When my son was a baby, organic was a synonym for edible. If the apples I found at the grocery store weren’t certified, I wasn’t buying them. I knew that conventional produce could harbor traces of pesticides, and I’d read that pesticides could affect brain development. Sure, the details of this association were hazy. But in a way, it didn’t matter: Shelling out a bit more cash to minimize the risks, whatever they were, seemed worth it to me.
Fast-forward two years and my son is eating conventional strawberries for breakfast. I support the principles of organic farming, for sure, but it can be hard to consistently pay $7 for a pint of something he’ll go through in two days. Plus, I can’t help but wonder whether giving my son organic food really makes a difference to his health, considering that he’s been known to lick the bottom of his shoes, kiss my poop-sniffing dog, and eat crackers—someone else’s—off of the preschool floor.
Instead of continuing to wonder, I decided to dig into the literature and talk to toxicologists, horticulturists, risk experts, and nutritionists to find out whether the chemicals in conventionally farmed foods could truly pose a risk to my child. What I’ve discovered has totally surprised me—let’s just say I’m going to be a little more relaxed about what I serve kid No. 2.
I want to start off by saying that this column is not about whether organic agriculture is worth supporting for its environmental benefits (I think it is) or whether we as a society should care about the chemicals found in our foods and household products (I think we should). This column is about whether it’s worth buying organic produce for your kids specifically because you think the pesticides on conventional produce could harm them.
Read full original article: Organic Shmorganic