Scientific understanding of the benefits of organic food has been rapidly growing, and because of this, the organic food industry is booming. But there remains an ongoing debate about whether there are in fact significant differences between organic and conventional food, so here we give you all you need to know about organic farming and food.
The health and wellbeing of yourself and your family is paramount. This can make navigating the food labels on the products at your local supermarket an unsettling experience, as a lot of the product ingredients can read more like a science experiment than wholesome food.
Put simply, organic food is food that is farmed without the use of man-made fertilisers or pesticides. By choosing organic food, you can be certain that your food is all-natural and contains no added chemicals or genetically-modified organisms (GMOs).
Organic food is more beneficial than its conventionally-grown counterparts because it contains none of those added nasties. Most importantly, organic food doesn’t contain synthetic pesticides; an additive which can affect children’s immune systems and developing foetuses. Specifically, research suggests that pesticide exposure in young children can cause delays in development, as well as behavioural disorders, due to their immune systems not being fully developed.
The difference between conventional farming and organic farming is in the methods used to cultivate, grow, and harvest food.
Conventional farming uses man-made farming systems that rely on synthetic fertilisers and pesticides to fertilise soil and control pests, genetically-modified organisms, heavy concentrated farming systems for irrigation practices, and concentrated animal feeding systems (as demonstrated through the use of caged chickens and animals raised in factory farms).
On the other hand, organic farming is a more sustainable agricultural practice that’s kinder on the earth, produce, and animals. It isn’t a new concept – before man-made materials and machines began to assist in mass food production, farmers would grow and cultivate food using organic practices. Organic farming increases sustainability, biodiversity, and maintains high levels of soil and air quality through the use of natural growing practices. For example, soil is fertilised with organic matter such as animal manures, legumes, and mined nutrients. There’s also an emphasis on crop rotation, hand-weeding, and the avoidance of synthetic materials and GMOs.
Parents are always looking for better ways to keep their family healthy. While the appeal of easy-to-grab food is enticing given our often-hectic schedules, it isn’t the most nutritious. Thankfully, making organic food choices has become easier with most supermarket chains carrying organic labels and produce. If you want the very best for yourself and your children, choosing organic foods is the healthier option.
Studies have shown that the methods used to produce organic food leads to increased nutrients in foods. These nutrients include certain types of flavonoids (naturally occurring plant pigments) which carry antioxidant properties, as well as higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids due to the grass and alfalfa that’s used to feed cattle.
The avoidance of using chemicals, and synthetic pesticides and herbicides, makes organic food safer to eat for humans. This is because the pesticides used in conventional farming have been linked to the stunting of growth in young children and increased cancer risk.
Organic farmers practice crop rotation to promote the health of the soil and plants, practice natural weed-killing measures through hand-wedding or cattle grazing, and are content with a smaller harvest.
Most organic farms are small, family-run properties of less than 50 hectares. When we purchase organic foods, we support traditional farming systems and these independent farmers who are at risk of being taken over by larger conventional farms.
Purchasing organic products promotes the ethical treatment of animals. This is because organic farming methods eliminate the use of growth hormones and antibiotics, as well as the use of caged, concentrated feeding.
GMOs are plants whose DNA has been altered by man-made means, most commonly to make them resistant to herbicides or drought. Studies have shown GMO foods can cause numerous health problems including organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune system disorders.
Here are some facts about organic food you might not have known:
There are many reasons why choosing organic food is better for your babies and young children. For example, organic food contains 95% fewer chemicals than non-organic food, and this helps to reduce the amount of harmful toxins entering your little one’s body.
Due to their developing immune systems, babies and young children find it more difficult to digest foods that have been treated with pesticides. So choosing organic food is the best option as they don’t contain pesticides, helping your children to avoid any digestive issues.
Organic food is also a fresher, more nutritional option as it has higher levels of nutrients, including antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. These help to support healthy heart and brain function, as well as reduce risk of developing behavioural problems.
If you’re wondering where to get organic food for your children, take a look at our full range of products at Bellamy’s Organic and visit our stockists — we offer infant milk, ready-to-serve baby food, children’s snacks, and more. Contact us today to find out more.