THE DARK SECRETS – AND TRUTH – ABOUT BABY FOOD JARS & POUCHES

You wouldn’t feed your baby a Big Mac would you?
Research has proven that some baby jars from the main commercial brands are less nutritious than a cheeseburger!  (Source: The Guardian 2009)

You can find these baby food jars in supermarkets all around Australia (And the world, really)…
The sad fact is, in order to increase shelf time, minimise their stock levels and increase profit, these giant multi billion dollar manufacturers have to add preservatives and food substitutes.

THE BULKING

To cut costs manufacturers replace real food with water and thickening agents/starches that are devoid of the outer layers of the grain, with preservatives and bleach commonly added during processing.
The refining of any grain reduces its vitamins, proteins and roughage.

What’s more, refined starches play a significant role in causing dental cavities, as they form a sticky paste around the teeth.

Agents (carbohydrates) are replacing proteins and fats, which are essential for adequate health and growth. A baby’s growing muscles, bones, brain, and all other structures are built from the protein and fat they consume.

Studies have also shown that if babies consume commercial baby food before 24 months,
they are likely to acquire a lower IQ
(Source: Smithers et al 2012).

THE NUTRIENTS (or lack of)

Many of the most popular brands contain less than a fifth of a baby’s recommended daily supply of calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron and other crucial minerals (Source: University of Greenwich 2012).

Ever wondered how a jar of baby food could be older than the baby itself – and still remain nutritious? Answer: It can’t.

In order to remain edible for so long the product must be heated to a very high temperature for a sustained length of time; whilst this process destroys most of the contaminating microorganisms, the few that are left multiply faster because the resistance of the food to bacteria and moulds is lowered by the heating process. The heating process also destroys naturally occurring ‘friendly’ microorganisms. The reduced populations cannot build up quickly enough afterwards
to counter the spread of the ‘baddies’.

Moreover during this process most of the beneficial nutrients are also killed. So even if the jar states “organic”, the nutritive value is not even close to non-organic food that you would prepare yourself at home.

This is why so many commercial baby foods are ‘fortified’. The food has been cooked to death – literally! So the manufacturer has to add synthetic vitamins and minerals to get the food value back up. This provides an illusion of meeting benchmark standards.

THE QUALITY (or lack of):

Increasing shelf life by bulking foods is just one of the tactics used by manufacturers to maximise profits. They are also prepared to sacrifice the quality of even their non-bulking ingredients. For instance, if you look at a lot of commercial baby food, the label will say ‘baby grade’ veg/fruit etc. This means that although it is ‘real’ fruit/veg (and may well be organic if stated on the jar), it’s pretty much the poorer quality damaged and malformed ‘scraps’ that don’t make it onto the supermarket shelves. These scraps are then boiled to death and pureed to disguise their inherent imperfection.

TRANS FAT:

Another undesirable ingredient commonly found in commercial baby food yet not declared on the label, is transfats.

Manufacturers use trans fat instead of oil because it improves flavour and texture, reduces cost, and extends the storage life of products. Each of these are tickets to greater profit.

Unfortunately trans fat is known to increase LDL, also known as “bad” cholesterol, while lowering levels of HDL,
or “good” cholesterol.

Transfats are a particularly unhealthy type of fat for anyone to consume, adults, children and babies alike, as it can cause clogging of arteries, type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems, and can increase the risk of heart disease.

THE CONTAMINANTS:

Test on the main baby food jars available in stores found five pesticides, among them, the organophosphate methamidiphos, which was found on 9.4% of samples and the organophosphate acephate, on 7.8% of samples.