The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a 501c3 organization that advocates on Capitol Hill for health-protective and subsidy-shifting policies. There two primary goals are:
- To protect the most vulnerable segments of the human population—children, babies, and infants in the womb—from health problems attributed to a wide array of toxic contaminants.
- To replace federal policies, including government subsidies that damage the environment and natural resources, with policies that invest in conservation and sustainable development.
According to EWG, there are a number of reasons to buy organic for your Preschoolers. When it comes to the toxicity of pesticides children are especially at risk. (http://www.foodnews.org/reduce.php)
- “It is now well established that pesticides pose a risk to vital organ systems that continue to grow and mature from conception throughout infancy and childhood. Exposure to pesticides and other toxic chemicals during critical periods of development can have lasting adverse effects both in early development and later in life.”
- “The metabolism, physiology, and biochemistry of a fetus, infant or child are fundamentally different from those of adults; a young, organism is often less able to metabolize and inactivate toxic chemicals and can be much more vulnerable to the harmful effects of pesticides.”
- “The nervous system, brain, reproductive organs and endocrine (hormone) system can be permanently, if subtly, damaged by exposure to toxic substances in-utero or throughout early childhood that, at the same level, cause no measurable harm to adults. The developing brain and endocrine system are very sensitive, and low doses at a susceptible moment of development can cause more of an effect than high doses. It is especially important to reduce pesticide exposures of babies and young children so as to minimize these risks.”
The U.S Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration conducted over 80,000 tests for pesticides on foods between 2000 and 2007. The EWG put together a list of 47 fruits and vegetables from worst to best in regards to pesticide load. There is a copy of the list below or it can be accessed here: http://www.foodnews.org/fulllist.php
|RANK||FRUIT OR VEGGIE||SCORE|
|1 (worst)||Peach||100 (highest pesticide load)|
|3||Sweet Bell Pepper||83|
|10||Grapes – Imported||66|
|21||Grapes – Domestic||44|
|41||Sweet Peas – Frozen||10|
|45||Sweet Corn – Frozen||2|
|47 (best)||Onion||1 (lowest pesticide load)|
Note: We ranked a total of 47 different fruits and vegetables but grapes are listed twice because we looked at both domestic and imported samples.
Action Steps: To encourage healthy choices at home, keep delicious fruit, cut and ready to eat in a spot that is first to be seen and easy to reach for your preschooler!