Want to start on an organic diet? Senior Dietician Suzanne Khor from The Child Development Centre (an affiliation of SBCC Baby & Child Clinic) sheds some light on identifying organic food in Singapore.
What makes a food organic?
In Singapore, many foods are imported from overseas. Some countries, e.g. the United States and Australia have agencies which certify certain foods as organic. For example, in the United States, The National Organic Program and the Organic Foods Production Act are assure consumers that the organic foods they purchase are produced, processed, and certified to be consistent with national organic standards.
USDA’s National Organic Program regulates the standards for any farm, wild crop harvesting, or handling operation that wants to sell an agricultural product as organically produced. As a consumer, look out for this label (right).
Why an organic diet?
Certified organic farming systems as a potential way to lower input costs, decrease reliance on nonrenewable resources, capture high-value markets and premium prices, and boost farm income. Organic farming systems rely on ecologically based practices such as cultural and biological pest management, exclusion of all synthetic chemicals, antibiotics, and hormones in crop and livestock production.
Is it practical and feasible in Singapore for my child?
Organic food is indeed becoming more easily available in Singapore. It can be purchased at household departmental stores, including NTUC, Giant and Cold Storage: not only in specialty organic shops any more. If you would like to include organic foods in your child’s diet, his/ her exposure to trace amounts of synthetic chemicals may be reduced. The content of vitamins and minerals in certain types of organic produce may also be higher. However, organic foods are pricier than regular produce as well.
Thomson Paediatric Centre (The Child Development Centre)
10 Sinaran Drive
#09-04 Novena Medical Centre
Tel: 6397 6627/ 6397 6966 (hotline)
This article was first published in The New Age Parents e-magazine