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Mothers and Babies - why you should eat organic

There is always some kind of food scare in the papers at the moment. There are so many issues surrounding food these days, like pesticides, GM foods and even water pollution. Because of this many parents have started to look for wholesome, safe food to feed their families.

Many health professionals and parents have started to realise the importance of a good diet when raising your children, especially in their first years. Also when trying to become pregnant, or when you are pregnant, the best possible nourishment is needed. During the weaning period when children start eating solids instead of just milk, it is crucial to get their diets right.

When trying to become pregnant or during your pregnancy it is essential that you get the right amount of nourishment, eating a balanced diet containing reasonable amounts of carbohydrate, fat, protein, vitamins and minerals every day.

Here is a short guide to what foods contain and what we should be eating to get the essential nourishment:

  • For a range of minerals eat fresh fruit, vegetables and well-washed green salads.
  • For protein and minerals eat meat, eggs, fish, beans, nuts, peas and lentils.
  • For energy, vitamins, minerals & fibre eat bread and cereals.
  • For protein, vitamins and calcium eat milk and milk products.
  • Try and eat at least five portions of either fruit or vegetables every day.

Folic acid has been shown to help prevent spina bifida. Folic acid can be found in these foods:

Fruit
Nuts
Leafy Vegetables
Rice
Bread

Before you start trying for a baby you should start taking a daily supplement of Folic Acid, you should also continue to take the supplement during early pregnancy. However having too much vitamin A can be toxic, so you need to avoid foods like liver and liver products (but you can eat these foods occasionally after 12 weeks).

When eating eggs they should be well cooked, also dairy products should be pasteurised. To avoid risk of infection try not to eat soft cheeses, pate's, un-pasteurised or blue veined cheeses.

Also a daily intake of Iron is important for mother and baby to help red blood cell formation. The kinds of foods iron is found in is fish, meat, poultry, fruit and vegetables and cereal, a daily supplement can be prescribed if your diet is not giving you enough iron.

If you eat organic food during your pregnancy you also help to ensure that the body remains free of toxins. Many synthetic chemicals exist in the environment, food and water supply chains, chemicals that did not exist 100 years ago. The term "organic" is strictly defined by law. Synthetic fertilisers, herbicide or pesticides are not used in the growth of organic food, neither is the use of antibiotics and growth promoters in animals. These artificial methods are not used in organic farming and food production. Instead methods that give healthy, fertile soil, growing a mixture of the right crops that encourages a diversity of beneficial insects and other wildlife, all contributes to healthy organic food and unpolluted countryside.

If you choose to eat organic food you can ensure that your body is not exposed to lots of toxins. Also the organic ingredients used in a baby foods are not allowed to contain regular processing aids (such as maltodextrin and flavourings).

Why should you choose organic food for your children? here are a few reasons:

  • The regulation for the amount of pesticide residues found in non-organic baby foods, are based on the 'acceptable' amounts for adult food, not babies or children's food.
  • Babies and children are at a greater risk because their body systems and organ's are not fully matured, which makes them much more vunerable to toxins.
  • Because babies and children's diets are restricted to just a few kinds of less processed foods, such as potatoes, apples, carrots, etc, they may receive higher exposures.
  • Children are at their most vulnerable from conception till one year old. This critical time in their development means that cells are multiplying at their peak, and yet what happens if the body has limited diet to draw upon?
  • Baby's have a better digestive system for absorbing foods compared with adults, this enables the nutrients to be used more quickly but also making the body more vulnerable to toxins.
  • Kidneys in a child or a baby's body are not fully grown and developed which means the child or baby can not extract harmful substances as well, they circulate in their bodies for longer.
  • Babies and children are more vulnerable to pesticide residues because of their special physiology, in the same way we suspect that GM foods can have an even greater impact on children and babies compared to adults. The very best way you can protect yourself and your child from all these possible problems is to eat organic. Organic foods are grown without GM seeds that are becoming widely available to non-organic farmers.

 

There are many places popping up all over the country where you can by organic food. Most supermarkets and independent shops stock some organic produce. There is also a growing number of organic veggie 'box schemes' available. These veggie box schemes are really great because you can eat local produce that is grown on an organic farm near you, this supports your local farmer and doesn't have food miles like many products in supermarkets. The vegetables are fresh every week and if you need more information all you have to do is ask your farmer. To search for local veggie box schemes and shops please check out my organic directory - Click Here!

For food to be certified as organic it need to be inspected annually by an authorised body like the Soil Association. The Soil Association is the leading organic certification body in the UK, and their organic symbol is only given to food produced according to their rigorous standards. There are a number of standards that organic food producers have to comply with including, farm animal welfare, environmental criteria, growing methods, packaging and processing.

As a parent can you think of anything more important than the health and welfare of your child or children? The food that we give to our families is a mayor part of this, and it affects their development. health, and future happiness. this is why we need to make sure that we give them the very best possible start in life - so eat organic!

 

Local Farmers Markets Boom & Organic Food Sales Grows by £2.3 Million a Week!
Released 14th November 2005

There has been a huge increase in organic food sales. Last year organic food and products sales grew and reached £1.213 billion, which is an 11% increase from the previous year. According to statistics released by the Soil Association this growth in sales equates to £2.3 million a week.

The most comprehensive review of the organic sector was carried out this year by the Soil Association, and called "The Soil Associations Organic Market Report 2005". This report highlights that the sales in organic food and products via box schemes, farmers markets and farm shops, has grown by 33% in 2004. independent retail shops sales also rocketed, and increased by 43%. The supermarket share of the market actually fell to 75%, from 81%. However, the supermarket's still account for £913 million in sales.

The key findings in this report were:

  • The appeal of organic food and products is widening. it is not only the people who are high earners and the middle classes that buy organic food now, with over half of those in lower income groups actually buying some organic food and products.
  • Even though there has been a static birth rate from 2003 to 2004, the increase in sales of organic baby food has grown 6% 9from 2003 to 2004). Compared with 1.5% increase for non-organic baby foods over the same period of time. Organic baby food has a sales value of £51 million in 2004, and accounts for over half of the total baby food market, compared with £49 million for non-organic baby meals.
  • A worrying 1% increase in imported organic food and products, with some leading supermarkets switching from UK produced organic salad, beef and pork.

This report shows that their is a good increase in organic food and products, and the popularity of organic food is growing. This shows a bright future for the organic market. Many people are very eager to buy food from local producers rather than food that has lots of "food miles". This is good news for local producers, farmers markets, etc.

Supermarkets are responding two ways to the growing organic food market, with some acting positively, but others choosing to import instead of buying local. The imported beef etc may be cheaper but it means an increase in "food miles" and are often produced to a lower standard of animal welfare.This is an area the Government need to concentrate on and get the major supermarkets to take their targets seriously!

 

Number of Registered Organic and In-Conversion Producers in the UK
(January 2003 - 2005)

 

Number of registered organic and in-conversion producers

January 2003

January 2004

January 2005

% change to January 2005

% of UK total

Northeast
73 73 78 7 1.9

Northwest
171 165 164 -1 4.1

Yorkshire and Humberside
136 132 137 4 3.4

East Midlands
220 217 212 -2 5.3

West Midlands
330 320 320 0 8.0

Eastern
248 250 244 -2 10.0

Southwest
1026 1007 1008 0 25.1

Southeast
(inc.London)
418 406 399 -2 10.0

England
2622 2570 2562 -0.3 63.9

Wales
618 610 640 4.9 16.0

Scotland
725 687 632 -8 15.8

Northern Ireland
139 150 176 17.3 4.4
 

UK total
4104 4017 4010 -0.2  

 

 
Organic News Pages - Archives


Organic News Page 1:

Urgent Talks Regarding Global Food Costs

UK CO2 Emissions Rise Faster Than EU Average

Fairtrade Shopping Revolution in the UK

Organic News Page 2:

Organic Bread

Ethical Air Freight of Organic Food

Organic News Page 3:

Soil Association Organic Market Report - Organic Food Sales Soar

 

Organic News Page 4:

The Soil Association Organic Food Festival

Organic Awards - Winners Announced

Organic Milk and Cheese Sales Rise

Organic News Page 5:

Is it on the Label?

M&S Turning Green

Organic News Page 6:

Opinion Split over Organic Food

Organic Farmers etc Reply to Doubt Cast by Minister

Organic News Page 7:

Ethical Spending (eg. Organic Food) is at an all Time High!! And has beaten Beer & Cigarette Sales!!

Organic News Page 8:

Devon - Voted The No. 1 Organic County!

Soil Association at the National Fruit Show

Organic News Page 9:

Launch of New Similac Organic Formula Milk for Infants

Supermarkets - Organic Friend or Foe?

Organic News Page 10:

The Importance of Locally Produced Food

So What's in a Name? - soorganic.co.uk tries to fight leading brand for name...

Organic Food Growing Market

Organic News Page 11:

Have an Organic Valentines Day

Organic Food Catching On

Raising Awareness of Organic Food

Organic News Page 12:

Mothers and Babies - why you should eat organic

Local Farmers Markets Boom & Organic Food Sales Grows by £2.3 Million a Week!

 

 

 

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