Organic Baby Cereal – the name itself signifies that the product is organic, which means that the formula is prepared using organic produce. Baby foods are prepared in a variety of ways using a combination of different products. They are manufactured either by using Conventional, Natural or Organic produce.
Natural produce is sometimes mistaken to be Organic, but it is not true.
Organic Vs Natural Vs Conventional Food
The table below shows the difference in production practice of Organic, Natural and Conventional produce and why Organic foods are safer to consume as compared to the others.
|How it is grown?||Organic||Natural||Conventional|
|Toxic persistent pesticides||Not allowed||Not Necessary||Allowed|
|GMO’s||Not allowed||Not Allowed||Allowed|
|Antibiotics||Not allowed||Not Necessary||Allowed|
|Growth hormones||Not allowed||Not Necessary||Allowed|
|Sludge and irradiation||Not allowed||Not Necessary||Allowed|
|Animal welfare requirements||Yes||No||No|
|Lower levels of environmental pollution||Yes||Not necessary||Not necessary|
|Audit trail from farm to table||Yes||No||No|
|Certifications required, including inspections||Yes||No||No|
|Legal restrictions on allowable materials||Yes||No||No|
From the above table we can see how the differences in production can affect the end product. Chemicals, GMO’s, antibiotics all are unnatural or manmade sources which are used to improve the appearance of food and increase productivity, but cause toxicity to our bodies. Consumption of inorganic foods can lead to a variety of health problems which can range from minor gastric problems to serious problems of physical and mental health.
What is “Organic” Baby Cereal?
While the world is turning to Organic Food, it is important to educate ourselves about what “organic” means and how to differentiate between original and fake organic foods. The USDA and India Organics mark on the packaged boxes helps determine whether the product being sold is certified organic or not.
While the USDA seal of organic food is protected and trade-marked, false claims in the name of natural food has made it into the market with false claims of being natural. A lot of products put up labels such as “100% natural” and “All Natural” on their food packets, but they are questionable as there is no certification to prove their authenticity.
The confusion between Natural Food and Organic food is very common. While the shopping stores have their natural and organic products stocked together, the first thought of the consumer is that they are safe to be consumed and they simply add them to their shopping cart without knowing the difference.
Organic Food is strictly grown in lands with organic manure. They are completely untouched by any kind of chemicals. The farm to table concept in organic produce goes through strict tracking process before certifying them “Safe for Consumption” by the Certifying Authorities.
In Natural produce, the only few benefits one gets is that they are minimally processed and there no GMO’s or artificial flavors used in the product. There are no regulations which requires the farmers to avoid the use of chemical fertilizers while growing these crops.
Since the natural produce is minimally regulated, they still carry foreign agents. How much ever they are cleaned or washed or processed, products that have been applied to the crops during their growing stage has already been absorbed by the crop and will remain intact even in later stages.
What’s inside Organic Baby Food?
Another important aspect is to look at the food label and ingredient list before buying the product. The food label is the key source of information of the nutrients available inside the packing. Understanding how to interpret it will ease the decision in choosing the right product.
In the above pictures we can see the 2 different ingredient lists. The first picture shows the ingredients present in a Natural Baby Food pack and the second shows an Organic Baby Food Pack.
The Organic Baby Food label clearly specifies that the baby food is prepared with organic sourced fruits and vegetables, and no sugar or additives have been added to the formula.
On the other hand, in the Natural Baby Food label we can see that no source of food is specified and only the amount of fruits and vegetables used are mentioned percentage-wise. Also, towards the end we can see that the flavor of onion has been used in the formula instead of the original vegetable.
Is it worth buying Organic Baby Food?
Cost is an integral factor that determines our monthly budgets. While some moms are very cautious in buying the right products for their babies, some want to be cost effective and buy inexpensive food products.
As for organic products, they might seem less cost effective as non-conventional ones, but they guarantee safe and healthy food for the little one. The cost of Organic Food is higher than conventional or natural food because:
- They do not use any chemical pesticides and insecticides for growing the crops which reduces crop production. Hence, they require more labor for removal of weed by hand and other similar tasks.
- The ratio of demand vs supply. Since more people are turning to organic food, the demand for organic food has increased, but due to a smaller number of farms, the supply is less.
- The fertilizers used in organic farms are strictly organic which are expensive. Chemical fertilizers are cheap, but to keep up with the organic standards, only organic fertilizers are used in these farms.
- Organic farmers use the method of crop rotation in order to avoid the use of chemical weed killers in their farms. They use cover crops in order to feed nitrogen to their soil which helps get the soil ready for the next crop.
- Since the production of organic produce is smaller in quantity as compared to conventional produce, shipping cost is comparatively higher.
- Organic certification is not a free funded certification. In order to receive the certification, the organic farmers must keep up with the policies of organic farming and pay the certification fee in order to get the certificate.
- Foods grown with the chemicals grow faster and have high productivity, but as for organic produce, they grow slowly and the farmer has to wait full term for the harvesting.
The best things in the World aren’t free, so is good quality food. Therefore, it is better to invest a little extra on organic baby cereal and give our little ones the best nutrition possible.