Updated: Apr 4
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, “Organic is a labeling term that indicates that food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods”. Eating organic foods is important during pregnancy as it helps reduce the toxic load in your body.
Inorganic foods might not supply the nutrients needed to take you through your pregnancy because chemicals and additives may have compromised the quality. Eating such food during pregnancy could have a harmful effect on the fetus.
Although some experts believe that there is no nutritional difference between organic and conventionally produced foods, it does not take away the fact that eating organic foods reduce the toxic load in your body. You can find pesticide residues in conventional foods due to the farming practices the crop was exposed to during cultivation. Eating inorganic foods while you are pregnant has it risks which you should know about.
Risks of eating inorganic food during pregnancy
Studies have shown that eating the chemicals in pesticides and other fertilizers used in ensuring the growth of plants could affect the weight of the baby,2 and can also lead congenital disabilities,2 miscarriage, and stillbirths which is why pregnant women must be careful about the source of food they eat.
According to another research, concentrations of pesticides are found in the amniotic fluid and the umbilical cord5 which could affect fetal development. A developing fetus which is still going through critical stages of formation cannot be bothered about looking for ways to flush out chemicals like matured body systems.
Eating organic foods during pregnancy has shown to reduce a urogenital birth defect known as hypospadias which affects baby boys. Also, organic foods help to reduce exposure to pesticides.
But the truth is almost every food source has been exposed to chemicals to protect them from insects and pest.
These pesticides can flow into the water during rainy seasons and contaminate the seafood there. This means, not only the land and air are contaminated; the water also is part of it.
These are sources of natural food sources of nutrients that farmers grow without using pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. For example, when we refer to organic meats, we mean meat that comes from animals that have not been fed with chemically added foods or antibiotics and have been allowed to graze on different lands rather than being restricted to one location. They have also not been given or injected with antibiotics or growth hormones.
How to eat organic food during pregnancy
The fact that organic foods are most times more expensive than chemically preserved food is one factor that discourages mothers from purchasing them. It is especially true for the low-income pregnant women who are looking for ways to pay for antenatal sessions and book appointments with the doctor.
They can’t stress about adding the burden of eating organic foods. Moreover, it is sometimes impossible to get organic foods from most stores around, and this can be discouraging. With this in mind, there are ways you can have more organic foods in your diet without breaking the bank. Examples are:
Replacing known preserved foods with organic foods
It is common knowledge that most of these chemicals get trapped in the back peels of foods more especially in fruits. You can buy some of these fruits and scrap off their peels before using them, if they are found in foods, parboil them before final cooking. It would reduce the chemical concentration in them. If the back is eaten along with the fruit like tomatoes, grapes and apples, you can then invest your money into buying those products from an organic farm or market. Using this method is more realistic and practical.
You can cut out the fat area of meat which is said to house most of the chemicals. Purchase organic butter or low-fat milk if you need fat supply. Also, wash your fruits well before eating. You can also discard the outer layer of some foods and fruits like cabbage, lettuce, onions, and others.
Buy organic animal products
Most animals are raised in an inorganic way from injecting them with growth hormones to adding chemicals to their feed, and as a result, have a concentration of chemicals which transfers to their products. Buying organic animal products will limit the risk associated with eating inorganic food. You can buy them in large quantity to reduce the amount of money you will spend, since buying things in bulk are more economical.
Buy from big stores
Most big stores have taken into consideration the caliber of people that could troop in to get a thing or two, and so, they invest in the quality of their products making sure they are up to standard. Take advantage of this and shop for your organic products.
Some farmers have decided to grow their crops and rear animals without using pesticides and other chemicals that are capable of not only compromising their farm produce but also causing environmental pollution that will hurt the environment and people living in it for years to come.
These farmers use natural methods such as crop rotation, natural fertilizer, and pest management. Find out about those living around your area and buy organic foods from them. Buying fresh farm produce will prevent you from eating chemically preserved foods. It will also encourage these farmers to continue using organic methods in farming.
Buying directly from farms is usually cheaper than buying from supermarkets or grocery stores because it has not undergone any form of redistribution which may add to its price.
You can get organic foods at a cheaper rate by using the coupons available on the website of some of these stores. Also, look out for special discounts on some of these products.
Avoid the use of an inorganic product
Insecticides, home repellant, insect repellants and other forms of pesticides used around the home for the lawn, pets or bug reduction should be reduced. Find out if there are other alternatives to using them.
You can have your little organic garden where you can grow crops you know are hard to get into farms or supermarkets.
A vegetable garden will be ideal as it is easy to manage and difficult to get organically. Vegetables such as lettuce, celery, tomatoes, bell peppers, spinach, kale and cabbage, can be grown organically at home. You can even try out sweet potatoes, carrots, cucumbers and other easily grown crops.
The farmers may not have the patience to grow organic crops because they are just after making profits without caring about the negative effects. But you have the patience because you know the life you are carrying inside you is precious and worth every of your effort.
And on the plus side, gardening is one of the physical activities pregnant women are advised to engage. Take advantage of the opportunity to lose weight and keep fit with nature.