Eating foods that are in season is often cheaper, tastier, better for the environment and good nutritionally, especially if it means eating more fruit and vegetables. Many people also choose to eat organic food because of environmental concerns and to reduce their exposure to fertilizer and pesticide residues. However, organic food is more expensive and we do not really know if there are any health benefits. Some studies have found particular foods, such as organic carrots, contain higher levels of vitamins, or flavonoids, while other studies have found levels are lower, or just the same.
Some people believe that going organic reduces the risks of childhood cancer and early puberty, or that it benefits cognitive development, but there is no scientific evidence to back this up. The government says that all chemicals used in food, including pesticide sprays and food additives, are tested for safety, and there is no evidence to suggest they are harmful to developing babies. Still, hundreds of new chemicals have been introduced to the food system in the past 60-100 years and nobody knows if long-term effects might be uncovered in years to come. Many women choose to go organic in pregnancy as a precaution to reduce the amount of chemicals they, and therefore their baby, are exposed to. If you are undecided, then bear in mind that the benefits of going organic are debatable, whereas the benefits of eating fruit, vegetables, whole grains, etc are well established, so these are the areas to focus your attention on.
If you eat organic food, you need to be just as careful about washing fruit and vegetables in order to avoid exposure to harmful bacteria. You should also remember that just because products are organic, it does not make them healthy. Organic cola is still sugary water with caffeine and a few additives, and organic chocolate and carrot cake still contain lots of calories. Also, organic food is not fortified with extra vitamins and minerals, so if you have organic breakfast cereal you could have a lower intake of certain nutrients, such as iron and B vitamins.
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