More New Parents Feel Driven to "Go Organic"
What is the Meaning of "Organic?"
The term "organic" refers to the way agricultural products are grown and processed. Specific requirements must be met and maintained in order for products to be labeled as organic. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines organic as food that is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Only foods that are 95 to 100 percent organic can use the green and white organic seal on the label which indicates compliance to strict USDA organic standards and inspection. A prepared food that is labeled "made with organic ingredients" must contain at least 70% organic ingredients, but cannot use the USDA organic seal.1
Are Baby's Only Organic® Formulas and PediaSmart® Complete Nutrition Beverages Certified "Organic?"
Baby's Only Organic® formulas and PediaSmart® Complete Nutrition Beverages are certified organic by OneCert. OneCert is a USDA approved government agency. Visit OneCert for more information. Baby's Only Organic® Formulas and PediaSmart® contain 95% or more organic ingredients and comply with all organic standards.
What are the Benefits of Eating Organic Food?
The movement toward the use of organic foods continues to grow and for good reasons. In addition to environmental motives, parents are driven to "go organic" based on their concerns for their children's health. With the growing awareness that the conventional US diet can be the cause of increasing childhood issues, such as ADHD, diabetes, allergies, and obesity, eating an organic diet is no longer a "fad." Some of the benefits of organic food include:
Shopping Organic on a Budget
One comment often heard is that organic foods are more expensive than conventional foods. This is not necessarily the case. The growth of the organic industry has made many items such as fruits, vegetables, grains and milk comparable to their non-organic counterparts. Planning and strategizing can help you make organic purchases on a budget.
Some suggestions to stay within your budget when purchasing organic foods include4:
- Plan menus ahead of time
- Buy in season
- Buy in bulk and freeze
- Buy from local farmer's markets and/or join a community co-op
- Join a community –supported agriculture program (CSA)
- Purchase frozen organic foods
- Do price comparisons of generic brands versus branded organic products
- Search for sales and clip coupons
- Plant an organic garden
If organic options are not available, choose fruits and vegetables that are least likely to have high pesticide levels such as avocados, mangoes, bananas, pineapple, kiwis, eggplant, broccoli, cabbage, sweet potatoes, onions and watermelon. Each year, the Environmental Working Group puts together a list called the "dirty dozen" which includes produce most likely to have high pesticide residues. Their 2012 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ includes produce with high pesticide residues such as apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, nectarines, grapes, sweet bell peppers, potatoes, blueberries, lettuce and kale as well as a list of fruits and vegetables with low pesticide residues. To view the complete list visit Environmental Working Group.
1. Paul MW, Kemp G, Segal R. Organic foods: Understanding organic food labels, benefits, and claims. HelpGuide.org. Available at: http://helpguide.org/life/organic_foods_pesticides_gmo.htm. Accessed November 2011.
2. Bouchard MF et al, "Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and urinary metabolites of organophosphate pesticides." Pediatrics, 2010; 125:1270-1277.
3. Butler G et al, "Fatty acid and fat-soluble antioxidant concentrations in milk from high- and low-input conventional organic systems: seasonal variation." J Sci Food Agric. 2008; 88:1431-1441.
4. Schaeffer J. "Savvy Shopping – Budget Friendly Ways Families Can Choose More Organics." Today's Dietitian. 2011; 22-26.