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JUNK FOOD BABIES

Posted Nov 04 2009 10:05pm

I’m happy to have my colleague, Laurie Sanders from theUKas our guest columnist. Her article, JUNKFOODBABIES, first appeared in the Epoch Times. Laurie is the publisher of www.TheAlternativeBaby.com

 Junk Food Babies

A new study carried out by the Children’s Food Campaign has uncovered some terrifying facts about the ingredients going into baby foods [1].

The survey of over 100 baby food products, all present in mainstream U.K. supermarkets during spring 2009, exposed just how unhealthy these foods really are. Unfortunately, by using wily advertising and marketing campaigns, these companies are manipulating the minds of parents who are trying to do the best for their children.

I believe a lack of education is leading to uninformed decisions, and as these are brands that are long-standing and trusted, they have been allowed to include all sorts of undesirables in their food without proper regulation. Shockingly, Cow & Gate failed to provide researchers with the requested summary of the nutritional information for all of its foods marketed for babies and young children.

However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many parents out there who research the best options for their children and go on to use organic baby foods. This is surely one of the most misleading marketing campaigns of the moment. On closer inspection, these organic baby food brands may not be as appealing as one may hope.

My main issue with all pre-packaged baby food is that it is heat-treated. This enables them to keep on shelves for so long and reap maximum profits. Heat-treated, sterilized foods are dead foods. No nutritional benefit can come from eating food that was cooked, processed, and then commercially sterilized – even if the ingredients were organic in the first place. It is a horrible waste of organic food. We are advised that boiling vegetables for too long depletes their nutritional content and this is exactly what is being done to the ingredients in pre-prepared baby foods.

Looking at Hipp Organic’s Web site, a top U.K. retailer of organic baby food, I found several phrases that confirm this practice of heat-treating. “The food in our jars is sterilized within vacuum-sealed jars during the jarring process” and “you would not be able to achieve the same high temperatures during the heat preservation stage as we do this under pressure.”

Similarly, when I spoke to the “technical team” at Plum Organics, I was told that their food is commercially sterilized by heating the final product for three minutes. Excellent—that ought to kill any goodness!

Sterile food doesn’t sound very appetizing, nor does it sound natural. As a parent, I want my daughter to have the benefit of the very best nutrition while I have some control over what she consumes. Surely it is obvious that food, which can be left on a shelf for months on end, cannot possibly be nutritious. The organic baby food market is awash with promises of the “best start” for your baby, but what are you actually feeding your little one? Would you eat a jar of baby food, organic or otherwise? I wouldn’t! I’ve never bought or tried them, but having seen friends feed them to their babies, I don’t fancy them one bit—and by the look on the babies’ faces neither do they!  

The importance of fresh fruit and vegetables are stressed to us everywhere we look, we actively seek out farm shops and market stalls that boast freshly picked produce. Yet in a bid to save ourselves a bit of time, we feed our children heat-treated mush on the premise that “it’s OK because it’s organic”?

The problem is, with such clever marketing and packaging, these baby food brands are convincing parents that they are giving their children good food, but I fear they are being terribly misled.

The only way to really know what your baby is eating is to prepare their food yourself. It doesn’t need to be complicated at all, and there are loads of great books on how to do this, so I won’t go into it too much here. If you have been feeding your baby pre-prepared foods, it’s never too late to make a positive change. My mantra is always: “Make your own way.” Take your child’s long-term health into your own hands and decide whether you choose to believe all the corporate marketing campaigns or whether you want to do some investigation of your own.

Whatever you decide, it has to be right for you and your family, and that decision is one only you can make.

References

 1.  The Children’s Food Campaign carried out the survey in May 2009. More information can be found onsustainweb.org

 

Laurie Sanders specializes in writing about parenting and “alternative” parenting methods. Her Web site is

www.TheAlternativeBaby.com

 

 

 

I’m happy to have my colleague, Laurie Sanders from theUKas our guest columnist. Her article, JUNKFOODBABIES, first appeared in the Epoch Times. Laurie is the publisher of www.TheAlternativeBaby.com

 Junk Food Babies

A new study carried out by the Children’s Food Campaign has uncovered some terrifying facts about the ingredients going into baby foods [1].

The survey of over 100 baby food products, all present in mainstream U.K. supermarkets during spring 2009, exposed just how unhealthy these foods really are. Unfortunately, by using wily advertising and marketing campaigns, these companies are manipulating the minds of parents who are trying to do the best for their children.

I believe a lack of education is leading to uninformed decisions, and as these are brands that are long-standing and trusted, they have been allowed to include all sorts of undesirables in their food without proper regulation. Shockingly, Cow & Gate failed to provide researchers with the requested summary of the nutritional information for all of its foods marketed for babies and young children.

However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many parents out there who research the best options for their children and go on to use organic baby foods. This is surely one of the most misleading marketing campaigns of the moment. On closer inspection, these organic baby food brands may not be as appealing as one may hope.

My main issue with all pre-packaged baby food is that it is heat-treated. This enables them to keep on shelves for so long and reap maximum profits. Heat-treated, sterilized foods are dead foods. No nutritional benefit can come from eating food that was cooked, processed, and then commercially sterilized – even if the ingredients were organic in the first place. It is a horrible waste of organic food. We are advised that boiling vegetables for too long depletes their nutritional content and this is exactly what is being done to the ingredients in pre-prepared baby foods.

Looking at Hipp Organic’s Web site, a top U.K. retailer of organic baby food, I found several phrases that confirm this practice of heat-treating. “The food in our jars is sterilized within vacuum-sealed jars during the jarring process” and “you would not be able to achieve the same high temperatures during the heat preservation stage as we do this under pressure.”

Similarly, when I spoke to the “technical team” at Plum Organics, I was told that their food is commercially sterilized by heating the final product for three minutes. Excellent—that ought to kill any goodness!

Sterile food doesn’t sound very appetizing, nor does it sound natural. As a parent, I want my daughter to have the benefit of the very best nutrition while I have some control over what she consumes. Surely it is obvious that food, which can be left on a shelf for months on end, cannot possibly be nutritious. The organic baby food market is awash with promises of the “best start” for your baby, but what are you actually feeding your little one? Would you eat a jar of baby food, organic or otherwise? I wouldn’t! I’ve never bought or tried them, but having seen friends feed them to their babies, I don’t fancy them one bit—and by the look on the babies’ faces neither do they!  

The importance of fresh fruit and vegetables are stressed to us everywhere we look, we actively seek out farm shops and market stalls that boast freshly picked produce. Yet in a bid to save ourselves a bit of time, we feed our children heat-treated mush on the premise that “it’s OK because it’s organic”?

The problem is, with such clever marketing and packaging, these baby food brands are convincing parents that they are giving their children good food, but I fear they are being terribly misled.

The only way to really know what your baby is eating is to prepare their food yourself. It doesn’t need to be complicated at all, and there are loads of great books on how to do this, so I won’t go into it too much here. If you have been feeding your baby pre-prepared foods, it’s never too late to make a positive change. My mantra is always: “Make your own way.” Take your child’s long-term health into your own hands and decide whether you choose to believe all the corporate marketing campaigns or whether you want to do some investigation of your own.

Whatever you decide, it has to be right for you and your family, and that decision is one only you can make.

References

 1.  The Children’s Food Campaign carried out the survey in May 2009. More information can be found onsustainweb.org

 

Laurie Sanders specializes in writing about parenting and “alternative” parenting methods. Her Web site is

www.TheAlternativeBaby.com

 

 

 

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