The simple answer is yes. And to prove that longtime brands like Walmart, Dole and Kraft and increasing their focus on organic products to meet the growing demand for what is considered “the fastest growing sector in agriculture” at “1 billion in sales in 2006.” It is important to note that natural does not necessarily mean organic, but is rather a broad statement that implies the product has not significantly been altered physically, chemically or biologically. For a product to be labeled organic: 95% of the ingredients must be organic. To qualify for a label of “made with organic ingredients”, 75% of the ingredients must comply.
The benefits of organic are countless from the higher level of disease fighting phytochemicals, increased vitamin C levels and the your ability, as a consumer, to avoid the harmful effects of chemicals, pesticides and antibiotics. Some researchers theorize that young girls may be going into puberty early due to these unnatural hormones being delivered by the food they are eating, specifically hormones and antibiotics that are injected into animals. Pesticides are known hormone disruptors and can interfere with your natural hormone levels, contributing to the increase in estrogen dominant conditions like endometriosis, cysts and fibroids. With infertility on the rise, paying special attention to avoiding hormone disruptors is important when wanting to conceive and for a healthy pregnancy.
The downside to organic is often the price, which can be around 30% more than non-organic foods. Is it worth it to have no chemicals, pesticides and hormones? Sometimes it’s helpful to know where to splurge and where pesticide residue is minimal. As a rule of thumb, always choose organic animal products (dairy, eggs, meats) to be safe.
Below is a list from Today’s Parent Magazine or the lowest vs. highest residue fruits and vegetables:
Onion, avocado, sweet corn (frozen), pineapple, mango, asparagus, sweet pea (frozen), banana, kiwi, cabbage, broccoli, papaya.
Peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberry, cherry, lettuce, grapes, pears, spinach, potatoes.
Today’s Parent Magazine: A Brand You Can Trust July 2006 95-100
Baby Love: Healthy, Easy, Delicious Meals for Your Baby and Toddler by Norah O’Donnell and Chef Geoff Tracy