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Ask Dr. Avena: Why is Organic/Biodynamic Important When It Comes To Pregnancy?

We are all familiar with the idea of organically grown food. Conventionally raised crops and livestock are often doused in synthetic fertilizers and pesticides that contain unhealthy and even dangerous chemicals. Organic farming eliminates many of these conventional methods and seeks to work with nature when cultivating crops instead of working against it (1). Biodynamic farming uses similar methods as organic farming, but goes even a step further to create total harmony between the farmer and what is being farmed (2).

When a woman is pregnant or trying to conceive, she must be extra cognizant of the foods she is putting in her body. Mostly all of the nutrients a mother-to-be consumes go directly to her developing fetus, so it is important to eat healthy, high-quality foods. Fruits and vegetables are especially important during this time since they contain a wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, conventionally grown produce often contains harmful chemicals and pesticides which can impact development of the unborn child.

A Look Behind The Proven Science 

A large study done in 2016 on Norwegian mothers and children showed that mothers who consumed more organic food had lower rates of endocrine-related issues in their offspring (3). While this is only a correlation, it is always best to play it safe and minimize intake of potentially damaging chemicals in foods when pregnant or trying to conceive.

The benefits of choosing organic and biodynamic, besides the potential health impacts, is the peace of mind that it offers expectant mothers. Biodynamic farming focuses on creating the highest quality product using transparent and sustainable practices. The methods used in biodynamic farming aim to help and heal the natural world and create better food while doing so. White Leaf Provisions was founded on these beliefs and has worked to develop delicious, nutritious, and harm-free foods for babies and toddlers.

An Informed Personal Choice

As a nutrition expert, I can see the need for a more sustainable method of farming in order to help not only our environment, but also to better our health. And as a Mom, I know that giving your child the healthiest options from the start when it comes to food is critical not only for their healthy development, but also for their relationship with food as they grow older. In our modern world that tends to focus on quick-and-easy processed foods, now is the time to get back to basics and simple ingredients.

A Few Helpful Examples

For example, White Leaf Provisions’ regeneratively farmed apple sauce has zero added sugars, salt, flavors or preservatives, unlike the majority of the options on grocery market shelves, which are often formulated with high fructose corn syrup and food dyes. Instead, they are made with two ingredients each (biodynamic apples + pears, or biodynamic apples + Ceylon cinnamon), picked at the peak of ripeness to preserve those fresh-from-the-tree fall flavors. What you see is what you get.

Or, take their Peach + Oat blend for example, an ideal snack for pregnant women and beginning eaters alike. The oats are certified Glyphosate residue free, which is an especially important call out, because even if you eat all organic, many oat-based foods such as cereal, granola, instant oats, and bars contain the toxic weed-killer in Roundup. The Vitamin C from the antioxidant-rich peaches also helps our bodies to absorb the iron contained in the oats, creating a perfect match for maximum nutritional goodness and purity you can trust.

-- Dr. Nicole Avena 

References

  1. https://www.sare.org/publications/transitioning-to-organic-production/what-is-organic-farming/
  2. https://sustainablefoodtrust.org/articles/ten-things-worth-knowing-about-biodynamic-farming/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4786971/
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