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  • How to Reduce Your Baby's Pesticide Exposure

    by Agustina Fernandez November 22, 2022 5 min read

    How to Reduce Your Baby's Pesticide Exposure | Organic's Best

    Pesticide use in conventional farming is ubiquitous and poses risks for all of us but for babies and small children in particular. Read this article to learn what pesticides are, what dangers they hold, and how to avoid them.

    What Pesticides Are And Why They Are Used

    What are pesticides and why are they used? | Organics Best

    The use of pesticides in agriculture dates back as far as 4000 years ago. Some common terms that may sound familiar are insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and rodenticides. These are all common types of pesticides used to prevent, destroy, or control pests and diseases. Insecticides and fungicides are two types of Plant Protection Products (PPPs), which are predominantly used in agricultural settings.  

    Pesticides have allowed humans to control crop vitality and minimize losses by inhibiting the troublesome effects that pests can have on agricultural land. When there are a lot of hungry mouths to feed, and a continuously growing population, ensuring that crops produce an abundant harvest is vital, and can in turn have positive effects on the economy. Pesticides can also reduce the transmission of waterborne diseases and viruses.

    While this may sound like an overall positive thing, certain pesticides can also have negative effects on human health, which we will explain more in depth below. Other disadvantages associated with conventional pesticide use can include environmental pollution, damaging long-term soil fertility, reduced natural pollination, and negative effects on other living species.

    The Dangers Of Pesticides Especially For Babies / Small Children

    We understand that your child's health is a top concern, and many parents are looking for ways to mitigate exposure to anything that can harm the health and well-being of their little ones. Since babies ingest a higher quantity of food and water in proportion to their body weight, their pesticide exposure is likely higher than that of an adult.

    This can be a cause for concern, as the growing bodies of babies and young children are more vulnerable and at risk of experiencing adverse effects associated with pesticide exposure.

    This early exposure can have long-lasting effects on human biological systems, and in high doses has been linked to several health concerns such as respiratory disorders, neurological and developmental disorders, and in extreme cases, certain cancers. Although, there are ways to take this concern into your own hands and reduce the risks associated with pesticides in both adults and children. 

    The Difference Between Pesticide Use In Conventional Vs Organic Farming

    Number of Approved Pesticides in Europe | Organics Best

    A common misconception is that organic products are made without the use of any pesticides at all, but this is not the case. There are 490 different types of approved pesticides used for non-organic farming, out of those only 28 are approved for organic agriculture which does allow for the use of certain pesticides that are for the most part, naturally occurring. 

    Naturally occurring pesticides, which means they come from the Earth, plants, or animals, must go through a rigorous approval process that ensures that they can be safely used without having damaging effects on the environment or human health. The use of pesticides in organic farming is often a last-case resort, used to protect crops when other methods do not suffice. Pesticides with low toxicity such as spearmint oil, citronella, and quartz sand are examples of approved substances used for organic farming. 

    The European Union's pesticide laws are the strictest in the world. Organic production rules when it comes to approved EU organic farming practices involve limiting the use of artificial fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides, this means that there are many steps taken to ensure the health and vitality of crops before resorting to pesticides, even if they are naturally occurring.

    These methods include crop rotation, preventing overstocking, and choosing techniques that promote natural pest control and the natural immunological defense of animals.

    How An Organic Diet Can Protect You And Your Baby Against Pesticide Exposure

    Protective Effects of an Organic Diet | Organics Best

    Recent studies have suggested that eating an organic diet can under some circumstances lead to decreased pesticide exposure in children. As mentioned above, the number of fruits and veggies children consume in relation to their body size can lead to increased exposure to pesticides. 

    Although, it should be noted that the health risk, if any, associated with eating non-organic foods isn’t completely understood. While the risk of long-term exposure to pesticides in, for example, agricultural workers have more concrete findings, the risks associated with pesticides regarding the human diet are still being studied. 

    That being said, it is always better to veer on the side of caution when it comes to your child’s health. If eating organic food can provide immediate protection against pesticide exposure why not switch to an organic diet?

    If you're worried about pesticides winding up in your baby's food, switching to an organic European diet can help reduce the chances of dietary pesticide exposure.

    How Holle Avoids The Use of Pesticides

    Holle Demeter Certified | Organics Best

    Holle implements several methods throughout each stage of the production process to ensure that they meet the strict legal requirements for all of their products. As a company, they hold themselves to the highest standards, understanding that the manufacturing of baby food comes with the responsibility of ensuring the safety and quality of each and every product that hits the market. 

    To begin, their products are made with biodynamic and organic raw ingredients, and their product quality assurance process involves state-of-the-art analytical methods, the latest nutrition guidelines, and legal provisions. Their raw ingredients are grown without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides and a number of their products are Demeter-certified, which is the strictest standard for organic agriculture worldwide. 

    How The HiPP Organic Seal Has More Stringent Regulations Than The EU

    HiPP Organic Seal | Organics Best

    With over 60 years in organic farming, HiPP recognizes the importance of quality when it comes to baby food. They go above and beyond to ensure that all of their products are free from anything that can be potentially harmful to your baby’s health, and this includes pesticides. 

    HiPP carries out quality tests at the highest technological level to ensure that their products contain a much lower pesticide value than what is required by law. Part of their process involved implementing strategies to ensure the vitality of their crops by using strategies such as crop rotation and working closely with organic farming partners to create a product that meets HiPP purity requirements. 


    Switching to an organic diet can protect you and your family from pesticide exposure while also increasing your intake of vitamins and antioxidants. There are so many great organic products on the market to get you started on this journey.


    Please be aware that this information is based on general trends in babies, and it is not medical advice. Your doctor should be your first source of information and advice when considering any changes to your child’s formula and when choosing your child’s formula. Always consult your pediatrician before making any decisions about your child’s diet or if you notice any changes in your child.

    Breastfeeding is the best nutrition for your baby because breast milk provides your child with all the essential nutrients they need for growth and development. Please consult your pediatrician if your child requires supplemental feeding.

    Agustina Fernandez
    Agustina Fernandez

    Dr. Agustina Fernandez earned her medical degree from the prestigious Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina. With a deep-rooted passion for pediatrics, Dr. Fernandez is currently on the path to specializing in children's healthcare. Recently, she has delved into the vital field of infant nutrition. Her research interests include breastfeeding, infant formula, and baby food in little ones’ formative years. Dr. Fernandez's commitment to this area of study underscores her dedication to ensuring the health and well-being of children from their earliest days.

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