Q. After the birth of our second baby, I decided to quit my job and become a stay-at-home mom. I am always looking for ways to save money and can never decide whether it’s worth the extra money to buy organic foods. Are organic foods really healthier than conventional foods?
Over the past two decades, the organic food industry has grown rapidly. Parents of young children, in particular, tend to steer toward the organic food aisles when shopping for their little ones. But do the benefits of eating organic outweigh the expense of buying organic?
In the November issue of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics addressed this topic. The article explains food labeling and what it takes to label a product as “organic.” For example, “100 percent organic” means all the ingredients were organically produced. If a product is labeled as “organic,” then at least 95 percent of the ingredients are organic. If a product contains 70 percent organic ingredients, the label can state “made with organic ingredients.”
Organic and conventional foods have no significant differences in nutritional content, such as vitamins and minerals. However, consuming organic produce results in lower exposure to pesticides. Animals that are treated with nontherapeutic antibiotics are more likely to harbor antibiotic-resistant bacteria that could be passed through the food chain to humans. And organic farming is overall better for the environment.
Organic prices are sometimes 40 percent higher than nonorganic alternatives, the AAP found. For this reason, they suggest parents regularly read foodnews.org, which gives insight into the pesticide content of certain foods.
More information and a link to the full-text article is available at: http://bit.ly/SI8QiH