Going Green During Pregnancy: Why I Chose Organic Foods
Susan McLean, Uncle Matt’s Organic
Eating healthfully can sometimes feel like a chore during pregnancy, and even after you deliver your new baby. From first-trimester morning sickness to the wide pendulum of cravings (from pickles to peanuts!) that occur during the second trimester, it’s often a challenge to remember you’re not only fueling your body to get through the day, but what you eat and what’s in those foods directly affect your growing baby.
My husband is the founder of an organic citrus company, and when I was pregnant, it became very important to us to not only understand where our food came from, but how it was grown. Out of this idea birthed two fundamental questions that were of concern:
First, was I choosing organic foods, which are foods grown without synthetic pesticides and herbicides? Our family grows organic citrus so it is our way of life, but was I doing everything I could to minimize my baby’s exposure to chemicals? After all, according to the Environmental Working Group’s recent data, 67 percent of food samples tested carried pesticide residues. For me, this was enough to stop and take stock of all of my food choices.
My second concern was GMOs (Genetically Engineered Organisms). What would consuming GMO foods potentially do to my developing baby? A study published by the journal, Reproductive Toxicology, alarmingly reported that 100 percent of pregnant women and their unborn babies tested positive for GMO toxins in their blood. The more research I did, the more convinced I became, and the only way to avoid GMOs was to buy organic. I wanted to give my baby the best start in life possible, and I wanted to feel healthy and vibrant while pregnant.
My benchmark for food choices during pregnancy became, “If God didn’t grow it, I wouldn’t eat it.” That’s not to say that I didn’t have my cravings! But instead of overly processed chips, I made my own organic sweet potato fries. Instead of sugary sweets, I ate our organic Valencia oranges.
Eating minimally processed, organic foods brought other benefits too. For one, my weight stayed in check and I never developed any problems with blood pressure. Second, I had almost no morning sickness because whole, organic foods sustained my blood sugar.
So, if you want to feel great during pregnancy and help your baby get the best start in life, I encourage you to learn more about what it means to choose organic foods from farmers you can trust.
Susan McLean is the Marketing & Creative Director for Uncle Matt’s Organic. She and her husband, Matt McLean (“Uncle Matt”) reside in Florida with their two children.