Your kid might soon be ready to start eating something that does not come out of a boob or a bottle. Welcome to the new era: an era of weird baby faces, jacked-up floors, and anxiety about why they’ll only eat things that are brown (which may include furniture, BTW). But, among all of the things you’ll have to decide about your baby’s new nom-ing habits, whether or not to buy organic is one you can knock out pretty easily. It’s at least easier than deciding if you should just cover your kitchen in visqueen for the next several years (yes, you should).
What Does Organic Even Mean
The United States Department Of Agriculture (USDA) is responsible for defining organic for American food production. Interestingly the rubric says nothing about how many culturally appropriated white-dude dreadlocks the organic farmer must have. Instead, organic foods must be:
- Free of synthetic pesticides
- Produced without added hormones
- Grown without synthetic fertilizers or sewage
- Brought to market without irradiation or bioengineering
Interestingly, just because a farmer can’t use synthetic pesticides, doesn’t mean they can’t use pesticides made of natural ingredients. Which means that organic produce probably didn’t get protection from pests thanks to a hippy chick hanging out in the field saying “shoo!” between massive bong rips.
Is It Healthier?
The thing is, organic foods don’t contain any additional nutrients or vitamins. However, they’re less likely to contain crappy chemicals and additives you might not want around your baby’s sensitive developing system. Even the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) agrees that having your kid eat a variety of good fruits and veggies is way more important than whether or not they’re organic. So it really does come down to personal choice. And budget. Because while organics might not be healthier they are hella pricey, especially if you subscribe to a fancypants baby food delivery service.
How To (Kind Of) Eat Organic
If you don’t want to spend a bajillion dollars, there is a solution that totally allows you to split the difference in organic eating and money saving. The good news is that your pesticide problem is found largely in fruits and veg that require you eat the skin. That means there are plenty of things you don’t need to buy organic. Here are 10:
Avocado: Your guac rocks
Pineapple: Nature’s grenade
Onion: Who cares if those are organically produced tears. Not you!
Cabbage: Because it just kind-of grows without help
Sweet Peas: Remove the pod for your pea. All safe.
Sweet Potatoes: An important baby food group unto itself
Mango: As long as you figure out how to cut the damn thing
Kiwi: Down with the fuzz
Eggplant: Though why anyone is planting eggs is anyone’s guess
Asparagus: What’s that smell? Oh, it’s your kid’s pee.
Of course, for younger babies only a couple of these make sense. However, you can definitely build a cheapo sweet potato puree diet and kids go bonkers for mangos, kiwi, and avocado, which are super simple to mash for early gumming / spitting.
As your kid gets older, you can start thinking about whether or not you want to give them organic milk or meats. That’s a whole other animal. (You get it.)