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Organic Food For Children: Worth The Cost?

From the show: Healthy Children
Dr. Joel Forman, M.D. and Dr. Janet Silverstein, MD
Guest Bio
Guest Bio: Dr. Joel Forman, M.D. and Dr. Janet Silverstein, MD
Dr. Forman has served as co-chair of the Academic Pediatric Association's Pediatric Environmental Health Special Interest Group and recently completed 6 years on the executive committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Environmental Health. He co-authored the recent AAP Clinical report on Organic food published in November 2012. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Dr. Janet Silverstein currently serves as Program Director for the Pediatric Endocrine Fellowship at Shands at UF and Division Chief of Pediatric Endocrinology at UF. . She is currently working with the University of Florida teaching, researching, performing patient care, and engaging in service and advocacy activities.


Parents know it's important for children to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains. But it's less clear whether spending the extra money on organic foods will bring a significant benefit to their children's health.

To offer guidance to parents – and the pediatricians caring for their children's health – the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has conducted an extensive analysis of scientific evidence surrounding organic produce, dairy products and meat. The conclusion is mixed: While organic foods have the same vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, proteins, lipids and other nutrients as conventional foods, they also have lower pesticide levels, which may be significant for children.

Organically raised animals are also less likely to be contaminated with drug-resistant bacteria because organic farming rules prohibit the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics.

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