By Fredrica Syren:
It’s a sad fact that we all are exposed to chemicals even before we’re born and as we grow up. Children are at most risk since, by nature, they are more sensitive. Because their nervous system and brain develop so much before the age of 25, they are more vulnerable when exposed to chemicals, toxins and pesticides. Children cannot metabolize chemicals until the age of 7, when the liver starts to mature. This is why it’s so important for children to eat organic foods.
Another sad fact is that cancer is on the rise in children. One reason is how many harmful chemicals kids nowadays are exposed
to. Feeding organic vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish and meats to children is great way to limit their exposure and also add nutrition not found in traditional foods. For example, studies show thatorganic tomatoes contain more vitamin C and antioxidants, which have proven to help fight diseases and strengthen the immune system. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics states that feeding children organic fruits and vegetables cuts down on the amount of potentially harmful chemicals, and also may help prevent immunity to antibiotics.
Furthermore, a study done at Harvard showed there is a link between ADHD and pesticides. The study concluded that there was a 35% increase in ADHD with exposure to pesticides, and that switching to organic produce for five days dramatically reduced the levels of pesticide residue in children who usually consume conventional produce.
The reason to feed children organic meat and dairy is to reduce the exposure to hormones. Children nowadays are reaching puberty earlier than ever before, which has health experts and parents alarmed. A study published in Pediatrics in 2011 found that in the United States, 15% of all girls begin puberty by age 7.There have been many explanations for this, but none has been discussed more than the environmental one. Non-organic meat and dairy contain lots of hormones and other estrogen-mimicking chemicals that are injected into livestock to make them grow faster. Currently, the U.S. FDA allows six different kinds of hormones in food production.
1. Estradiol – natural female sex hormone
2. Progesterone – natural female sex hormone
3. Testosterone – natural male sex hormone
4. Zeranol – synthetic growth promoter
5. Trenbolone acetate – synthetic growth promoter
6. Melengestrol acetate – synthetic growth promoter
Also, non-organic livestock are being fed low dose antibiotics regularly to compensate for the unsanitary living conditions that make them sick. Unfortunately, when someone consumes this meat, they will also receive doses of antibiotic, which develops antibiotic resistant bacteria.
I know that so many people just simply cannot afford to buy everything organic, and I totally understand that. These days, there are farmers markets in most cities and most of them will sell organic produce, fish, meat, eggs and nuts at a lower price than the stores do. Below are also a few links to tips on how to eat organic on a budget.