There is no moment in the process of dealing with a sick child where one feels safe or sure in the decisions that they are making. Each new bit of information we gather can shake our confidence that we are doing the right thing. As we all know, it is very easy to feel alone, vulnerable, and not up to the task of taking care of your family. Among the many things that Zen does on a weekly basis is respond to letters from moms - no matter how busy she is. Moms regularly reach out to her for her insights, amazing knowledge, and the benefit of her experience in taking her family's health into her own hands. Here is just one such letter from Zen...
I just read your email. So sorry for the alarming information you received. Just know that you are an awesome mom for having your daughters tested for glyphosate in the first place and for feeding them organic. Please know that their glyphosate levels of 2.5 ppb are not “through the roof.” Please take a breath. Those results are 95th percentile for that particular lab’s test results. Other labs have had test results come back from people as high as 19, 22, and 31 ppb which is 10 to 30 times higher than your daughters. Now this doesn’t mean that your daughters levels aren’t concerning, but I just want you to know that other people have had much higher levels and within a few days their levels go down if they change their diet. One man who had 31 ppb simply removed mung beans from his diet and his levels went down 50% in three days.
I would urge you to reconsider the food they are eating. Is it all actually 100% organic? What do they consistently eat? Do they eat oats, wheat, hummus? Many types of hummus including organic have been found to have levels of glyphosate above your test results. Same with bread and beans. The problem is that not all organic is tested and there could be fraudulent shipments of organic coming in from other countries.
The question is - what did she eat the day before the test? That information should be recorded carefully by everyone who is tested.That will provide the most information as to why you got these results.
To answer your question, your daughters exposure could be environmental if your neighbors or schools are spraying Roundup or your landscapers are spraying Roundup. You have to ask. Also your city could be spraying and it could be on the sidewalks. But most likely they would’ve had to spray a day or two before in order for that amount to show up in your daughter’s urine.
Unfortunately, the level that you’re looking at is pretty common In people even though it says 95th percentile, because so much of our food is contaminated. This is why we developed the Moms Across America Gold Standard with additional testing for glyphosate in the first tier. We hope more companies will get on board and actually do glyphosate testing even if they are organic because of this very problem. We believe it is mostly coming from the manure that organic companies use in the fertilizer. Farmers and plant pathologists have told us this is the case.
Don’t stop buying organic though as it still has levels that are thousands of times below conventional food. Just assess which foods your kids are eating the most and if they are in the categories of foods that have historically been sprayed with glyphosate as a drying agent, then perhaps remove them from their diet for a while and retest them. That’s the only way to know. The highest levels of residues of glyphosate have been found on oats, wheat, buckwheat, garbanzo beans, lentils, black and white beans, and soy. The government also allows very high levels on peppermint and Stevia and even tea. So double check that all of those are organic.
You can also start incorporating fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, kiefer and organic yogurt (you can do non-dairy organic yogurt) and readjust the gut microbio. Fermented vegetables have actually been shown to help eliminate pesticides by breaking them down into nontoxic components. There is a good bacteria called acetobacter which is in sauerkraut, apple cider vinegar, and kombucha, that has been shown to break down glyphosate in soil. It is most likely doing that in the gut as well. My family has these every day.
Please excuse the typos. I am doing talk to text. I am on a book tour in Japan and left my laptop in a hotel. I hope you understand if I cannot do a lot of back-and-forth answers to your questions and that this is sufficient. I have very limited time here. Thank you so much. If you want to feel free to ask my husband questions about health solutions that may be able to support gut health. I am cc’ing him on this email.
Stay calm and stay strong,
The Moms Across America Team considers this to be a wonderful example of why we do what we do. Never forget that Zen - and the rest of the MAA community - are here for you.
The MAA Team