Organic foods are better for adults who want a healthier lifestyle. Is that also true for babies?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is responsible for food safety and nutrition. This role covers food for individuals of all ages. While all brands of baby food start with real products, the conventional farming and ranching methods may include a variety of practices that are found in organic foods. As a consumer and parents, you have the freedom to choose which type of food you want for your child.
According to the USDA's National Organic Program, food and other agricultural products must meet certain requirements before it can be certified and labeled USDA Organic. In general, organic foods must:
This program prohibits the use of genetic engineering or GMOs, synthetic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and growth hormones. When it comes to farming practices, there are a number of substances that are allowed and prohibited. For example, boric acid and newspaper are allowed even though they are synthetic, but natural substances such as arsenic and strychnine are prohibited. Even livestock that has been treated with an antibiotic can no longer be able to be identified as organically raised.
Overall, the fruits and vegetables used in products that are labeled organic must be free of chemical pesticides, free of antibiotics or growth hormones, and free of any artificial additives including flavors, coloring, and preservatives.
Many parents prefer the benefits of organic baby formula because it is better for the environment. The lack of chemicals means that there is less contamination to the soil or underground water supply. Local wildlife is not harmed by the residual pesticides that make its way to the water supply or nearby food sources. Organic foods are also locally sourced and produced, which means there is less carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming.
Yet many parents choose organic baby formula because they want to be sure that what goes into their little one is safe. The first year of a baby's life is busy with growth and development. The prolonged exposure to chemicals can lead to health problems or neuro-development concerns.
Some organic baby formula companies go even further. Holle, one of the oldest baby food manufacturers in Europe, follows organic food regulations from Demeter-quality farmers. These certified farms follow the strict biodynamic standards so that the animals are in harmony with nature. The approach to farming gives back to nature. They are able to provide natural food that is pure and wholesome while satisfying.
Organic foods such as baby formula have been seen by experts and even the National Institutes of Health to be no safer or nutritious that foods produced in traditional methods. Even though it may cost more in stores, parents have the peace of mind about what goes into their little one. Whether you are comparing conventional to organic or even organic to organic, it is important to inform yourself by reading the ingredients on the package. You may find some ingredients such as sucrose questionable for your baby through the quantity is in accordance to government safety thresholds. Overall, the healthy foods that you offer your baby can lead to healthy food choices and habits in the future.
Edited and reposted from 2018
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