"Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life."
- Mark Twain
Many new parents want to know what they should feed their baby first -- fruits or vegetables? Pediatricians, friends and Mothers all seem to have different opinions. But whichever you decide, you can't escape the next decision: Do I buy organic fruits and vegetables (at a higher price) or does it even matter? Most of my life, I assumed it didn't matter. Then I became pregnant with my first child. Suddenly, everything mattered!
When I learned that pesticides can pass to the fetus, I started eating organics. After all, it made sense that any chemical designed to kill pests can't be good for babies. Some chemical fertilizers used by farmers have been linked to cancer, nerve damage, birth defects and genetic mutations. And chemicals used on the farm don't always wash off -- 80% of conventionally grown fruits and vegetables tested by the USDA contained at least one pesticide residue.
Since your baby's diet consists primarily of either fruits or vegetables, served in a condensed form, the toxins from pesticides are especially damaging to their vulnerable developing immune, central nervous and hormonal systems. As any parent who has to buy infant clothing knows, babies grow rapidly -- especially the brain. They have tiny lungs and breathe faster. Also, their little liver may not have the capacity to detoxify chemicals.
Fortunately, it's never too late to start serving organic foods to your family. A study in 2005 analyzed the urine of 23 children in Washington State before and after a switch to an organic diet. After five consecutive days on the organic diet, researchers found that pesticide levels had decreased to undetectable levels and remained that way until their conventional diets were reintroduced. An organic diet provides dramatic and immediate protective effects against pesticides that are commonly used in agricultural production.
Buying Organic is kinda pricy, so next month I'll share some tips I learned on how to buy organics without going broke!