June 17, 2014
Making Wise Food Choices: Consider your Health and Environment image

Written by L.A.-based nutritionist, Vivian Kanchian


A 2013 article published in Interdisciplinary Toxicology [1]about the herbicide Roundup/ glyphosate blew my mind.   Since the article broke, concerned mothers have gone head-to-head with the EPA in an effort to recall Roundup after a study conducted by Moms Across America [2] revealed that residues of the herbicide were being discovered in breast milk.

Just before wrapping this article for publication today, a study encompassing nearly 30 years of epidemiologic research was released by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health [3] suggesting there is a strong link between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.


What it is:

Discovered by Monsanto in 1970, Roundup is a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide used to kill weeds.

* systemic means that it becomes part of the plant, as opposed to simply being sprayed onto its surface; its residues cannot simply be rinsed away.


Where it’s used most commonly:

Corn, soy, wheat, spearmint tops, peppermint tops,  cotton/ gin byproducts, non-grass animal feed, and grass animal feed **.

** I placed a call to a well known grocery chain regarding their grass fed beef.  They cannot claim it to be either organic nor non-GMO due to the size of the farm (which they likened to the size of Manhattan); a certifier must be able to walk through a farm in its entirety to officially certify a product.  Non-GMO claims cannot be made due to potential contamination from neighboring farms.  A 2012 report [3] links the rising demand for grass fed beef to the deforestation of Brazilian and Latin American tropical forests that are being clear cut to accommodate cattle ranching. May be a good time to consider reducing or altogether eliminating this food from your diet.


How it works on plants:

 Research suggests that the way it works on plants is very similar to the way it works on humans, actually.  Roundup is a potent chelator (strips plants and soil of important trace minerals), and preferentially kills beneficial bacteria while simultaneously promoting the overgrowth of undesirable bacteria.


Results from this study propose that glyphosate may have the following repercussions in humans and animals:




Could the introduction of glyphosate be one of several factors that correlates with rising cases of Celiac Disease (CD)? 



 What you can do about this now:

 -BUY ORGANIC … the good folks at Erewhon take the guesswork out of it for you!

 -Stand up for your rights, and for our ecosystem!  Environmental organizations like Care2 and Alliance for Natural Health (two of my favorites) make it so simple to make a difference.  I like to sign at least 2 petitions a day that I feel passionate about… a few clicks and you’re done—it’s a great way to start your day!

-More than ever, it is important that you become an educated consumer.  Ignore health fads, ask questions, and follow the science!.


Follow 20FourCarrots for the latest in evidence-based nutrition articles.


-Drink plenty of fluids, get active.  A combination of these two things will help you detox while giving your liver a break from doing all the work all of the time!  Sauna and steam can also aid in the detoxification process.

-Ask Erewhon’s in-house Naturopath, Dr. Whimsy, about trying a 10 day juice cleanse or Metagenics cleanse twice per year.

-Avoid the highly sprayed foods mentioned at the beginning of this article.  Ideally, always aim to buy organic.

-Include sulfur rich foods like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, turnips, bok choy and kohlrabi, grass/ sprout fed eggs from your local farmer’s market, garlic, onions, leeks, chives, nuts, and legumes into your regular diet regimen.

-Take a daily probiotic (non-dairy forms have been shown to be more effective) with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium Elite Probiotic Pearls by Enzymatic Therapy is a personal favorite.

-Add fermented foods to your diet.

-Try taking a trace mineral supplement.

-Try going gluten free (it’s NOT just a fad)

-Try Bezian’s fermented sourdough bread.  It’s not gluten free, but many people with gluten intolerance do very well on it.  The Lactobacilli used to ferment Bezian’s sourdough breaks down components of wheat particles into less allergenic forms.


  • Look out for my upcoming article for the gluten sensitive :  how to make your own fermented sourdough starter and bread for the gluten sensitive . I am super excited to share this ancient technique with you—learned straight from the master himself, Jack Bezian!

-Consider asking your doctor for a Spectracell test to assess any potential nutritional imbalances.

 -Minimize eating out and check labels for wheat, corn, and soy-derived ingredients.

Here is a list of the most prevalent hidden gluten containing ingredients:

Artificial color, baking powder, caramel color, flavoring, citric acid (can be fermented from wheat, corn, molasses or beets), coloring, dextrins, diglycerides, emulsifiers, enzymes, fat replacers, flavorings, food starch, glucose syrup, glycerides, maltodextrin, modified food starch, natural juices, stabilizers, starch.


Quick recap : Eat out less.  You’re much more likely to avoid undesirable ingredients if you cook at home, and choose whole, organic, seasonal foods instead of pre-packaged, conventional ones that are available year-round.  Add fermented foods and select supplements to help support healthy intestinal flora.  Stay active (both politically and physically)!


Written by L.A.-based nutritionist, Vivian Kanchian


For private consultations, email:


 Works Cited

[1] Glyphosate, Pathways to Modern Disease II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance., accessed June 17, 2014,


[2] Glyphosate Testing Full Report: Findings in American Mothers’ Breast Milk, Urine, and Water., accessed June 17, 2014,


[3] Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and occupational exposure to agricultural pesticide chemical groups and active ingredients: a systematic review and meta-analysis., accessed June 17, 2014,


[4] Solutions for Deforestation-Free Meat., accessed June 17, 2014,