Even though I’m one of the most frugal moms you’ll ever meet, most rules are out the window when it comes to food. Because it’s what we put in our bodies to survive.
So what about what you feed your baby body during the most crucial time of development: birth to age 3? This is when I’ll go organic whenever possible. Let’s dig into the benefits of organic baby food.
1. Organic baby food has fewer fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics and hormones.
While the USDA certified organic label isn’t perfect, it guarantees certain things aren’t in the food.
Regarding organic produce: “Prohibited substances include most synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.”
Regarding organic meat: “Animals are fed 100% organic feed and forage, and not administered antibiotics or hormones.”
Regarding organic packaged foods: “Prohibit organically processed foods from containing artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors and require that their ingredients are organic, with some minor exceptions.”1
2. Organic baby food won’t have GMOs.
If it’s USDA organic, then genetically modified organisms (GMOs), are prohibited.
There’s not enough scientific evidence yet to know what harm ingesting GMOs can cause us. But we do know more than 40 nations are now required to label it on their packaging.
And in some countries, GMOs are banned entirely.
We also know GMOs result in increased pesticide use that’s getting into our foods. And that’s bad for the environment, us, and our babies. The world’s leading cancer experts stated that glyphosate, a common herbicide, is “probably carcinogenic to humans”.2
3. Organic produce has more Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
Omega-3 fats are the “good fats” we need. The standard diet is often out of balance with too many Omega-6 fats.
Organic milk and dairy typically have more Omega-3s because the animals are grazing on grass.3 (I won’t go into what conventional animals do here, but unfortunately it’s not great.)
Antioxidants are also important for you and your baby because they can help prevent cell damage.
This study from PubMed concluded antioxidants are “substantially higher in organic crops.”4
4. You’re supporting sustainable farming practices.
Organic farms typically use biodiversity and composting to produce food. These practices help to conserve resources, such as water and energy. They also help protect the environment.
“Organic farmers apply techniques first used thousands of years ago… in ways that are economically sustainable in today’s world.”5
5. Organic food is more nutritious.
This is a bold statement and hasn’t been totally proven… yet.
Although long-term studies are still needed, a PubMed review states: ” …organic agriculture seems to contribute to maintaining an optimal health status and decreases the risk of developing chronic diseases.”6
And here’s a fact: the nutrient density of fruits and vegetables grown in the US has declined over the past 50-70 years. Because we’ve changed the process in so many ways, it’s known as the “dilution effect.”
Rodale Institute states: “organic methods improve soil and that improved soil leads to healthier plants — we believe both make for healthier people.”7
And they’re hoping to prove that with their Vegetable Systems Trial. I’m personally ever so grateful this trial is happening and am excited about the results.
6. Organic food is typically fresher.
Because organic food doesn’t rely on preservatives to make them last longer, it’s typically fresher. That said, it will also go bad more quickly… but I’d rather have that than “fake fresh”.
Quick tip: if the produce on your countertop is starting to turn, stick it in your fridge to get a few more days of freshness.
7. Choosing organic produce may reduce your risk of cancer and diabetes.
Studies show choosing organic produce may reduce the risk of cancer and diabetes. This is likely due to less pesticides. And wow the percentages are high:
Should Babies Eat Organic Food?
Because organic baby food has no GMOs, fewer fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics and hormones: yes, it’s worth the investment to give your baby organic food.
Is Natural or Organic Baby Food Better?
While natural baby food may not contain synthetic or artificial ingredients or additives, organic baby food is the better choice. Organic baby food is considered safer because it’s regulated by the USDA. This is because it has fewer fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics and hormones.
Take a look at your budget and see if other things can be taken out to go with organic. Also see the tips below to get the best deals.
Please note all of this isn’t to tell you not to give conventional produce to your baby!
Eating any type of fruit and vegetable (even conventional) will always be healthier than not eating any at all.
How to Save Money on Organic Baby Food
1. Grow your own food. By far the cheapest, but also the hardest. If you have the time and a green thumb, this is the way to go.
2. Join a local co-op. The next best thing to your own backyard is one nearby.
3. Organic Baby Food Delivery. This can get pricey, but add the savings below and it’s a viable option.
4. Join TopCashBack. It’s free and the savings add up fast. Yumi organic baby food delivery is there. It’s easy to redeem as well.
5. Use Honey. Forget trying to look up coupon codes. Use Honey and it’ll find the best usable codes when you go to checkout. I’ve saved hundreds.
6. Vitacost. No membership fee and there’s always a coupon code. Use TopCashBack and Honey with Vitacost, and your savings are huge.
7. If you can only buy some organic, go with the ones found in EWG’s Dirty Dozen.
Organic Baby Food Wrap-up
I choose organic baby food because of these benefits:
- Fewer fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics and hormones.
- No GMOs.
- More Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants than non-organic.
- Supports sustainable farming practices.
- Typically fresher and more nutritious.
- May reduce risk of cancer and diabetes.
That’s all mamas, hope this helps! Congrats on taking one more easy step toward living a greener life for you and baby.
Peace love & baby kicks.
Care to share?
1. McEvoy, Miles. “Organic 101: What the USDA Organic Label Means.” USDA, US Department of Agriculture, 13 March 2019, https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2012/03/22/organic-101-what-usda-organic-label-means/
2. “IARC Monograph on Glyphosate.” https://www.iarc.who.int/featured-news/media-centre-iarc-news-glyphosate/
3. Storrs, Carina. “Organic meats, milk could have more of good-for-you fats, study finds.” CNN health, Cable News Network, 18 February 2016, https://www.cnn.com/2016/02/18/health/organic-meat-milk-fatty-acids-omega-3s/index.html
4. Barański, Marcin; Średnicka-Tober, Dominika … “Higher antioxidant and lower cadmium concentrations and lower incidence of pesticide residues in organically grown crops: a systematic literature review and meta-analyses.” PubMed Central, National Center for Biotechnology Information, 14 March 2014, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4141693/
5. “Organic vs. conventional farming.” Rodale Institute, https://rodaleinstitute.org/why-organic/organic-basics/organic-vs-conventional/
6. Hurtado-Barroso, Sara; Tresserra-Rimbau, Anna; Vallverdú-Queralt, Anna; Lamuela-Raventós, Rosa María. “Organic food and the impact on human health.” PubMed, National Center for Biotechnology Information, 30 November 2017, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29190113/
7. “Human Health.” Rodale Institute, https://rodaleinstitute.org/why-organic/issues-and-priorities/human-health/
8. Baudry, Julia; Assmann, Karen E. “Association of frequency of organic food consumption with cancer risk: findings from the NutriNet-Santé prospective cohort study.” PubMed, National Center for Biotechnology Information, 1 December 2018, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30422212/
9. Kesse-Guyot, Emmanuelle; Rebouillat, Pauline … “Prospective association between organic food consumption and the risk of type 2 diabetes: findings from the NutriNet-Santé cohort study.” PubMed, National Center for Biotechnology Information, 9 November 2020, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33167995/
About the Author
Jen Brady — Chief Green Mama
Mom of two. Wife of one. Holistic nutritional consultant. Amateur biohacker. Guide of the Green Yourself Pregnancy Challenge. Author of the Green Your Baby Registry Guide.
I'm wild about pregnancy and babies (in a sane way) and I need to steer you away from harsh chemicals and hormone disruptors. Stick with me to keep it lean and green.