Why Organic Matters To Us
5 min read
Organic produce is important, not just for your little one’s plate but also the planet into which they’ll grow.
Eating organic is becoming easier and easier: many shops, even your local corner shop, now stock organic produce. However, it can sometimes be hard to know what all the fuss is about!
Here at Babease, we believe in the power of organic food for everyone, from first stage weaning through to adults and the whole family. In this article, we’re taking a closer look at organic food and explain why we love it so much!
What Does Organic Food Mean?
The word ‘organic’ is one we’ve all heard time and time again, but what does it actually mean? Are all organic foods alike, and what makes something organic or non-organic?
While we all roughly know what it stands for, some rules and standards must be met before something is called organic.
Different organisations, such as the Soil Association or the European Union’s Green Leaf, have different standards. However, the general rule is:
- Organic produce (such as fruits or veg) must be grown without using man-made pesticides or fertilisers.
- Organic livestock (such as beef or eggs) must be kept in natural, free-range conditions.
- Organic composite foods (the final product on the shelves) must contain at least 90% organic ingredients.
Regardless of the exact standards set by different governing bodies, organic is all about farming more sustainably. Sustainability isn’t just about farming naturally, but in a way that preserves our natural lands’ longevity and the various ecosystems that rely on its health.
Why Organic Baby Food is Important
Weaning your baby onto solids is very exciting, as you’ll be thinking about all the yummy food you’ll be able to give them. Weaning can help set them up for a lifetime of delicious and nutritious eating!
Wherever possible, it’s good to use organic food when cooking for your baby – but why? Below, we look at the advantages of organic food for your little one and also the planet.
Regulations for pesticide use in farming are created with adults’ health risks in mind, rather than those of babies or children. Babies consume more of some types of food than adults because they don’t have as varied a diet, which means they can be exposed to more pesticides.
These farming chemicals could be more harmful to infants as their immune systems are still developing. Experts are still unsure of these pesticides’ long-term health effects, so by giving your little one organic produce whenever possible, you’re doing the best you can to provide them with as healthy a start to life as possible.
According to a Newcastle University study, organic crops contain up to 60% more antioxidants than conventional ones.
Antioxidants have been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases and certain cancers. Ultimately, antioxidants are very good for us, so we should try to include them in our diets when we can!
Better for the Environment
As mentioned above, organic farming is all about producing food while also caring for the environment, ensuring it will still be there for future generations.
Looking after the environment is really important for us, and organic farming is better for the planet as more carbon is taken up by the soil.
Organic farm animals are allowed to roam free, which makes for better animal husbandry. Free-range farming is not only better and more sustainable for the animals, but it can also lead to tastier produce!
Although pesticides are designed to kill pests, they can also hurt other insects and affect local wildlife.
Organic farms create friendlier habitats for amazing little creatures like bees, birds and butterflies, which are crucial to maintaining a healthy environment.
Tips for Eating Organic Food
If we have convinced you to consider more organic foods, here is how you can make the most of your delicious produce!
Wash Your Fruit and Veg
We think it’s vital to wash fruit and veg really well, and peel when necessary, even when using organic produce.
Fruits and veggies, regardless of farming method, are exposed to various contaminants throughout their growth. While all fruits and veg sold in the UK have to pass strict regulations, thoroughly washing your ingredients means your baby is less likely to be exposed to anything.
Store fruit and veg in a cool, dry, dark place, such as a drawer at the bottom of the refrigerator, and try not to over cram them.
If you have any leftover veggies, instead of letting them go off and throwing them out, why not whizz them all up into a delicious soup?
Cooking Organic Vegetables
Steaming vegetables is always the best way to keep in all the nutrients.
Depending on what stage of the journey your little one is on, you can purée the steamed veg or chop it into small pieces for finger food.
Buying Organic Baby Food
Whenever buying organic baby food, we really recommend you check the ingredients list first.
Sometimes, labels on the front of containers can be misleading. It’s essential to make sure you know what’s in the packet to ensure you’re completely comfortable with what you’re feeding your little one.
If you’re unable to find organic, there’s no need to beat yourself up. During weaning, feeding your little one as many different vegetables as possible is the most important thing.
When using non-organic vegetables, always remember to peel and wash them before cooking because pesticides are found under the skin, and make sure you choose the freshest vegetables possible.
Most importantly, mealtimes should be about nourishment and sharing food with the whole family. So, enjoy your vegetables and happy cooking!
If you want to discover more about the weaning journey, check out our blog! You can also follow us on social media for lots of weaning fun and support.