17 May

Why Organic Food Is Critical For Children

By their very nature children are more sensitive to pesticides than adults. A child's body continues to grow until 18 but their brain and nervous system are under development until the age of 25. We are all exposed to more chemicals than ever before but can you imagine the body burden our children are experiencing while their systems are growing? Is it any wonder that cancer rates are on the rise in our children?

Organic Kids! by JulieDaniluk.com

On October 22, 2012 there was a report released in The Journal of Pediatrics by The American Academy of Pediatrics that spoke to the need for children to eat organic produce and meat. Unfortunately the report did not go far enough. Organic food is a controversial topic and this review is a positive follow up to the poorly constructed study published by Stanford in the Annals of Internal Medicine in September 2012. This particular study strangely concluded that organically grown food has the same nutrition than conventionally grown food.   

It has been proven that organic food does contain more Vitamin C and other antioxidants that protect the plant naturally. When organic plants are exposed to pests they respond by producing their own protection that we then reap the benefits from. Some of these important phytonutrients include: Inositol Phosphates (Phytates); Lignans (Phytoestrogens); Isothiocyanates and Indoles; Phenols and Cyclic Compounds; Saponins; Sulfides, Thiols; and Terpenes. Here is a RealNatural.org article that goes into greater detail on the subject. On average, organic produce contains 25% more antioxidants that conventional produce.    
 
Beyond debating their nutrient value, the most important point that needs to be acknowledged is what organic foods does not contain! Certified organic foods must be grown without the use of GMOs (genetically-modified organisms), pesticides, antibiotics and hormones. Organic fields are managed so that the soil contains more minerals that conventional farms.  
 
Kids Love Raw Veggies by JulieDaniluk.com
 
In May 2015 the Centre For Food Safety published a ‘Fact Sheet’ that stated a clear link between glyphosate, one of the most commonly used pesticides and an increase in cancer. The chemical company Monsanto produces this pesticides under the name Round-Up. In spite Monstanto’s critical response to this report, the World Health Organization is taking it very seriously. Given this new evidence how can we go on suggesting that conventionally grown food is safe for our children? A child’s developing body is far more sensitive than an adult and the accumulated ‘body burden’ of chemicals far exceeds what older generations have ever been exposed to. What are we setting our children up for?
 
Fortunately there are some are voices of reason. The American Academy of Pediatrics states, “feeding children organic fruits and vegetables cuts down on the amount of potentially harmful chemicals and also may help prevent immunity to antibiotics”. A 2006 study found that an organic diets significantly lowers children’s dietary exposure to pesticides. 
 
A 2004 The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) report states that, “Most studies of moderate pesticide exposure have found increased prevalence of neurologic symptoms and changes in neurobehavioral performance, reflecting cognitive and psychomotor dysfunction.” I am passionate about this topic as I was raised beside a large conventional corn farm. As I child I remember standing in the backyard watching 100’s of acres of corn being sprayed with pesticides. No surprise that I was diagnosed with ADHD! The symptoms to my diagnosis disappeared when my parents switched me to a natural diet.
 
Cook with your kids! by JulieDaniluk.com
 
A study in 2010 led by Maryse Bouchard in Montreal in the journal Pediatrics associates exposure to pesticides with increased cases of ADHD in the U.S. and Canada. In the U.S. alone, an estimated 4.5 million children ages 5 to 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and rates of diagnosis have risen 3% a year between 1997 and 2006.    
 
The team from University of Montreal and Harvard University analyzed the levels of pesticide residue in the urine of more than 1,100 children ages 8 to 15 and found that those with the highest levels of organophosphate pesticides, had the highest incidence of ADHD. A 35% increase in ADHD with every tenfold increase in urinary concentration of the pesticide residue to be exact. Switching to organic produce for five days dramatically reduced the levels of pesticide residue in the urine of children who usually consume conventional produce.
 
Joel Forman MD, the lead physician of the American Academy of Pediatrics study explains, "Kids' nervous systems are developing. Exposure to toxins can have different and much more profound effects on children," It is important to keep in mind that children cannot metabolize these chemicals until the age of 7 when then liver starts to mature.”
 
Forman’s team also supports the need to buy organic meat to reduce the risk of exposure to antibiotics given to conventionally raised animals. Eating organic meat reduces the risk of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
 
The only disappointment of the report was they did not see the point of organic milk. I want to remind people that when you buy conventional ice cream or cheese from the United States you are exposing you and your children to excessive genetically modified growth hormone and anti-biotic that is given to conventionally raised cows. Here is a great article that looks at the topic in depth.   
 
If you struggle with the price of organic, I suggest checking out the Environmental Working Group yearly report of the most important food to buy organically.
 
Organic Fruit Is Important by JulieDaniluk.com
 
Here is a summery of the 2016 report:
 
The Dirty Dozen
 
Fruits and veggies in the "dirty dozen" contain pesticide residue and are heavily sprayed due to high levels pest.
 
The list includes:
 
Strawberries
Apples
Nectarines 
Peaches
Celery
Grapes 
Cherries
Spinach
Tomatoes
Bell Pepper
Cherry Tomatoes
Cucumber
 
The Clean 15
 
Fruits and vegetables that are included in the "clean 15" are not generally threatened by as many pests.
 
Avocado   
Sweet Corn (Non-GMO)
Pineapple
Cabbage
Sweet peas
Onion
Asparagus
Mango
Papaya (Non-GMO)
Kiwi
Eggplant
Honey Dew Melon
Grapefruit
Cantaloupe
Cauliflower
  
Eat Organic Food Together by JulieDaniluk.com
 
I feel Dr. Bouchard says it best, “While pesticide-free fruits and greens may be more costly, they are worth the price in terms of future health”.
 
Ancient Indian Proverb:
“We do not inherit the land from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”
Let’s be sure to give our children some land worth farming!
 
Toronto Non-GMO Coalition and David Suzuki Foundation present CELEBRATE FARM TO FORK: Toronto’s 4th Annual GMO-free Festival & Farmers’ Market.
 
Spring is here, which means it’s time to CELEBRATE FARM TO FORK!
 
On Saturday, May 20, 2017 from 12-6pm at Christie Pits Park, the Toronto Non-GMO Coalition and David Suzuki Foundation present CELEBRATE FARM TO FORK: Toronto’s 4th Annual GMO-free Festival & Farmers’ Market. Click here for more information.

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Comments  

# Guest 2012-11-04 20:54
Hi Julie:
You said, " When organic plants are exposed to pests they responds by producing their own protection..." Both insect and disease resistance are determined by soil fertility, whether the plants are organic or not. Breeding disease resistant plants and corn with a toxin incorporated into its DNA are totally missing the point, as expressed by William Albrecht, Ph.D, "It's not the overpowering invader we must fear, but the weakened condition of the victim." In his papers, Albrecht demonstrates that the greatest threat in food is not what is in it that may harm you, but what isn't in it that may harm you.
He also explains that in hybridizing corn, the carbohydrate content was increased at the expense of lowering the protein content. (Side benefit to the farmer: he gets a larger yield even in lower soil fertility) If organic ever has any interest in nutrition, hybrids will not be permitted to be grown organically. They are simply malnutrition without poison.
While nutrients may be nice to talk about, they don't measure the actual nutritional or biological value of the food. This can only be determined by actually feeding the food in experiments. Unlike the one and only dumb species, animals can make nutritional choices on samples of the same crop without a nutrient list. There choice turns out to be able to be traced back to the soil fertility in which the food grew.
Albrecht's evidence, of course, is ignored by mainstream agriculture. What may surprise you is that it is also ignored by organic agriculture. I guess neither wishes to be exposed as to what they are really doing, which is growing crops for yield at the expense of the nutritional value. Papers left by William Albrecht are available in book form from Acres, U.S.A.
Gary Wilson
# Julie Daniluk 2012-11-06 10:36
Hello Gary,

I agree that soil quality is a huge part of the health of the plant but it is also valid to look at other organic practices.

Phytonutrients are naturally occurring defensive compounds found in plants. Phytonutrients including polyphenols, isoflavones and flavonoids (all various forms of antioxidants) are produced and used by the plant to fight off fungus, microbes and other pests.

When a plant is under attack from fungus, bacteria, virus or certain pests, they naturally increase the amount of these critical components to protect themselves. When they are sprayed with pesticides and fertilizers, there is no need to produce these immune-response petrochemicals.

Kind regards, Julie
# Elizabeth Elliott 2013-09-25 22:24
I am just beginning to get on board with this and it is like having a brick thrown at you as you suddenly awaken from a deep sleep and realize what is actually going on with this world and why people are so sick. I speak to many people and many people even though they are sick they get no answers from traditional medicine and are just not getting it when they hear about GMO's and how it filters down the food chain. It hurts me to see people not understanding because in my view they may be able to get the answers to better health if they would only realize why they are so sick.
I started on this journey thanks to my puppy's new vet who actually helped me in pointing me in the right direction just over a month and a half ago. I kind of knew years before something was wrong (10 years actually of ill health) but no doctor could figure out what actually was wrong so all I did was pop Advil and antihistamines and watch my health deteriorate to the point where I could barely accept any antibiotics anymore, basically no antihistamines except for Benadryl and no dental freezings. I knew it was only a matter of time before something would hit me and take me down until I met this veterinarian because I wanted to do the best for my puppy and this special person gave me some answers. I know this is about me and your article is about children, Julie, but my daughter has had so many health issues and not one doctor has been able to help her. She is trying to self-diagnose with illnesses such as sleep apnea, ADD, etc. and I now I realize it may all be so simple as in the foods she's eating. I do hope to be able to find the answers for her as well as myself and bring us both back to good health. Thank you, Julie, for articles such as this. I will repost your article on my facebook page and do hope it helps someone.
Elizabeth Elliott
# Julie Daniluk 2013-09-26 08:20
Thank you for your heart felt post Elizabeth,

I understand the feeling of waking up to a huge realization that though we meant well, we have been doing it all wrong. The more I study, the more I discover and though it is empowering, it can also be overwhelming. So much information! That is why I try to simplify it for others. I have found that keeping it simple at first is the best way to go. Due to our attachment to certain foods isn't easy but really it is not complicated. Remove 90% of processed foods (there are a few lightly processed organic foods that are healthy such as kale chips, etc). Eat 7-10 serving of vegetables, couple pieces of fruit, of few tablespoons of healthy oil, lean meat, or a vegetarian source of protein and stick to gluten free grains. This recipe will help the vast majority of people with most of their health complaints.
Wishing you well on your health journey!
Julie
# Cindy White 2016-03-26 08:25
I changed over to organic food for my family and find that the kids are getting sick as often. I also eliminated sugar and other junk food. Thanks for all your advice Julie!
# Julie Daniluk 2016-03-28 12:00
Excellent to hear Cindy!

Cheers, Julie

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