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Is Organic Baby Food Worth the Higher Cost?


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There are consumers who think organic products for babies are a safe and healthy way to avoid potential risks of exposure to pesticide residues in foods. This is probably one reason why the sales of organic baby food have been steadily increasing. Many consumers like the fact that organic baby foods do not normally have added fillers such as modified starches. Consumers seem to be willing to pay a premium for organic baby food even when there has been no national definition of organic foods. This lack of national standards and the sporadic certification of organic producers have raised several issues regarding the value of the organic label.

The 1990 Organic Food Production Act mandated USDA to establish national standards for producing and marketing organic agricultural products. Some organic foods are certified under State and private certification programs.

One company uses its own organically grown and processed foods in its product line. Their crops are produced without the use of toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Post-harvests processing is minimal to help maintain the natural flavors. Synthetic fumigants, preservatives, and irradiation are not used in their manufacturing process. The company also states that the meat and dairy products used in their baby foods come from animals which have been given no growth hormones or antibiotics. Baby foods produced under these conditions would certainly appeal to consumers interested in providing what would seem a higher quality of baby food.

Where can you purchase organic baby food?

  • It was at first found in health-food stores, but can also be found in supermarkets, local food stores and food cooperatives

    You can also find organic food products for babies in the cereal and meat products sections. The baby foods are the strained variety, processed to a fine texture making it easier for infants to digest.

    Organic baby foods will be more expensive. Some of the reasons why the price is higher might include:

  • Consumers perceive organic baby food reduces potential health risk from exposure to pesticides residues or that it tastes better and has higher nutrition
  • The higher cost may be due also to organic raw products costing more to produce
  • There is an additional cost involved with the certification of organic foods

    In one particular study, customers valued only three nutrients in strained baby food when making their purchase decision, they were:

  • Iron
  • Protein
  • Fat

    As to whether or not organic baby food is better for your baby is a decision you and your doctor should make. Many manufacturers of baby food have reduced added ingredients such as sugar and salt and others add no fillers. Modified starch fillers basically include the addition of processed sugars or starches to the food. The presence of these types of fillers is a significant reason why consumer's look for products without them.

    Source: Harris J. Consumers pay a premium for organic baby foods. . (cover story). Food Review [serial online]. May 1997;20(2):13. Available from: Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition, Ipswich, MA. Accessed July 31, 2008.

    Written by: Connie Limon To find more information related to your baby's health, visit To find a wide variety of reprint articles visit

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