Going Organic: Something to Consider

• 11 April 2007

I know we own a Subaru, like to shop at Wild Oats & Whole Foods, and lived in San Francisco, but I'm not your typical tree-hugger in many ways :) However, I do try to consume as much organic food and drink as I can afford. To be honest, it simply tastes better, is typically local, and I want to support hard-working farmers who care about protecting their land by utilizing organic methods of farming. They deserve a break I tell you, which is why I am happy to support them. I especially love organic milk (tastes better to me AND, please note, to the always discerning French as well) and yogurt (pretty much the only yogurt on the market sans high fructose corn syrup). Here are a few facts about organic dairy/ produce. Read these and decide for yourself!

Dr. Greene, a renowned pediatrician, gives five reasons why children especially should "go organic":

1. Kids are over exposed. Tests done by the Environmental Protection Agency to set acceptable risk levels for pesticide residues were conducted using 154-pound adult men, not 40-pound preschoolers. Recently, the Consumers Union and the Environmental Working Group released studies confirming that children are over-exposed even if their exposure is within current legal limits.

2. Children are more vulnerable. Due to their size, fast metabolisms and less varied diets, children are more vulnerable to developmental damage and health problems associated with exposure to concentrations of chemicals and pesticides.

3. High daily doses. More than one million children between the ages of 1 and 5 ingest at least 15 pesticides every day from fruits and vegetables.

4. Developmental damage. Exposure to pesticides before or after birth is linked to hyperactivity, behavior disorders, learning disabilities, developmental delays and motor dysfunction.

5. We don’t know the full effects of pesticides. It took 30 years to conclude that DDT caused serious health problems in children and determining the safety of a conventional pesticide may take the same amount of time or more.

AND, Dr. Green's first steps to going organic should you decide to do so:

• Look at what your child eats. It’s smart to look at the foods that a child eats most, and try to make those choices organic. Children eat far more fruits and vegetables per pound of body weight than adults, so that’s a good place to start. Organic produce also tastes better, so getting your kids to eat their five a day should be that much easier.

• Avoid the “Dirty Dozen.” The Environmental Working Group developed a recommended list of fruits and vegetables consumers should always buy organic, if possible, because their conventionally grown counterparts tend to be laden with pesticides. The “dirty dozen” are apples, cherries, grapes (imported from Chili), nectarines, peaches, pears, raspberries, strawberries, bell peppers, celery, potatoes and spinach.

Also, I consider Consumer Reports to be an unbiased source of information. They published an article about when to choose organic and I find it factual, unbiased and helpful as always. Click here if you want to read the article. It's fantastic.


jerin said...

Good article, Steph. We've slowly been easing into our destiny as deep-down true-blue Californians and shopping at Wild Oats once in a while. We haven't bought a Subaru yet, but we will buy a share of our local CSA farm (if I can't get into a school!) and did try your Brown Cow yogurt.

The yogurt is the story of the day, really. After my trip to Australia, I realized that American yogurt stinks... until I tried the Brown Cow cream top 3 days ago. Hooray! I haven't had yogurt that smooth and delicious for 10 years now. We've already loaded up on the stuff. We owe you big time for the yogurt suggestion! I think Taisei likes it too... ;)

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