We all know we're supposed to be feeding our children the best organic foods. But why? And is it really that crucial?

I've always wondered about this, so I've de-mystified the facts for you here. The main thing is that organic foods are more nutrient dense and without the pesticide load. Pesticides are a broad range of chemicals designed to kill or corrupt the growth of living things, which humans are. The reason it's a bigger deal for our little people is that children are more affected by consuming chemicals, pesticides and hormones from food and drinks. So there is a point in trying to get fresh, seasonal, organic produce where possible. They have a smaller body mass, under developed organs and systems and therefore are more vulnerable to the side effects of these chemicals. It can be expensive and difficult to find organic everything, so before you get in a panic DO bear in mind this amazing list, known as THE CLEAN FIFTEEN, (from the Environmental Working Group and published yearly). It's all the fruits and veg that are almost untouched by pesticides when not organic, and therefore you can rest easy that there are precious little in the way of nasties getting into these. Lots of my friends take these lists to the shops with them to make it all less of a headache. For example;those with thick skins seem to fare better, like avocados that are tested with incredibly low, trace levels of pesticides as well as these:
Clean Fifteen
On the flip side there are also the fruits and vegetables that are much more highly polluted than others, THE DIRTY DOZEN, and it is worth bearing this in mind in your supermarket dash. Soft fruits such as strawberries are incredibly concentrated in pesticides, as are the rest of this list:
Dirty DozenWhen buying meat, dairy or any animal products it is particularly important to focus on high quality, organic farm produce, as toxins are stored in their fat, where there is a concentrated amount of hormones, pesticides and toxins. It is definitely more expensive, but better to eat less, really great quality meat than lots of the other I think. The main thing to remember is that their immature organs and digestive systems and smaller bodies are not nearly as good at processing the toxins, so don’t overload them if you can help it, but getting lots of delicious fruit and veg in them is more important than not, so don't beat yourself up over it. Organic tastes better and has a lot more going for it, so try a farmer's market, farm shop or vegetable box so you can get the best quality fruit and vegetables without having to worry. Riverford have an amazing weekly veg box, and meat, fish, chicken and store cupboard goodies that you can add and take away from, as well as changing and stopping deliveries when you want. Local Foods has a directory of when Farmer's Markets are where. Daylesford Farm has lots of their meat and produce available from Ocado now as well as their farm shops in London and the countryside. They have been organically producing for 35 years, and their food is top quality.