Best & Worst List of Foods containing Chemicals | Organic September

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Pinch punch, first of the month!

The summer has flown past and suddenly it’s September.

Organic September! An annual campaign celebrating all things Organic led by the Soil Association and supported by Organix. 

Organic September is a month-long campaign which aims to raise awareness of Organic products, and the brands, producers, and farmers that bring them to us in the UK. It encourages people to make small changes to their purchasing habits and aims to help raise awareness of the true meaning and benefits of organic products. Food products that are labeled as Organic must meet strict regulations on how they are grown and produced and must meet the high standards required under European law. 

The Soil Association encourages people to switch to organic if possible, saying that by switching even one item to organic we will help contribute to changing our food system. If we buy more organic foods we are supporting organic farms which in turn means fewer pesticides are used, benefiting our wildlife and ensuring more animals are raised under higher animal welfare standards. 

We are fully behind the campaign as we have been using organic products for years, including purchasing  Organix snacks for our children. Organix launched a nationwide junk busting campaign last year that we were proud to support. Organix believes in giving children the best start in life and believe that everybody, no matter how young deserves to eat well. The Organix No Junk Promise is a stamp of reassurance and means that all of their ingredients will always be organic. 

Organix asked a UK leading food safety expert, Professor Vyvyan Howard for his thoughts on pesticides. 

“It is widely accepted that young children are considerably more vulnerable from toxic chemicals than adults. There is still much debate amongst scientists about the safety of pesticides.
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However, the truth is, we simply do not know what the effect is of lifelong exposure to a cocktail of man-made chemicals. We just know children are more vulnerable”

Since our son Teddy was born, we have been very careful with the foods we have introduced to him. Jen has always been very aware of the foods she eats but I had never really thought about it before becoming a parent. Becoming responsible for the diet of my children opened my eyes to food products in a way they had never been opened before. It became extremely important for me to know where the food I chose for the children came from and ensure that I was providing a high quality, healthy and balanced diet. 

My wife Jen is a vegan and she does most of the food shopping. It has always been important to her to have a healthy, cruelty-free diet and the products in our home largely represent those beliefs.

Our diet is vegetable and pulse heavy with small amounts of dairy, meat, and fish for me and the children.
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Being a vegan means that Jen is very aware of animal welfare. We will only buy animal products that are cruelty-free. That is why Organic products are part of our weekly food shop. Organic products ensure high standards of animal welfare and are always free range. Buying organic also means fewer pesticides, no artificial additives or preservatives, no routine use of antibiotics and no GM ingredients. 

This is extremely important to us as a family.

We shop on a tight budget, and although not all of our products are organic, we have made decisions as to which foods to prioritise when choosing organic. Some foods are worse for containing pesticide residue than others so switching the foods most affected by chemicals is an option if all organic shopping isn’t possible. Organix have provided “worst’ and ‘best’ lists so that you can easily make decisions on which food products to switch for Organic. 

Some organic items cost the same or similar to non-organic items and in those instances we always chose organic. Because our food shop budget is tight we always meal plan. On a Sunday evening, we sit as a family and we plan the meals for the week. This way we can plan and chose our products carefully as well as reduce waste. We try to avoid as much pre-packaged food as possible and are very aware of reducing our purchases of products packaged using plastic. Where possible we buy fresh, unpackaged local farm produce. 

Teddy is starting school this September and he will be having packed lunches for the first couple of weeks. We will be using organic foods as part of his lunch, including lunchbox-friendly snacks from Organix. Their range includes mini cheese crackers, cheese and chive breadsticks, puffcorn, carrot stix, cheese and herb puffs, gingerbread men, animal biscuits, soft oats bars, fruit bars, raisins, gummies and fruit and seed bites. More than enough to keep his lunch box varied and exciting as well as tasty, nutritious and organic. 

We will be supporting Organic September and have already planned this week’s meals to include organic meat for our weekly roast dinner and spaghetti bolognese and switched to organic fruit for Teddy’s lunchboxes as apples, grapes, pears, and oranges are all on the Organix ‘worst’ list for containing more pesticide residue than others.

Organic foods are important to us as a family and although we cannot shop fully organic we always make small changes where we can. If you would like to find out more about Organic September then check out The Soil Association and Organix

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  1. Martin Rowe

    Interesting reading, thanks Al!

    We love Organix as a brand as you know what you’re getting with easy snacks for your kids.

    I guess I don’t really think enough about the fruit & veg we buy, will have a bit more a mindful look when I go shopping next.

  2. Ryan

    Seems the worst ones are the better tasting ones.

    It’s all ways better I feel to choose organic where possible. And the prices of organic are slowly becoming more affordable.

  3. Kevin

    Can’t agree more! Organic is definitely preferred in our house, however it comes down to cost. The wife and I will only do organic if the fruit or vegetable doesn’t have skin that you eat (I.e oranges, watermelon, cucumbers).
    As far as meat and dairy we live with family and we food shop for all 6 people and therefore we can’t deviate from traditional milk, meat, etc

  4. Jakub karpieszuj

    It’s very interesting to see, that even in Europe where the law that classify food as organic more stringently than USA. The issue of knowing when it’s truly organic or not is the same in both countries. The question is, is organic honestly worth the money? As our children enter society (school, play dates etc) then access to organic food is limited or non existing in most cases.

  5. Peter

    We really don’t think enough about organic food when we shop. Think the shopping experience, especially online, distances you from where the food has come from. However saying this some of the best food Ive had is definitely organic, holidaying on a farm and having fresh eggs shows you the difference. Also growing your own veg at home is a great way to get kids into understanding where food comes from and opens up conversations about chemicals, natural alternatives etc etc to get them thinking.

  6. Peter

    We, as a family, definitely don’t think enough about organic food as we should. I think the shopping experience, especially online, distances you from the food and where it comes from.
    Having said that however, some of the best food i’ve eaten is organic, experiencing a holiday on a farm having fresh eggs shows you that. Also growing veg at home is a great way of getting the kids thinking about where their food comes from and can start conversations about chemicals, natural alternatives etc etc.

  7. Tom Brookes

    Interesting read this, surprised by some of the worst foods. Organix is a brand we swear by for our youngest son. And as previously said organic food is becoming more affordable which obviously helps a lot of families.

  8. Cory Simpson

    As a family shopping on a tight budget, we always do our food shop at Lidl or Aldi, as we can get the same quality foods for a fraction of the price of the ‘big’ supermarkets. To be honest, I never look to see if the fruit and veg we buy are organic, but we do generally prefer to buy our fresh produce from the local market or a local green grocer.

    We’ve also tried the Organix foods in the past and found them to be a great alternative to crisps or sweets, but we generally stick to carrots, grapes, tomatoes or apples as our go to snacks.

    Interesting article to read!

  9. Declan Harvey

    Very interesting read, some items I learnt were worse than I thought, although me and my OH pay alot of attention to our kids diet, there still room for improvement.

  10. Rhys

    I think it’s important to try and support organic where possible in our family diet and choices.

    It’s a shame that Organic is seemed as the premium choice when it should be a standard. The increase in demand on crop yields, and in the same boat the greed of producers in making more for their pocket has driven to the creation of pesticides, herbicides and a whole host of other bad practices.

    We struggle to have shifted our whole intake to organic for reasons of :
    • cost
    • availability

    But where possible have started the conscious shift to consume more organically. Even just to encourage the ability for sustainable ways of producing food so that our kids’ kids can eat healthy too.

    On the snack side of things, we’ve stringently rejected salt and sugar early on in our choice for baby and kid snacks, and it was nice to find a brand which made us confident about many of the other hidden ingredients commonly found in snacks.

    They’re sometimes more expensive than the cheapest options but can often find them on offer and stock up when the deals are on

  11. Dan Allison

    We don’t really think about organic as such.

    But interestingly have just made a massive change in our shopping habits.
    We now go to a butchers once a month and buying bulk to freeze. We visit the local farm for eggs and the local Saturday market for our fruit and veg. The children love the veg so much more and have learnt about seasonal foods.

    Cost wise we don’t feel we are spending any more money and enjoying the quality of the food more (all the food seems to last longer too) and cutting our plastic waste also!

  12. Matt

    This is great, it’s inspired me to consider writing my own article about this, as I’m also a vegetarian. Children need the best possible food! I’ve written some other articles relating to parenting and teaching, so perhaps can take a look!

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