I recently started seeing organic versions of Purity baby food on the shelves when I do the grocery shopping. So far I’ve only seen the organic version at Woolworths food stores. I usually buy Purity puréed baby food at Clicks because they have had this crazy promo for some time, where you can buy 4 containers of the medium size food for R27 or thereabouts. So I was very well stocked for a long time, before I could think of buying the organic food.
During the day my baby B is with his grandma and he is fed freshly cooked, puréed vegggies and mashed fruit along with his other food, but there is a lot to be said for the convenience of prepared food.
I always look very carefully at the ingredients of everything we feed my little boy, so of course I checked the original Purity. The originals don’t have any allergens, colourants, preservatives etc, which on the surface is fantastic…
So what’s the difference and why go organic?
I personally prefer organic options where I can find them, because organic usually means the fruit and vegetables are grown without the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides; meat, eggs and diary are farmed without pumping the animals full of growth hormones and dietary supplements that affect the look and taste of the food or any other additives that are potentially carcinogenic.
So although there’s no mystery ingredients and preservatives, and the product looks all natural there is more to consider about how those fruits and veg were farmed. This is a very simple table with the differences between so called natural & certified, organic produce, compiled by Stonyfield from the US Department of Agriculture’s requirements:
Let’s compare the ingredients & nutritional values of Purity Organic vs the original
For consistency I’ve compared the same flavours, namely the Fruit Salad organic & the original Fruit Salad. From the pictures on the front and the listed fruit on the back, you’ll notice that they do not have the exact same variety of fruits in the salad. The organic version has apples, bananas and grapes, which the original has granadilla, pineapple & doesn’t have grapes.
The ingredients and nutritional values:
The first thing I noticed is that the organic version contains organic modified maize starch, which the original version does not. Why does a fruit salad need maize starch? Maybe to act an an emulsifier? This is something to be aware of for the mums of children who are restricted to certain types of grains, eg rice only. The organic version also has a lot more sodium! There are 6mgs of sodium in the organic version, compared to the original which only has 1. I’ve found increased sodium to be quite a prevalent issue in many so called health foods. Every low fat yogurt for example, has a lot more sodium than the full cream. Many prepared foods from those weight-loss brands (you know the ones that have group meetings) and the low fat and low calorie versions of various brands of everything from cereals, heat & eat dinners to deli meats & snacks will often have significantly higher levels of sodium that the regular versions. I assume the sodium makes the diet foods taste better, but at what cost? I’d rather keep my blood pressure on the low side of normal, and just try to eat less of the regular versions.
Back to the baby food, the original version of the Purity puréed food has slightly more kilojoules than the organic, which is good for a baby. You want them to eat well. On the plus side, the organic version doesn’t have any added sugar, which is present in the original.
Taste wise, they are both fine according to me. The texture is smooth without being slimy. Despite the added sugar in the original, I didn’t notice much of a difference in sweetness either, possibly because the grapes in the organic version are a common sweetener in prepared juices. My baby boy doesn’t seem to have a preference or notice a difference between the two.
With regard to the benefits of the organic version (with its maize and more sodium) vs the original (with less salt, but added sugar & the possibility of pesticides and herbicides in the farming methods), I’m not 100% sold on either of them to the extent that I’d stop buying one in favor of the other. The best option is still either fresh, organic vegetables grown at home or bought, and prepared at home by yourself knowing exactly what is in the food.
Ultimately though, I think I prefer the organic version. The biggest issue is the sodium for me, but because this wouldn’t ever be his main or sole source of food, I think we can accept it. Sodium becomes a bigger problem for adults because there are so many “hidden” sources of it in a lot of the processed food we eat.