Babies' bodies are more susceptible to the effects of pesticides. A baby’s immune system is not as developed as an adult’s immune system and cannot as effectively eliminate toxic pesticides. The daily dietary requirements of a baby exposes him or her to more pesticides than an adult. To meet the calorie and nutrient needs of their fast growing bodies, babies eat up to four times as much for their body weight than an adult does. There have been numerous scientific studies that point to the harmful effects of pesticide exposure in infants and young children. Children who are exposed to pesticides have a higher rate of cancer, neurological problems, brain tumors and learning disabilities. Read the Effects of the Pesticides Used in the EU and the US on the Human Brain to learn about scientific studies on the effects of pesticides on infants and children.
Feeding babies organic baby foods reduces an infant’s pesticide exposure in two ways. First, they are not ingesting harmful pesticides. Second, by purchasing organic baby food you are promoting organic earth friendly farming practices. Pesticides used in farming non organic foods poison the environment. The pesticides contaminate the air and the water, resulting in exposure to humans and animals. Many animals are harmed by toxic pesticides. One example is the honey bee. The honey bee is extremely sensitive to chemical pesticides. Some experts believe that honey bee Colony Collapse Disorder is directly linked to pesticide use.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) states that “commercial baby food is the dominant source of unsafe levels of pesticides in food”. Many foods tested, including non-organic baby foods, contain levels of pesticides that are considered unsafe for infants and young children. Certain produce items are known to have higher levels of pesticides than others. Apples, grapes and peaches are among the produce items that contain the highest amount of pesticides. EWG reports that “about one apple in eight will expose a child to an unsafe dose”.
The good news is that feeding infants organic baby food can significantly reduce pesticide levels in their bodies. Chensheng Lu, assistant professor of environmental and occupational health at the Rollins School of Public Health led a study on pesticide levels in young children. Chensheng Lu measured the pesticide levels in children who ate non organic foods. He then switched the children to a 100 percent organic diet. After five days of the children eating organic foods, urine tests showed that the pesticide levels in the children’s bodies dramatically dropped. Urine samples did not detect any organophosphates in the children’s bodies. Organophosphates are a particularly dangerous neurotoxin pesticide that has been proven to harm the nervous system of children.
More and more companies are offering certified organic baby foods. The cost of organic baby food is higher than non-organic counterparts, but the price is well worth it. You cannot put a price on your babies' health. The extra cost of organic baby food is nothing compared to the blessing of a healthy child.