Certified organic produce is produce that has been grown without the use of pesticides and is also free of genetically modified organisms.
“Organic produce works in harmony with, and not against, nature,” says Ian Robinson, owner of Go-Organic and spokesperson of the South African Organic Sector Organisation. “The aim is to eradicate the use of harmful chemicals by making effective use of nature’s natural resources.”
Interested in easing into organic eating? Here are seven foods from your grocery store’s organic section that should be on your list:
Conventional milk often contains traces of antibiotics, artificial hormones and pesticides. If you’re concerned about the possibility of your children developing early puberty as a result of these hormones, go for organic milk. Unlike many other organic products, organic milk is not necessarily more expensive than conventional milk.
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a US-based non-profit organisation specialising in food safety, 81% of conventional potatoes still contain pesticides after being washed and peeled. Considering how popular spuds are in many children’s diets, the organic option is a good idea.
Pesticides used on peanuts are reportedly very toxic. Best to cross over to the organic version if your children love peanut butter. Better still, choose a nut butter, like almond, macadamia or cashew butter.
You can make an informed choice about living organically, once you have the lowdown on everything organic.
Babies grow rapidly from birth to age 3. So, this is a good time to feed them organic products. Look for respected organic baby food brands available on your supermarket shelves.
This lycopene-rich condiment is wildly popular with children. Lycopene is known to help prevent heart disease and cancer. Some tomato sauce brands have no added preservatives or artificial colourants. However, organic tomato sauce is 57% higher in lycopene than conventional versions.
A favourite among children, it’s also on the EWG’s list of foods most contaminated by pesticides. Go for the organic product, which contains notably higher levels of disease-fighting polyphenols and other phytonutrients.
Beef and/or chicken
Many free-range meat products claim to have no added MSG or antibiotics used to promote growth. Free-range chickens, in particular, are fed a grain-based diet free of animal byproducts. However, grass-fed beef trumps cattle fed on a diet of corn or grain.
Love food, hate waste
One criticism of organic produce is that it tends to spoil faster than conventional food. UK website lovefoodhatewaste.com shares ways on how to reduce food waste. They also have great recipes to help you make economic use of leftovers.