I grew up in a small, rural town. My mom drove into the “city” to buy groceries once a month. This usually consisted of stocking up on meats and household goods such as laundry detergent, toilet paper, coffee, etc. Once or twice weekly, on our way home from school, she would stop at the local farmer’s cooperative and purchases fresh produce and fruit. I never tasted anything exotic where fruits and vegetables were concerned. I ate what was grown in our local area. I remember pecans, peaches, okra, green beans, black eyed peas, assorted lettuces, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash. It wasn’t until I was a grown woman and mother who lived in the city that I realized how idyllic my childhood diet was.
Eating organic and local was the norm for me as a child. Now it is a privilege that most children don’t enjoy. And research indicates that providing children organic foods could be the single most critical factor for setting them up for health success later in life. And there are many more benefits to going organic than just contributing to a child’s future health security.
And going organic is more than just consuming locally grown vegetables that have not been treated with dangerous pesticides. It is also about drinking things like milk or eating a steak, both provided by a cattle industry that allows free range grazing and does not pump an animal full of antibiotics and steroids.
Going organic can mean consuming milk and meat that contains fifty percent higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids. This is very good news for cardiovascular health, neurological function, and stronger immune systems. By going organic for dairy and eat products you can get your omega 3 intake with lower calori consumption.
The same nutritional research team that discovered this omega 3 advantage with organic dairy and meats also discovered a metal advantage as well. Because pesticide residues are much lower among organic products, toxic metals like cadmium are less likely to contaminate the consumer. And, on the plus side, organic vegetables typically contain more antioxidants.
The most common pro-organic argument is based on chemicals. Six hundred chemicals to be exact. That is the number of chemicals registered in the American agricultural industry. Science experts report that ninety percent of agricultural chemical cocktails used have never been adequately tested to determine their long-term effect upon human health. And if you think you can trust regulators to keep contaminated food off the market, think again. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration only tests one percent of pre-market agricultural products.
Time and again organic food products have proven to be chemically cleaner and nutrient richer. Organic farming methods do not deplete crop soil of critical micronutrients like commercial farming does. Nutrition and medical experts have determined that organic food generally provides about twenty percent more iron, almost thirty percent more vitamin C, and almost thirty percent more magnesium when compared to commercially grown counterparts.
As young children begin to enter adolescence, it is more important than ever to provide them with a healthy diet. And a healthy diet is more than just what is on the menu. It’s about the origins of what is on the menu. Not only should their food be nutrient rich, but they should also be hormone and antibiotic free. Hormone laced meat and dairy products have been linked with certain types of cancer. Antibiotic laced meat and dairy products are linked to antibiotic resistant bacteria being on the rise.
Now, more than ever, is it important to go organic for the sake of the children.