“Don’t eat anything your Great Grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food” -Michael Pollan
Why choose organic?
Here’s what I learned… Certified organic produce is grown without the use of toxic pesticides and fertilizers and without ionizing radiation or food additives. Organic food production is based on a system of farming that maintains and replenishes soil fertility without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers. Organic foods are minimally processed without artificial ingredients, preservatives, or irradiation to maintain the integrity of the food.
Many pesticides were approved before extensive research had linked them to cancer and other diseases. By not using the chemicals in the process we can prevent the toxins from entering the soil, air and water systems. In addition to no toxic chemicals, some organics have better nutrients and better flavor. Organic farming methods are more water conserving, build healthier soils, and work in harmony with nature. In addition, buying organic supports smaller farms and their communities.
Organics are especially a good choice for children. EPA guidelines were determined using a 154 pound male as an average, not a small, 20 pound toddler.
I also learned according to the Environmental Work Group (EWG), if you eat just 5 daily servings of fruits and vegetables from The 15 Most Contaminated List, you can consume an average of 10 pesticides a day?!
That’s right. These “dirty” foods are so heavily contaminated that they continue to have high levels of pesticides even after being washed– so they are obviously a top priority for buying organic whenever possible.
An additional resource is from Pediatrician Dr. Green (of Stanford University). He provides his own Dr. Greene’s Organic Prescription. Top organic food choices for the health of your family (series of posts and videos).
Studies have increasingly shown the importance of minimizing young children’s exposure to even low levels of chemical pesticides. Both the use of organophosphates and synthetic food dyes are prohibited in organic production. Another study published in Pediatrics concluded exposure to organophosphate pesticides at levels common among U.S. children may contribute to the prevalence of ADHD in these children.
These are just a few reasons to consider an organic lifestyle. It’s a personal choice and one that I transitioned to only after one of my sons struggled with lactose intolerance, allergies and a late diagnosis of being on Autism spectrum. I started researching what was in the food we were eating and everyday products we were using. After seeing my sons symptoms improve choosing organic products became a priority.
I encourage you to educate yourself, take small steps and learn more about what going organic can mean to you. Visit www.organic.org
Other notable resources
“The Complete Organic Pregnancy”
“Food Rules an eater’s manual”
“The Conscious Kitchen”
In this fiery and funny talk, New York Times food writer Mark Bittman weighs in on what’s wrong with the way we eat now (too much meat, too few plants; too much fast food, too little home cooking), and why it’s putting the entire planet at risk.
For those curious or concerned about a plant-based diet, check out the film Forks Over Knives.