Nowadays, everyone is extremely concerned about the quality of food they consume. People are becoming more aware about the importance of consuming high-quality food and the harmful effects of eating conventionally grown foods which are chemically treated and pesticide laden. People are turning toward organically grown foods, especially organic baby foods and meats which are free from harmful chemicals that can mess with your health and immunity, causing several diseases, including cancer.
What does organic food actually mean?
Organic foods are those grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and meats that are grown without using synthetic fertilizers (for food) and growth hormones (for meat and dairy). When crops are not grown using pesticides, they don’t contaminate the soil and water, and foods grown organically have few/no pesticides, which ultimately leads to less pesticides in our bodies.
Organic food is produced using farming methods that depend on resources that are locally available and do not manipulate the ecosystem by using chemicals and/or synthetic fertilizers. Charles Benbrook, Ph.D., chief scientist at The Organic Centre, asserts that some organic products are less processed, which means they may contain fewer chemically adulterated ingredients (think hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, and preservatives).
“Synthetic pesticides have been linked to developmental and neurological problems,” Benbrook says. “Organics eliminate synthetic pesticides and the damage they do to farmers, land, and drinking water.”
What have we been eating?
In the conventional method of farming, crops are grown using synthetic fertilizers that naturally enter our bodies and cause various diseases. Also, animals are injected with growth hormones so that they produce more milk and meat. They are also given various antibiotics which then ultimately enter our bodies and cause harm. These antibiotics make the bacteria in these animals resistant to anti-microbials. By consuming these products, we also take in drug-resistant bacteria that make us immune to antibiotic treatment, and we put ourselves at risk of difficult-to-treat infections.
Consuming ultra-processed foods, especially ones laden with chemicals affects our gut health and increases our risk of diseases. Ultra-processed foods contain substances extracted from food (sugar, starch), added from food (hydrogenated fats), or made in a laboratory (food coloring and flavor additives). Some examples of such processed foods are packaged, canned foods like canned meats, vegetables, sauces, soda, sugary snack items, instant food products like instant noodles, pastas and other packaged foods. Artificial and packaged baby food is the kid-version of these convenience foods that satisfy the hunger of the child but do little to provide the required nutrition.
Organic Baby Food: Does your baby really need it?
Given the health hazards of consuming non-organic produce, it becomes crucial to make sure that the developing bodies and minds of tiny tots remain free from such dangerous chemicals. During the initial stages of growth, a child needs to be fed optimal nutrition to ensure the best possible development. A child’s weight doubles by 6 months and triples by the first year. Therefore, it is important to provide them with wholesome, nutrient-rich, and organic baby foods during this phase. From 6 months of age, breastmilk should be complemented with nutrient-rich baby food like organic cereals (rice, wheat, ragi, bajra), pulses, and nuts. This is where an organic lifestyle goes a long way in supporting growth.
Kristen Mae, proud mother of an ADHD child talks about how going the organic way has made a big difference in her child’s health. When the doctor prescribed medication for her son, she decided to go organic first and see if it helped before resorting to medications. It so happened that, in just a week of going organic, she saw a tremendous difference in her son’s symptoms!
The National Research Council Committee on Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children says that kids who are exposed to the chemicals found in pesticides and synthetic fertilizers early in life are more likely to suffer from chronic toxic effects, such as cancer.
According to a study conducted in 2005, kids who were fed only organic foods showed a large reduction in the amount of organophosphorus pesticides (potentially toxic chemical linked to respiratory and heart trouble) in their urine in only 15 days. This shows how quickly and easily the pesticide build-up in our body can be reduced by switching to organic foods. Plants grown using the organic means of farming contain higher number of vitamins and minerals. Feeding your baby such nutrient-rich food is the first step in their overall development.
Healthy Food = Happy Baby!
A healthy gut lead to a healthy mood. Whether you feel anxious, depression, or just blah, mood disorders usually start from the gut. The gut’s inner lining is extremely thin, only one-cell layer thick. When we bombard this layer with chemical-laden food and beverages, it gets inflamed, and this spreads from your gut to the rest of the body, which in turn causes inflammation in the brain which affects our mood. When you consume pure, balanced, and organic food, you help your body maintain a balance and remain happy.
While a high sugar intake may cause your kid to become super-active and energetic in the short term, certain foods like dairy, artificial coloring, sugar, refined grains are known to cause depressive mood disorders. Gastrointestinal inflammation results from eating refined grains that limit the effect of the hormone serotonin that is produced in the digestive tract. Low serotonin can lead to depression and anxiety.
Take the right decision for your kid
As parents, it is natural to be wary of processed products that are full of chemicals. Nutrition and safety are two important aspects that prompt parents to prefer organic over conventional foods for their child. Knowing the consequences of feeding your child non-organic food will help you make the right choice. By understanding the benefits of feeding organic, pure food to your baby, you are not only safeguarding his/her present health, but also building immunity for a long, healthy life.
It is super easy to go organic these days, with quick-to-make organic food is readily available at the click of a button. So why wait? Go organic today, and contribute to your child’s health.