Organic vs. Conventional Foods

As we are busy preparing our Thanksgiving Day Feasts, we parents need to be aware of a timely report on organic foods. A new AAP Clinical Report published in the November issue of Pediatrics states that organic foods are no more nutritious than foods produced in the conventional manner. The most important part of feeding our children is to be sure they are offered a healthy well-balanced diet. If finances permit, organic foods can be added to the meals.

Some organic fruits and vegetables have been shown to contain less pesticide residue than conventionally grown produce. Since we do not know what effect long term pesticide residue has on the developing brain and body, we should be cautious. Also, organic meats and poultry are free of nontherapeutic antibiotics so there is a reduced risk of exposure to multi drug exposed bacteria. One resource that might be helpful is the website by Environmental Working Group’s “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticide in Produce”.

Remember as we plan our Thanksgiving Day grocery lists, there appears to be no nutritive advantage to organic foods. There may be other benefits to organic foods. Most importantly, enjoy your Thanksgiving meal with your family in this special time to give thanks.

Elizabeth Chea, MD