fungicides and to avoid them or minimize consumption if you cannot find organic alternatives.

The list of suspect crops change all the time, but strawberries always top it. They are full of methyl bromicide, a fungicide and known carcinogen, that consumer pressure has so far been unsuccessful in eliminating. I do not eat them if I do not find organically grown ones. Quite recently the availability of organic strawberries increased dramatically in America. They are much more flavorful than conventional strawberries(and also spoil more quickly). Other regulars on the most contaminated list are peaches, apricots, cherries, grapes from Chile, Mexican cantaloupes, green beans, celery, and spinach. I also recommend trying to eat only organic potatoes and wheat (including flour).

I always wash produce before using it. If you use conventionally grown fruits and vegetables, it is especially important to wash them carefully and peel them when appropriate.

I suggest swirling berries, grapes and leafy vegetables in a solution of dish detergent and room temperature water-about one teaspoon of detergent per gallon-for five to ten seconds, then rinse with warm water.

You should scrub the sturdier fruits and vegetables with the same solution using a vegetable brush, and rinse the same way.

Peeling is enough to get rid of residues from carrots, potatoes, apples and cucumbers.

Eating more fruits and vegetables in any form is clearly an important way to improve your diet and take advantage of the healing properties of food. If you can afford to buy organic, the money will be well spent.

In this chapter we discussed the issue of organic versus traditional produce. In the next chapter we will discuss the benefits of soy and how we can bring more soy products into our diet.

© 2007, Bruce Eric Van Horn

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If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health. - Hippocrates

Author, CPA, MBA and yoga instructor Bruce Van Horn founded Yoga for Business, Inc., a company devoted to organizational and individual wellness. He presents a daily Yoga Workout routine that provides a complete physical, mental and spiritual workout. He is the author of Yoga for Prostate Health and Yoga for Men, designed for all levels of experience with yoga.. He has renamed (Asanas) positions in Yoga using terms from business to help you identify with the movement and focus your attention. He is the Chair of the Advisory Board for the Center for Complimentary Medicine at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Bruce also leads a volunteer yoga program designed for cancer patients and healthcare workers at Beth Israel Medical Center. He lives outside New York with his wife Michelle who is a Reiki Master. Bruce has two daughters who have asked that he refrain from headstands at the town pool. His website is If you have any questions, feel free to write: E-Mail.

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