Discovering The Benefits Of Organic Produce For Children

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By Christie Korth, CHC AADP

kidsjumpingBeing a parent today can be tough. Being the parent of a child afflicted with a neurobehavioral disorder: challenging!

When a parent thinks about behavior, it’s likely that food is the farthest element one would pinpoint as a negative catalyst to a child’s demeanor. However, this could not be further from the truth. Parents: you should be paying big attention to what your child is consuming!

The vast majority of children today are consuming foods that are covered in pesticides, hormones and even formaldehyde. How sad! Even innocent looking grapes are covered in covered in embalming fluid. What kind of effect is this having on our children? Well, for one thing, we know the nutrition content is not the same! And it is common sense that we need proper nutrition to build a healthy brain! In fact, having nutritional deficiencies in omega 3 fatty acids and B vitamins can be catastrophic for a child with autism or ADHD.

So how can we improve upon a child’s nutrition intake, without playing around with the child’s Flintstone vitamins?

An important study has just been released proving that conventional produce is not as healthy as organic. The Study: “Fruit and Soil Quality of Organic and Conventional Strawberry Agroecosystems,” led by Washington State University Regents professor of soil science John Reganold, is one of the most comprehensive, persuasive studies yet to show the nutritional and environmental benefits of organic farming. (Reganold JP, November 28, 2009; Accepted: July 23, 2010; Published: September 1, 2010) At multiple sampling times for two years, three varieties of strawberries for tested for mineral elements, shelf life, phytochemical composition, and organoleptic properties. The study also analyzed traditional soil properties and soil DNA using microarray technology. The conclusion? Organic farms had strawberries with longer shelf life, greater dry matter, and higher antioxidant activity and concentrations of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and phenolic compounds!

Do you know what’s even better for all of you parents out there with picky eaters?

strawberriesIn one variety, sensory panels judged organic strawberries to be sweeter and have better flavor, overall acceptance, and appearance than their conventional counterparts. Finally the study also found the organically farmed soils to have more total carbon and nitrogen, greater microbial biomass and activity, and higher concentrations of micronutrients. Organically farmed soils also exhibited greater numbers of endemic genes and greater functional gene abundance and diversity for several biogeochemical processes, such as nitrogen fixation and pesticide degradation.

So, in short- findings show that the organic strawberry farms produced higher quality fruit and that their higher quality soils may have greater microbial functional capability and resilience to stress. These findings justify additional investigations aimed at detecting and quantifying such effects and their interactions.

With studies like this coming out, it is vital for parents to look into eating organic foods for their children. Today, we are fortunate that organic foods are becoming more and more popular and readily accessible than ever before. For the budget conscious parent, it would be wise to look into joining an organic co-op, which provides fresh, organic produce directly from the farm. With the middle man literally weeded out of the equation, the cost reflects upon this and decreases.
So, the next time you see a grape covered in white “stuff” at the market, remember this article and put it back. Know you made a smart choice for the sake of healthy neurological functioning and pat yourself on the back!

Work Cited

1. Reganold JP, A. P.-B. (November 28, 2009; Accepted: July 23, 2010; Published: September 1, 2010). Fruit and Soil Quality of Organic and Conventional Strawberry Agroecosystems. . The project was supported by the United States Department of Agriculture through the National Science Foundation/U.S. Department of Agriculture Microbial Observatories Program, the Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research, and , PLoS ONE 5(9): e12346. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012346.

Christie Korth is a Crohn’s disease survivor, author, certified health coach and holistic nutritionist who found her way to health and wellness after nearly succumbing to a severe case of Crohn’s disease. After harnessing the power of nutrition and gaining her health back, she then went on to be the founder and director of Happy & Healthy Wellness Counseling based just outside of NYC. She studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Columbia University and the Clayton College of Natural Health and is a certified holistic health practitioner with the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Christie is the Corporate Nutritionist for Brain Balance Achievement Centers, where she designs the nutrition protocol for franchises across the country. Christie is a nutrition expert for Dr. Oz’s and frequently contributes nutrition articles to Long Island Parent Magazine. Christie is he author of The IBD Healing Plan and Recipe Book: A Guide to Releive Crohn’s and Colitis with Whole Foods. Christie lives in New York with her son, her husband, and her cat.