This excellent article written by DR. Alan Greene and Anna Lappe for Time Magazine in 2014 highlights and reinforces the important information available on the effects of an organic diet on children and pregnant women. They assert that an organic diet is the absolute best choice for your family for the following reasons:
The dangers of pesticide exposure are proven and real. However effects are even more pronounced in developing children. According to the American Pediatrics Society:
“Children encounter pesticides daily and have unique susceptibilities to their potential toxicity,” it wrote in 2012, and “chronic health implications from both acute and chronic exposure are emerging.”
Hormones and antibiotics in non-organic animal products also pose a danger to their development. Infants and smaller children are the most at risk as their relative size and body weight is much less than adult’s meaning these toxins have greater effect on them.
The most at-risk when it comes to toxic chemical exposure however are pregnant women and the developing fetus:
“three studies by scientists at Columbia University, the University of California, Berkeley, and Mount Sinai Hospital tracked women exposed to higher amounts of organophosphate pesticides while pregnant and found that once those children reached elementary-school age, they had IQs averaging several points below those of their peers. “
In the meantime children also get a boost of nutrients such as antioxidants (fruits and veggies) and omega fatty acids (animal products) which are present in much higher levels in organic food. These nutrients are essential in maintaining overall health and brain development, respectively.
Like we have highlighted in a previous article, children in their developmental stages are very sensitive to toxins and also require good nutrition in order to grow up healthy and avoid disease. This is even more true for fetuses and babies.
Given the available information on the dangers of conventional produce and the benefits of organic produce, your choice as a parent has never been as clear. While some organic produce is more expensive, the investment in health becomes apparent very quickly (my own child has never had to go to the doctor in her first 3 years.). If you are able to meet local organic growers you may well be able to source their produce at a reasonable price. Finally grow your own food at home. Superfood greens like kulitis, alugbati and malunggay can be grown in containers, and adding 10 grams or so of home grown greens into your kids’ food or juice everyday will do wonders for their development!