Should you only feed your teen organic food?

Organic food has become very popular, and there are many claims as to the potential health benefits and the positive effect on the environment that go hand in hand with eating organic. The availability, quality and variety of organic products are on the rise, so it is now easier than ever to “go organic.”

Organic crops have to meet certain standards. They are grown with natural fertilizers such as manure and compost, without the use of synthetic or chemical pesticides, herbicides, insecticides or sewage sludge. Bioengineering or petroleum-based fertilizers are not used. Livestock must be given organic feed and be allowed to roam outdoors. Diseases are prevented by natural means, and the use of antibiotics and controversial growth hormones is also forbidden. There is no conclusive evidence to prove that organic food is safer to eat or more nutritious, but there are other benefits. Organic produce has no chemical residue from pesticides, which can accumulate in the body. Children and people with weak immune systems may be more vulnerable to health issues from pesticide exposure. Organic food is usually fresher and often tastes better, as it is not chemically treated with preservatives. Animals raised for organic meat production are generally healthier, and there is no danger of ingesting hormones or antibiotics.

The fact is that how food is grown can have an impact on your health and the environment, but the choice of eating only organic food is a matter of personal preference. You can make good food choices for your teen with conventionally grown products as well. A healthy and well-balanced diet should include fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. A healthy lifestyle is a commitment, whether you choose to eat organic or not.