Growing up, I used to believe organic was just a fad diet. I never understood why somebody would spend more money on food when they could get it cheaper. As an adult now, I get it. As a person who suffers from severe asthma and depression, once I started eating pure organic foods with only a couple required ingredients, I realized the food we put into our bodies makes such a huge impact on our minds. Now that being said, humans have adapted to eat all kinds of crap, but at what cost? More cancers? More diabetes? More heart disease? More obesity? More cases of autism? More chronic illness?
We take our food for granted, and generally a good portion of the population assumes if its FDA approved, its perfectly acceptable to put into our bodies. Nobody ever died from eating a GMO crop with pesticides and herbicides turned into a potato chip, not right away anyway. But what are the implications of the choices we make down the road? What about when we are pregnant? Did you know that all toxins you consume transfer right over into the placenta to your baby? Then after our babies are born, we are told by doctors to give them GMO milks with corn syrup, hormones, pesticides, artifical colors and flavors, and parents then begin to question why their baby is up all night with a tummy ache.
At Little Moo, you probably know, we have the best formulas on earth, they are made in Europe. Europe has the highest food safety standards and requirements in the world. It's not about politics & money in Europe, it's for the safety of the consumer. The dairy industry isn't funded by the government and cows are not fed GMO corn & injected with hormones and antibiotics. The cows are actually given vacations, they roam big fields, they get to keep their horns and eat grass & hay. Those happy cows produce the best milk on earth!
So what about when your baby starts to eat solids? Our grocery stores in America are full of purees, biscuits, cookies, crackers and more. So why use a more expensive European alternative? Well that goes back to standards once again. The American standard is insanely low when it comes to organic requirements and frightening low with non-organics. Producers can still add things that are not considered ethical. Here are a few ingredients added to everyday foods that are banned in Europe:
1. Dough conditioners (potassium bromate and azodicarbonamide) Known to cause cancer and asthma related breathing difficulties ( I can confirm this from my own experience!)
2. Propylparaben: Known to cause breast cancer & affect sex hormones and is used as a preservative
3. GMOS: One common genetic manipulation involves altering DNA in certain crops to make them resistant to herbicides. One of the most common herbicides used in conjunction with these GMOs is glyphosate, the primary active ingredient in the weedkiller Roundup. Glyphosate consumption is linked to cancer. In fact, several people have won cases that allege glyphosate caused their cancer. Ninety percent of the corn, sugar, and soy grown in North America is genetically engineered. As a result, 85% of processed foods sold in America contain GMO’s. Yet, the FDA does not require any pre-market safety testing of genetically engineered foods.
4. Carrageenan: Still used in baby formulas in the USA & many types of foods. Studies have shown it to be toxic to the digestive tract, and claim that it may be responsible for colitis, IBS, rheumatoid arthritis, and even colon cancer
Not only are foods in the USA containing some rather frightening ingredients but there is also the concern of contamination such as lead, arsenic, mercury, and cadmium. Small amounts at a time are ok, but the build up in your babies small body is very toxic. This area of contamination is not well regulated by the FDA. In Europe, these areas are well regulated and not of a huge concern.
It is actually a fact that Europeans will say that American is not fit for European consumption. Literally. So whats the problem? The US situation is worsened by the fact that the US government relies on the companies producing the products to prove their own guilt. As stated in a Natural Resources Defense Council report “no other developed country that we know of has a similar system in which companies can decide the safety of chemicals put directly into food.” The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with clear authority to regulate additives and animal drugs, does not have any authority over food itself. Instead, the FDA compiles a list of food and food ingredients that are Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS). By using these GRAS ingredients, food companies are essentially protected from lawsuits that could occur under US liability law. Again, the companies who sell the product are the ones recognizing the product as safe and the FDA, by adding the product to the GRAS list, provides the company blanket protection from litigation. Europe takes a cautionary position and will pull a product or additive off the market if it has reason to believe it could cause harm; more of a “better safe than sorry” approach. The US operates under the “innocent until proven guilty model.” Scary huh?
So how does all this translate to baby food you still may be wondering. If you are giving your baby anything that is not labeled as organic, it will contain GMOS, herbicides & pesticides for certain. I will never trust a label that says "does not contain GMOS". There is indeed a huge issues with cross contamination between fields in this country, a problem not present in Europe.
In baby foods, a common included ingredient is added sugar. Pure, raw sugar isn't a huge issue in treats such as biscuits, but white refined sugar is a overly processed sugar that has the same chemical reaction in the brain as cocaine. But if a company has to include sugar in their purees, you have to question why.
Flavorings are another added ingredient common in baby foods. It is much cheaper for a company use a flavor then it is to use the actual ingredients. Think of the chemical compounds that are used to create this "natural flavor".
This one tray below includes bleached wheat flour, carrageenan, sugar, chicken flavor, different types of gums, soybean oil and a coloring agent. This one hits the jack pot for a tray of yuck.
Another ingredient added is MSG, also known as yeast extract. It basically makes the gross tasting food taste better and functions as a neurotransmitter in your brain. It is an excitatory neurotransmitter, meaning that it stimulates nerve cells in order to relay its signal. Some people claim that MSG leads to excessive glutamate in the brain and excessive stimulation of nerve cells. Awesome for a growing brain!
Absorbic Acid & Citric Acid is another ingredient added to most baby purees/pouches. The trouble with this preservative is it's known to cause enamel erosion, heartburn and digestive upset. It can also give the pouch a more tangy taste that your baby will not like.
As a parent of two kids from Great Britain, I can tell you, the foods that my children had to eat in this country growing up is just repulsive. From the baby foods to the candy. It's hard to trust anything, especially when the ingredients aren't black and white. This is why we established Little Moo Organics back in 2013, because we wanted better alternatives not only for ourselves but all the millions of babies born everyday in America.