Is organic the best?
If you're looking to reduce your exposure to chemicals, eating organic is an obvious way to start. Organic foods are grown with the use of synthetic fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides and all animals are reared without the routine use of antibiotics. While only four chemicals are used on organic crops, some 430 are used on non-organic crops. And while 'acceptable' levels of these chemicals in the food we eat are laid down by regulations, it's worth bearing in mind that these are based on adult consumption; you may not wish to expose your baby to that level of risk, especially as little is known about the long-term risks of exposure to multiple pesticides.
In the UK, Soil Association research has found higher levels of vitamin C, minerals and phytonutrients in organic food, while organic red meat has higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid, which helps prevent cancer and reduce heart disease. Organic chickens have been found to contain 25 per cent less fat than non-organic ones, and organic milk full-fat milk contains at least 64 per cent more omega 3 essential fatty acids, vital for brain function, heart health and supple joints.
Organic food is more expensive than non-organic, so if you don't feel you can afford to go totally organic, choose the items you buy the most of, such as milk, bread, pasta and certain vegetables, and look out for money-saving offers on other items.