First off, let me say that I love being a girl.

Pesky double standards and all, I’d never trade for a penis. I mean, yes, it would be kind of cool to be able to pee against a wall and to make more money than my female counterparts, but, well, they’re just plain weird, even the good ones. Whoever made up that whole “pretend it’s a lollipop” thing had obviously never tried candy and had no idea what they were talking about. Or was a toothless turtle. Or they could have been the same kind of person who tells kids that raisins are chocolate.

Obligatory “sad weiner” pic

Anyway, another thing is that sometimes things go wrong with the penis (not that things can’t go wrong with the female anatomy, but bear with me). About one in every 200 newborn boys is affected by a birth defect called hypospadias, where the opening of the urethra is on the underside of the penis instead of the tip. There appears to a genetic component, and incidence seems to be higher with obese mothers and those who are older than 35.

Researchers in Denmark, led by Jeppe Schultz Christensen of Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, were curious to find out whether prenatal consumption of organic foods could possibly be linked (positively or negatively) to the defect because they don’t contain as much pesticide residue (and the so-called endocrine-disrupting chemicals) as conventional foods. However, their study showed no clear link. The only exception was that high intake of non-organic butter and cheese was shown to be associated with an increased risk.

Experts warn against immediately drawing a cause-and-effect conclusion, though.  “I’d be very cautious in interpreting these results,” said Suzan Carmichael, an associate professor of pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine in California.who has studied potential environmental risk factors for hypospadias and other birth defects. She added, “I think the main finding is that most non-organic foods were not associated with the risk,” acknowledging that other factors in diet, lifestyle, or environment could be at work.

Said Tina Jensen, one of the researchers on the study, “I think that the organic choice is probably related to general healthy lifestyle and behavior, and that may be an explanation to the findings.”

So I guess the takeaway would be, if you’re pregnant, do what you and your doctor feel works best for you and your baby. Eat healthy foods (maybe lay off the non-organic American cheese, just in case), be active, get enough rest, try to reduce stress, and hope your baby’s penis is normal. If it’s not, well, there’s a surgery for that

Did anyone ever tell you that certain foods were actually something else when you were a kid? What do you think about organic foods and birth defects? 

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