The last week has been very interesting in the baby food world. There is a ton of information flying around and lots of assumptions being made about various baby food companies...including Harvest to Highchair...that can be misleading or misunderstood. Here are 7 things about it all that we think it's important to cover.
There are toxins and metal in baby food and it's good to know more. There was a report released last week on the presence of heavy metals and toxins in some commercial baby food products. It's fairly non-emotional, however a bit political, that seems to be fairly data based.
It is not a new issue or new information, just more. It was initially reported in 2012 about arsenic in rice, and again in 2019 more focused on all processed baby and children's foods. The report last week is specific to commercial baby food.
It's really complicated. Most everything grown...organic or conventionally...will have some level of toxins and metals simply by the way it is grown, planted in soil and watered, especially 'roots' in the ground like sweet potato, beets, and carrots. However, additional levels CAN be introduced by the way a food is processed and the way processing equipment is used, cleaned, and maintained.
Companies are using the information to market alternative products with fear-based headlines and claims. Various buzz words over the years have been touted in the food industry...low- or non-fat, low carb, non-gmo, gluten free, organic...just to name a few. Do NOT get us wrong, there are definitely merits to them if used honestly and correctly. But, companies jump on these as buzz words; misuse or overuse taking away from initial intent; and can shame and mislead consumers. In SC, companies can and are selling products direct to consumer marketing themselves as organic without following proper protocols simply because it is a desirable buzz word.
It is HIGH UNLIKELY that any brand of baby food has zero toxins or heavy metals (see #3). If there was such a UNICORN to exist, trust us...said company would be shouting it from the rooftops.
We are a big fan of small-batch, artisanal baby food...obviously. The by-hand, artisanal process allows for batch diversity so everything is not uniform and more like what is found in nature. Think about strawberries...not every berry is the same shape, size, color, or even, flavor from one to the other. Embracing these variables, allows a more authentic experience with food that builds a more accepting and diverse palate. Make sense?
Variety is the spice of life. The best thing you can do is to provide a wide menu of foods to ensure your little one is not stuck on one flavor that might have higher levels of toxins and metals simply by the way it's inherently grown. A robust menu ensures your little one gets a chance to taste more and builds a robust palate. Remember...eat the rainbow!!!
Don't let fear drive you. Food is life and children need to be nourished. Make informed choices...do what feels right for your family...and tweak as more information is revealed. xoxo...Ann