How Organic Eating Today Benefits Your Kid Tomorrow
Organic eating is about good ethics and good health too, not just good food for your nature-smart kids
Science has been good to us on balance, giving us air conditioning, vaccinations, and the high-speed Internet you’re reading this on right now. But as we try to make sense of the chemicals listed in our food packaging, we can’t help but wonder—is “science” standing in the way of our kids’ health?
While we’re not knocking food science as a whole (after all, it gave us the Green Revolution that practically erased hunger and famine worldwide), we’re also wondering if some of its decisions have unwittingly resulted in harm to our kids.
Have antibiotics in meat been nothing but good? What about glyphosates in pesticides? What about artificial preservatives? Intensive agriculture? If all this gives us pause… what alternative do concerned moms have?
A conscientious choice
Organic food has increasingly been adopted as a lifestyle choice by nature-smart moms. Only natural substances go into the production of organic food—nature-based fertilizers for vegetables and fruits; or natural feed (with no antibiotics or hormones added) for farm animals.
The decision to eat organic food shouldn’t be taken lightly by moms. Organic farming and food-raising isn’t a fad, it’s a conscientious decision based on legitimate concerns about additives in food, combined with ethical worries about the environment and the well-being of our farmers.
Good morals, good food, good health from the best that nature has to offer: it’s a no-brainer for nature-smart moms.
First, let’s talk about what goes into our food—and how it may affect our kids.
Is organic food good for our kids?
Pesticides in our food have certainly increased crop yields, but recent scientific research shows what tradeoffs we’ve had to make in return… and it’s not been all good for our kids.
A link has been found between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in kids and organophosphates (from pesticides) in food; kids with high levels of pesticide metabolites in their urine were twice as likely to develop ADHD compared to those with undetectable levels.
Pesticides may even trigger a cascade of problems in fetuses, with exposure linked to higher rates of developmental disorders, autism, asthma, IQ deficits, and birth defects. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency only recently banned the use of chlorpyrifos, which was linked to lower birth weight and developmental delays in children.
Moms can choose organic food for their kids, and minimize all these risks.
Because of the way they’re grown, organic produce has little to no pesticides in them—so your kids aren’t exposed to their harmful effects. Organic produce has four times less pesticide residue compared to conventional produce, and a regular diet of organic food may lower overall risk of cancers like non-Hodgkin lymphoma and postmenopausal breast cancer.
Organic farming also removes the risk of the side-effects of antibiotics in meat and dairy production—a major concern for nature-smart moms, considering that non-organically-grown meat may be 300% more likely to test positive for antibiotic-resistant bacteria!
Ethically more fulfilling
Beyond health benefits, organic agriculture may also benefit Filipino farmers as well.
Organic farming practices promote sustainable planting practices and shorter farm-to-market routes, helping to protect the environment and the well-being of the communities that inhabit it.
The government is doing its part; the National Organic Agriculture Program (NOAP) works to turn at least 5% of agricultural land towards organic farming practices. The Philippines’ National Anti-Poverty Commission also endorsed organic farming as a “sustainable solution to uplift the lives of the farmers.”
Thanks to a growing number of Filipino farmers answering the call, moms all over the Philippines can buy organic produce near their area. In Metro Manila, for example, the Good Food Community (GFC) provides “organic, ethically-grown fruits and vegetables to customers by fairly sourcing its produce” from farmer associations in Northern Luzon.
Elsewhere in the country, nature-smart moms can check on produce from Iloilo's CFARM, Davao's Huni Farm, and many others across the islands to source their healthy and ethically sound organic food.
Starting an organic lifestyle
Here we need to add an “okay, but…” Organic food lowers the risk of contaminants in your food, but all else being equal, there’s no evidence that it has health benefits absent in ordinary food. A comprehensive meta-analysis of research found that there were no differences in vitamin, protein or fat content, when organic and conventional foods were compared.
That doesn’t discount the other benefits of feeding your kids organic food, though. The ethical and contamination-free reasons for going organic should be enough for nature-smart moms to go on; all you need to do now is to get started.
Start by sourcing organic food from an organic farmer near you. (Due to the heavy carbon cost of deliveries, having organic food shipped long distances misses the point.) Make sure the produce bears a certification from the Organic Certification Center of the Philippines, an organization that certifies organic produce as authentic.
You can go even further down the road, by switching to organic cleaning products and toiletries—further reducing your impact on the environment.
Finally, to ensure a completely organic food supply chain, you might also plant your own vegetables and fruits using organic principles. Make it a family affair—producing your own organic food can be a valuable teaching moment for your kids.
• ThoughtCo, History and Overview of the Green Revolution, 2021
• Reuters, Pesticides tied to ADHD in children in U.S. study, 17 May 2010
• CDC, Reproductive Health and the Workplace, 2021
• The Conversation, The EPA is banning chlorpyrifos, a pesticide widely used on food crops, after 14 years of pressure from environmental and labor groups, August 24, 2021
• NIH, Higher antioxidant and lower cadmium concentrations and lower incidence of pesticide residues in organically grown crops: a systematic literature review and meta-analyses, 26 Jun 2014
• JAMA Network, Association of Frequency of Organic Food Consumption With Cancer Risk, December 2018
• Washington State University, Initial Reflections on the Annals of Internal Medicine Paper “Are Organic Foods Safer and Healthier Than Conventional Alternatives? A Systematic Review, September 4, 2012
• GovPh, Organic Agriculture Program, 2021
• NAPC, Statement: Organic Farming is the sustainable solution to uplift the lives of the farmers, January 24, 2019
• Stanford Medicine, Little evidence of health benefits from organic foods, study finds, 3 September 2012