Fruit and Vegetables To Buy Organic For Baby
Pureed fruit and vegetables are best for weaning baby on to solids. Mindful Mum lists the most important items to buy organic, based on the pesticide residues of fruit and vegetables sampled in the UK by the Government and assessed by the Pesticide Action Network (PAN UK).
Among the many valuable services PAN UK provides is the Pesticides On A Plate guide which looks at the issue of pesticides in our food chain. Since 2005 PAN UK has used the Government’s Pesticide Residue Committee quarterly reports for monitoring pesticides food from retailers in the UK. In 2006 approximately 40 different foods were tested with a total of 3,562 samples analysed.
Of the non-organic fruit and vegetables from UK tested , these had the highest pesticide load, making them the most important to buy organic versions – or to grow organically yourself:
- Soft Citrus, e.g. mandarins (167 samples – 100% had pesticide residues)
- Citrus e.g. oranges, lemons & limes (512 samples – 91% had pesticide residues)
- Pears (1066 samples – 76% had pesticide residues)
- Strawberries (283 samples – 70% had pesticide residues)
- Bananas (161 samples – 70% had pesticide residues)
- Apples (1239 samples – 59% had pesticide residues)
- Speciality Beans (70 samples – 76% had pesticide residues)
- Salad, baby leaf (70 samples – 74% had pesticide residues)
- Celery (137 samples – 69% had pesticide residues)
- Potatoes* (1082 samples – 35% had pesticide residues)
* Note I have included potatoes in the top 10, despite potato chips and pre-packed salads having greater pesticide residues, due to Mum’s being more likely to feed weaning babies potatoes rather than potato chips or raw salads.
Whilst some of the fruit and vegetables above may be peeled before consumption (e.g. citrus and bananas) their pesticide residues indicate a high level of pesticide use, resulting in exposure of workers within the food chain and environmental contamination. In an ever increasingly inter-connected world, Mums are mindful of their children’s health and the health and well being of families directly involved in the production of their food. Pesticide and herbicide use contaminates groundwater, ruins soil structures and promotes erosion.
Why is it important to think about pesticides before you buy? Both PAN UK and the US based Environment Working Group (EWG) highlight a growing consensus among scientists that small doses of some pesticides and other chemicals can cause lasting damage to human health, especially during fetal development and early childhood.
About PAN UK
PAN UK is the only organisation in Britain dedicated to raising awareness of the problems with pesticides. PAN UK is part of a global network. PAN UK works closely with partners in developing countries, where pesticide problems are sometimes far worse. In developing countries there are as many as three million poisonings and 20,000 deaths each year from pesticide incidents.
Among it many valuable services, PAN UK has achieved a ban on lindane, established the Africa Stockpiles Programme and increasing the use of organic cotton in the UK, increased availability of disposal facilities for household pesticides in the UK and strengthened the international commitment to deal with pesticide hazards.
To avoid confusion when shopping, here is another list with the foods you don’t need to buy organic