Sometimes, it’s easier and less worrisome not to know what’s in your food- it must be safe otherwise the supermarkets wouldn’t sell it, right? Wrong. The truth is we just don’t know what real harm pesticides can do to our bodies, but we know that our children’s are more vulnerable to their potentially harmful effects.
Children and infants absorb pesticides quicker than adults, because their small kidneys cannot rid their bodies of toxins as fast as fully-grown ones. Children actually absorb on average four times more pesticides than adults. In the US, the average child under 5 ingests a mixture of around 20 different pesticides a day. The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) states that only 43% of the chemical pesticides used in farming have been properly studied for ‘reliable toxicity data’, meaning that the other 57% are used with unknown guidelines. Scary, huh? The rise in cancer diagnosis this century has also been linked to the increasingly toxic world we are now living in. Farming in 2012 uses four times as many chemical pesticides as it did in 1961.
We Live in a Toxic World
It’s impossible to stop children from coming into contact with chemicals- it’s in water, on lawns, in playgrounds and used in dyes to make clothes. So what can we do as parents to limit our children’s exposure to chemicals?
Well, fist of all we can educate ourselves about the foods that use a high number of pesticides and chemicals, and make a conscious effort to switch to organic. FFM really rates The Daily Green as a trusted source of information on organic food and healthy diets. Check out their article 12 Foods to Eat Organic which will help you choose which foods you can switch too and make the biggest impact on your children’s diet
Teach your kids about where food comes from
Involve your children in the decision making when switching to organic food so that they grow up valuing nature. An organic health food shop is a great place to start- lots of lovely fresh vegetables, some with the dirt still on them!
Try explaining to our kids that by choosing organic foods, especially vegetables, we are helping nature by letting it do its own thing: The use of pesticides and genetically modified foods (GMO) interferes with nature’s natural course- think of all the little bugs and insects that pesticides get rid of! Worms are essential for soil in helping nature’s safe, natural chemicals get into the food we eat. Kids may not like the thought of creepy crawlies on their food, but reassure them that without them we wouldn’t be here. 🙂
FFM found this very cute little cartoon that helps explain the organic process, and how bugs and insects mix up the nutrients in the soil to help things grow.