In 2014, Organic Trade Association conducted a survey of 1200 households on the acceptability of organic food in households. All the households had at least one child under the age of 18 years. The survey found a sharp decrease in households for whom the price of organic food was a factor.
According to the survey, just 51% of households were hesitant about buying organic food, against 62% in 2013. It means, parents are willing to pay more for organic food if it means their children will have enhanced heath after eating it.
At this point, you may wonder if organic food actually lives up to the hype or it just propaganda from the organic food industry to make you buy more of it. The truth is, feeding your children organic food is one of the best decisions you can make for their health.
Organic food can reduce your exposure to chemicals drastically
Organic food is free from chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. It is not irradiated and neither is it grown from genetically modified seeds. Feeding children organic food significantly reduces their exposure to organophosphorus pesticides. Eating organic food also decreases our exposure to pesticides and herbicides.
The Environmental Protection Agency has registered close to 1400 pesticides for agricultural and non agricultural uses and many of these are linked to central nervous system and brain, lug, colon, breast, ovarian and other types of cancers.
We are exposed to many of these pesticides and herbicides on a daily basis, through our food and water. They not only cause cancer, they also affect our hormones, mimicking the effect of estrogen and testosterone.
Children are more sensitive to chemicals than adults
Children are in a growing phase of their life which means they are very sensitive to chemicals of all kinds. They have significantly lower levels of immunity, compared to adults (because their immunity is still developing). They are also exposed to more chemicals than adults because of their low weight.
Another reason why they are more susceptible to chemicals is because they eat more of certain foods than adults. So you can only imagine, how the pesticides and herbicides that enter our body everyday, might affect children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has already given a clarion call against pesticide exposure. In 2012, it wrote, “….children are exposed to pesticides every day and they are uniquely susceptible to their toxicity.” It added, “we are already seeing chronic health conditions emerging due to the acute and chronic exposure to pesticides”.
Unfortunately, pesticides are endemic in the environment. This means, no food is 100% free of pesticides. But it is also true that organic foods have significantly lower levels of pesticides than conventionally grown food.
Chemicals are especially dangerous for pregnant women
Pregnant women should especially eschew conventional food and eat more organic food. Growing fetus are especially vulnerable to chemical exposure and nowhere is the effect more dangerous and dramatic.
Researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital, University of California at Berkeley and Columbia University found that the children of those women who were consistently exposed to higher levels of organophosphorus pesticides when they were pregnant, showed lower IQ levels than their peers when they reached elementary school.
More reasons why you should feed children organic food
Shielding the kid from exposure to chemicals is not the only reason to feed him or her organic food. Organic food is also more nutritious than conventionally grown food. They also have more vitality, making them overall healthier choices than conventionally grown foods.
As the demand for organic food grows, it has become more mainstream. It is no longer limited to specialty food stores. There are even companies that undertake farm-to-kerb supply of organic food, like us. So if you want to order organic food straight from the farm, now you know whom to call.