Organic food’s benefits

I was disappointed to see that “Organic food for your baby?” [March 19] focused entirely on the wrong topic: Organic food is not about the potential for higher nutrition content.

A mother doesn’t choose an organic apple because it is higher in Vitamin C and fiber than its conventional counterpart. She chooses it because: (a) she doesn’t want her family (or herself!) to consume the toxic pesticides used on conventionally grown foods, and least of all feed those pesticides to her baby’s developing body; and/or (b) she supports the positive impact of organic farming on the environment.

As both a mom and the CEO of Happy Family, I am deeply passionate about the benefits of organic over conventional foods. Organic certified products are very important for our children’s futures. Let’s not belittle its many positive benefits to our health and our environment by citing studies or individuals who don’t address the core benefits of what organic is all about: removing harmful chemicals, pesticides and toxins from our food.

I would urge all parents across the country to read beyond the headlines as we all continue to fight for the health of our families and our planet.

Shazi Visram,

Founder and CEO,

Happy Family, New York

Your article takes a narrow view of the role of organic food in a child’s or adult’s health. Organics is about biodiversity in the field, a method of farming that replenishes and promotes healthy soil and healthy farmers, as well as being “pure” food for babies to eat. An open-eyed view of human beings being part of the ecosystem assists the pro-organic view as well.

Most pesticides and herbicides aren’t adequately regulated and thoroughly tested; it could take 50 years to double-blind- study them all and their effects on human health. My children have eaten primarily organic food so far in their young lives. I was not willing to have their health be part of commercial agriculture’s chemical experiment, and my guess is that many parents agree.

Kate Yonkers,


Never too old to write

Regarding the interview with the novelist Stephen Hunter [“For a novelist, writing and aging aren’t in conflict,” March 19]: Your reporter may consider Hunter old at 66, but he’s likely to be around for another 20 to 25 years. As someone who published my first novel last fall at age 67, I wish Hunter many more years of writing. I especially appreciated his contention that “writing a book is baseball. . . . It is a long, grinding season.”

K.P. Robbins,
Harpers Ferry, W.Va.