Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Book: Raising Baby Green

A new organic parenting book hit the shelves last month and it has been getting some rave reviews. Raising Baby Green: The Earth-Friendly Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Care is a self proclaimed "comprehensive guide to help environmentally conscious parents make healthy product and lifestyle choices".

So who is the author Dr. Greene? Intel named him Child's Health Hero of the Internet, and he has already published one book prior to this one, From First Kicks to First Steps. That's great and all, but doesn't really impress me much. What is more impressive to me is that he is a father of four and a practicing pediatrician. I hate when doctors stop practicing to just write books and sell stuff, being in the office and seeing patients keeps things in perspective and fresh.

While writing his book Dr. Greene kept in mind that we don't want to break the bank in the movement towards organic. Here is Greene has identified 5 foods that will make an impact and are easy to switch. Courtesy of NYTimes:

1. Milk: “When you choose a glass of conventional milk, you are buying into a whole chemical system of agriculture,'’ says Dr. Greene. One recent United States Department of Agriculture survey found certain pesticides in about 30 percent of conventional milk samples and low levels in only one organic sample. The level is relatively low compared to some other foods, but many kids consume milk in large quantities.

2. Potatoes: Potatoes are a staple of the American diet — one survey found they account for 30 percent of our overall vegetable consumption. A simple switch to organic potatoes has the potential to have a big impact because commercially-farmed potatoes are some of the most pesticide-contaminated vegetables.

3. Peanut butter: More acres are devoted to growing peanuts than any other fruits, vegetable or nut, according to the U.S.D.A. More than 99 percent of peanut farms use conventional farming practices, including the use of fungicide to treat mold, a common problem in peanut crops.

4. Ketchup: For some families, ketchup accounts for a large part of the household vegetable intake. About 75 percent of tomato consumption is in the form of processed tomatoes, including juice, tomato paste and ketchup. Notably, recent research has shown organic ketchup has about double the antioxidants of conventional ketchup.

5. Apples: Apples are the second most commonly eaten fresh fruit, after bananas, and they are also used in the second most popular juice, after oranges, according to Dr. Greene. But apples are also one of the most pesticide-contaminated fruits and vegetables. The good news is that organic apples are easy to find in regular grocery stores.

Dr. Greene's website is full of even more useful information.

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