Know About Arsenic, Mercury & Other Heavy Metals Present in Baby Food
Have you ever stopped to wonder what exactly is in those pouches of baby food that you feed your little one on a daily basis?
Let us tell you. Arsenic, mercury, lead, cadmium and several other dangerous heavy metals in small but unsafe levels have been found in store bought baby food. Organic baby food is no exception.
According to a recent report released by a congressional subcommittee baby foods contain toxic heavy metals. The alarming finding of heavy metals in baby food has led to several lawsuits piling up against major baby food firms.
Toxic Metals in Baby Food
Heavy metals occur in the environment naturally and can also enter the water, soil and air through pesticides and pollution. Crops absorb these metals present in the soil, especially the crops that grow underground like rice, carrot and potatoes. That is how these heavy metals end up in the entire food supply, including baby food.
Which baby foods have heavy metals in them?
All baby foods ranging from instant formulas, cereals and purees to teething biscuits, puffs and juices have been found to be tainted with toxic heavy metals. What’s even worse is that the brands that we trust to be safe and reliable are also on the list.
The research finding released by the subcommittee was based on the internal documents and test results from the four of the largest baby food manufacturers in the United States. These were Nurture, Beech-Nut, Hain, and Gerber. Arsenic, lead, and cadmium were found in baby foods from all of the companies; mercury was found in the food from the only company that tested for it (Nurture).
What’s more concerning is that three other companies, namely Walmart, Campbell, and Sprout Organic were asked to produce their internal testing policies and test results and they did not. The lack of cooperation is indicative of the fact that these companies are concealing concerning information.
The Dangers to Children’s Health
Exposure to heavy metals is detrimental to the brain as it is connected with learning, cognitive and behavioral concerns. The effects are especially concerning for babies as their brains are in the early growth stage and bodies are small to endure such exposure. The risks aggravate due to early exposure and grow over time as the heavy metals continue to accumulate in the internal organs. In some cases, the impact can be long-lasting and irreversible.
How to avoid metal in baby’s food?
Heavy metals are lurking everywhere in the environment and hence it is nearly impossible to avoid them completely. However, it’s important to take steps to reduce the likelihood of ingesting them. The risks can be mitigated by making changes to your child’s diet.
Limiting packaged snacks can be a good first step. Parents must also consider serving a wider variety of healthy whole foods. This will enable you to provide a variety of nutrients to your child in addition to offsetting the risks from heavy metals. Limiting rice cereals and fruit juice is another great option.