Organic Foods

Having a child will be one of the most exciting and confusing times in your life. Starting from early in your pregnancy, you will be more conscious of what you and your family eat, than ever before. You will want to support your child with the healthiest food possible. Many of those who choose to eat organic foods started to do so when they had a child, for these very reasons.

The Facts

The Organic Center, whose mission is to research the benefits of organic foods and share those findings, has determined that:

    Babies eat more than adults, pound for pound, and are thus more vulnerable to harmful toxins. Pesticides remain in children's bodies longer because their metabolism is different. Research among school-aged children showed that switching to a mostly organic diet (produce, dairy, grains) virtually eliminated exposure to risky insecticides.

Source: Core Truths: Serving Up the Science Behind Organic Agriculture, 2006.

Organic Definition

Organic food is sought after because it is produced without the use of the following:

The Four No's

  1. No synthetic pesticides
  2. No genetically modified plants or animals
  3. No growth hormones
  4. No antibiotics

Natural vs. Organic

Typically, natural is understood to mean minimally processed and made without the use of artificial additives. However, since there are no government standards for use of the word natural (except for meat), it's hard to know what you are getting. Natural is not the same as organic.

The Organic Label

When a product carries the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Organic Label, it ensures that the product was produced according to national USDA guidelines and rules. It also helps consumers to identify what is organic and what is not.

The USDA has designated three levels of organic.

Getting Started

It is often difficult to purchase only organic foods. Most people start by concentrating on items on the perimeter of the store (produce, dairy, meat), where the risk of exposure to harmful chemicals is most obvious. Those produce items that carry the most pesticide residue are often referred to as the "dirty dozen." It is good to focus on these items first.

The Dirty Dozen Of Produce

Apples Raspberries
Cherries Strawberries
Grapes, imported (Chili) Bell peppers
Nectarines Celery
Peaches Potatoes
Pears Spinach

Source: The Environmental Working Group (, click on "Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce").


Not long ago organic foods could only be purchased in farmers markets and specialty stores. But these days organic foods can be found in mainstream grocery stores. So it is easy and relatively inexpensive to buy the best for your new family.


For more information, check out the following: