One of the reasons why we moms make homemade baby purees is because we know what the ingredients are and its quality. But are the fruits and vegetables still fresh? Is it organically grown or grown with chemicals?
Being able to personally choose and more so, know where the food came from gives us an assurance. We want to know what we are putting in the blender because our baby’s stomach is not yet well-developed and as our pediatrician said, we have to take caution when selecting the ingredients.
Why you should be concerned? Children are more vulnerable as their body weight and tissues are not yet well developed as compared to adults. Babies and toddlers are even more exposed and might absorb it and their body is not yet capable of handling the toxins.
The residues can be found on fruits and vegetables for pesticides that have been developed to put death the insects and pests and some have even DDT.
A research in University of Minnesota showed that changes in the brain of animals led to behavioral disorders and can even cause long-term damage and learning incapacities. These changes and damages could not even be seen but be evident in a later period.
But you ask, are there any government regulations for these pesticides?
Supposedly, there is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that sets the limit for the use of pesticides. But as the world borders is getting porous, we export more food because we see it as more affordable. Just last year, there is news of the ship from US containing DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) to be shipped to pineapple plantation. Yes DDT has been banned but it is still used in the other side of the world where EPA regulations do not reach.
Even the Food Quality Protection Act in 1996 was passed to check the levels of residue which is considered safe for children and babies to maintain the safety standards.
While there are still debates on advocacy groups on more restrictions for the pesticide use. But while these lobbying and debates are continuing locally supported groups such as Grow Your Own Food campaign and Community Assisted Agriculture (CSA) sprouting. We will talk more about what we have been supporting.
Even the US Department of Agriculture tests have shown that despite the annual tests conducted on fresh and processed fruits and vegetables have residues (though in small levels) but this will be accumulated in the body in due time.
As a parent we only want the best for our babies and that includes knowing where we get our baby puree ingredients and of course, we want to make sure it is not chemical-ladened! Some would say, but we cannot grow everything!
True indeed, we all cannot be farmers. I wish we can farm but the house area is too small and we can only do little gardening, so we are very grateful for all the farmers in the community.
You ask, is organic produce more expensive?
In a study in 2008 conducted by Science Department of University of Iowa showed that organic produce contains more nutrient content compared to its inorganic counterpart. It is safer and isn’t a $2 dollar difference worth it?
The reason also organic produce is considered expensive it is due to small producers and not much demand. Farmers lose out. And transitioning from highly pesticide-dependent farming to all natural organic one takes a long time. It is a tedious process and also marketing chain is quite long thus, prices are marked up.
So if you want to buy organic produce fresh, look out at your market, small farmer’s cooperatives and buy directly from them.
For now let me share you our experience in finding the best source for ingredients for homemade Baby Bullet purees. There are also more and more organic stores that sprouts in each state. Aside from going to your local market and buying the produce from your local farmers. Or if you are travelling, here are the Store locator websites that will guide you where ever you are.
Organic Food Store Locator in US: http://www.organicstorelocator.com/
Organic Food Store Locator in Canada: http://www.eatit.ca/ (already closed but still useful online site) / http://www.vitahealthstores.ca/ http://www.organic.org/ http://planetorganic.ca/
And as they say, if you ate today, Thank a farmer!
Have a wonderful shopping day and Happy eating!