Organic food is more nutritious than ordinary produce because it is not sprayed with herbicides and pesticides. It also contains more vitamins and minerals because of better farming practices. The advantage of introducing organic food to children is to reduce chemicals in their diet that may interfere with the delicate balance between their immune system, gut and brain. These communication pathways are still learning to talk with each other and chemicals may be likely to interfere with this conversation.
For most, the choice of going totally organic is not an option because of the expense. However, because of increased demand, supermarkets are introducing more choice in organic foods both in the fruit and vegetable section and general produce. Choose organic products where you can especially when buying the Dirty Dozen foods. They include: apples, celery, sweet bell peppers, peaches, strawberries, nectarines, grapes, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, blueberries and potatoes.
Reasons to go organic:
✅ Organic food is produced to standards designed to keep the production more ‘natural’, using environmental and animal friendly farming techniques.
✅ Herbicides and pesticides are banned from use.
✅ Organic foods are not genetically modified (GM foods decrease immunity and can increase the likelihood of allergies).
✅ Farms have to meet strict guidelines to be certified organic.
Farmers’ markets are becoming increasingly popular in big cities. The benefit of buying food from these markets is that the food is grown by the farmer, picked when ripened and sold fresh. This is not necessarily the case with ‘fresh’ produce available in supermarkets. The fruit and vegetables are often picked before they ripen on the vine, yet this is the crucial stage at which the nutrient is passed into the food. Once they are picked, they are stored in cool stores and semi-frozen for up to ten months before making their way to the supermarket.
Grow your own
Think about starting a small vegie patch in the backyard. It is a great way to get kids interested in food because they can observe the various growing stages as the fruit and vegies ripen and are finally ready to be picked. Keep the process as organic as possible and don’t use any harmful sprays.
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