There’s a certain misconception that “natural” ingredients in baby food, any food for that matter, was grown and harvested in a way that is equivalent to how it is grown in nature. What you don’t realize and what companies will never tell you is that these “natural” ingredients that you purchase have already been unnaturally processed.
What is the meaning of “natural” on the label of food?
Government agencies that are designed to regulate how our food is produced have been very vague on the topic. Most foods labeled “natural” are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“… FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or its derivatives. However, the agency has not objected to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances.” – fda.gov
It is a worrisome prospect that the FDA has trouble defining the term. This puts the job of interpretation into the hands of manufacturers, who are oftentimes more interested in corporate profits than for you and your baby’s wellbeing. Without regulations on what can be labeled natural, there could be any number of “unnatural” ingredients found in our baby’s food.
Toxic pesticides and herbicides
Having pesticides in food is especially harmful to babies and children. This is because their bodies are still developing and pesticides can block the absorption of nutrients needed to grow. The government agency responsible for monitoring pesticides in our food is the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and this is what they have to say about the subject: russian chocolate
“… EPA carefully evaluates children’s exposure to pesticide residues in and on foods they most commonly eat, i.e., apples and apple juice, orange juice, potatoes, tomatoes, soybean oil, sugar, eggs, pork, chicken and beef.” – epa.gov
A non-profit called Environmental Working Group (EWG), conducts an annual analysis of pesticide residue testing data from the US Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration to come up with rankings for popular fresh produce items. They’ve concluded that apples are the top food with the most pesticides.
GMO (Genetically Modified Organism)
Genetically modified (GM) food is where they inject genes from a certain plant or animal into another. For example, corn has been engineered with a gene from bacteria that allows it to produce a protein that is lethal to insects.
These types of genetic modification to our food is happening today on a massive scale, especially in the US. About 85% of corn produced in the US has been genetically modified, yet none of these companies are not required to label their food products as such. Manufacturers have in essence deprived consumers the choice of whether or not to buy GM foods.