When it comes to choosing how to feed your little one, we know organic means it has been produced without the addition of nasty chemicals. But is organic really the be all and end all?
Many parents, especially those with littlies who have transitioned to toddler milk, would likely be surprised to know there are other key terms they should look out for that can really help them cut through the supermarket shelf clutter.
The mere word ‘organic’ usually works as a beacon for parents who want the best for their children, but despite the fact that six in every 10 Australian households use that label to determine what they purchase, it is surprisingly open to interpretation.
In fact, it’s only when you look at the finer detail that you realise exactly what you are getting. But who has the time (or inclination) to read the fine print of every label during the weekly shop with toddler-in-tow?
Let us break it down for you.
What does organic actually mean?
We are constantly told food with ‘organic’ on the label is the best but why? Australian Certified Organic, Australia’s largest certifier for organic and biodynamic produce, explains that the whole process of producing organic foods is done without the use of synthetic chemicals or fertilisers.
The Victorian Government’s Better Health Channel points out organic farming is better for the environment and the wellbeing of animals as “animals raised using organic methods are treated humanely and with respect” – so we can buy organic milk and eggs knowing cows and chickens are not kept in feeding lots and cages.
But it also explains that foods that are organic are not guaranteed to be completely chemical free and studies have shown little difference in the nutritional content of organic and non-organic plants.
Navigating what’s on the label
Beyond ‘organic’, the terms ‘grass-fed’ and ‘biodynamic’ are other differentiators parents should keep in mind when buying groceries. By adding these terms to their arsenal, parents can strengthen their product-filtering process and walk away with the healthy food items they desire for their family.
Grass-fed vs organic
When it comes to choosing milk, nutritionist Mandy Sacher says the main difference between organic and grass-fed milk is in relation to the way a cow is fed.
“Certified organic milk can come from cows that feed on certified organic grain, whereas only grass-fed milk specifies that the milk must come from cows that feed on grass, plants and shrubs exclusively,” Mandy says.
For example, Munchkin Grass Fed Toddler Drink guarantees the milk used comes from 100 per cent grass-fed cows to ensure it is packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin E and carotene. Drawing a direct comparison to grain-fed cow alternatives, Munchkin boasts five times more Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), and a more balanced ratio of essential fatty acids.
So, while the grain-fed cow product may be certified organic, it does not necessarily guarantee it is the superior option.
Biodynamic vs organic
Biodynamic farming was first developed by Rudolf Steiner, known for the holistic education principles behind Steiner Schools across Australia. A farm that is biodynamic runs without outside inputs – meaning that while an organic farm may purchase organic seeds or feed for livestock, a biodynamic farm must produce everything on its own premises.
(This is a sponsored post for Munchkin Grass Fed – Nature. Nurture. Grass Fed.)