It's Organic September - the month to celebrate everything organic from food to clothing and household goods. The Soil Association is encouraging everyone to Discover Organic and to make some small changes which can have a big impact on the planet.
To recognise the month, we've listed some reasons why you might want to consider choosing organic when it comes to food for your family.
Why choose organic?
- According to a report published in the British Medical Journal, some pesticides, which cannot easily be washed off fruit and vegetables, can remain in our bodies for years. By choosing organic food, you will avoid loading your child's body with such pesticides.
- Several studies indicate that organic food contains more vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids than non-organic food. One report found that organic chickens have 25% less fat than intensively-raised chickens, and free-range, organic chickens feeding on grass have higher levels of essential omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E and beta-carotene.
- The production of organic food takes care to conserve the wildlife and environment, thereby providing a healthier world for all our children.
- I find that organic food tastes better and in some cases is more likely to be fresher, as preservatives are not used to enhance its shelf-life.
Reducing pesticide intake
If it is not possible for you to eat totally organically, you can still take steps to cut down the amount of pesticides you consume
- Thoroughly wash all fruit and vegetables
- Peel non-organic fruit and vegetables where possible, However, even peeling doesn't remove all traces of pesticides, as bananas are heavily sprayed and still retain high levels of pesticides in the fruit beneath the skin. Do buy organic, Fair Trade bananas wherever possible.
- Grow your own. Conventionally-grown lettuce is constantly sprayed with pesticides which are difficult to wash off, and lettuce and other salad leaves are easy to grow, even in large pots. Courgettes are also fun for children, as they grow quickly and easily into large plants with bright yellow flowers; and beans (runner and French) can be made into a living, edible wigwam climbing up bamboo sticks.
- Eat cooked vegetables instead of raw ones
- Ensure that chicken and meat is thoroughly cooked before eating
Taken from Feeding Made Easy by Gina Ford