Why eat organic?
Organic food has never been more popular. But is it really so much better for us? Lizzie Vann, founder of Organix, which makes organic children's food says yes
We use organic ingredients in all our Organix foods because we believe that children deserve the best start in life. Evidence shows that children are especially vulnerable to toxic chemicals such as pesticides – with babies being most vulnerable of all. By exposing children to far fewer chemicals (on average, 95% fewer chemicals than non-organic foods) organic food is much safer for children. And we think organic food is tastier too!
Studies on pesticide residues in food show that these chemicals can have a much stronger effect on children than they do on adults. The nervous, circulatory, and reproductive systems in a young child are all developing fast and it’s vital that they are not disrupted by alien chemicals during the growth phase. Children’s vital organs are less able to process and eliminate toxins, and until age seven, their bodies contain more water than adults, so water-soluble pesticides can circulate more easily.
As well as being safer, organic food is also better for children: organic food contains higher levels of essential nutrients, all of which contribute to healthy growth.
And of course, organic farming means working more closely with the environment and the seasons, and practicing high standards of animal welfare. Which means that it’s better for the planet, animals and wildlife – helping to leave a safer, healthier and richer environment for our children (and their children too).
It’s important to remember that everything that babies eat affects their growth and development. The purity and nutritional quality of their food is vital.
On average, babies triple their bodyweight by their first birthday, so their systems have to process a great deal of food. At the same time, their organs are still developing, and are not fully equipped to deal with complex chemicals. On top of this, fruit and vegetables form a very high proportion of their diets – foods which are a lot more likely to contain pesticide residues.
There is clear research linking pesticide residues to impacts on babies’ health, including the development of their immune systems. Even small amounts of the chemicals used in farming are increasingly being linked to longer term health problems, especially when they are consumed regularly.
On top of this, from weaning onwards, babies are developing their basic ‘food tastes’. Foods which contain too much salt, sugar, or artificial ingredients can give them a taste for poor quality, synthetic foods that can last into childhood and beyond. High quantities of these additives also affect babies’ developing organs, and are closely linked to allergies, behavioural disruption and health problems in later life.
Children need safe, nutritious and wholesome foods. What they eat affects not only their daily well-being, but also their long-term growth and development.
Good food gives children a better chance in life – and a better chance of learning well, developing healthy bodies and avoiding diet-related problems including heart disease, obesity and anaemia.
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Organix make safe, pure and nutritious organic babyfood and children's food