High Levels of Arsenic Found in Organic Baby Formula

by Sarah Healthy Pregnancy, Baby & ChildComments: 95

IMG_1158A reader emailed me a few days ago asking for a commercial formula brand recommendation since she was going back to work soon and would no longer breastfeed.

My email reply suggested that she make a nourishing, wholesome homemade baby formula.  While not as good as breastmilk from a well nourished mother, it is the next best alternative and certainly better than any commercial formulas on the market.

This reader emailed back saying that she didn’t have time to make the homemade formula and pressed again for a commercial formula recommendation.

I responded that I could not recommend any commercial formulas, not even the organic ones, and that she really needed to find the time to make the homemade formula or have a relative or friend make it for her as the long term health of her baby depended on it.

As it turns, the reasons for avoiding commercial formulas go far beyond the fact that they are highly allergenic concoctions of denatured milk proteins and rancid vegetable oils not to mention the lifelong endocrine disrupting dangers of soy formulas.

According to reports out just yesterday from researchers at Dartmouth, organic baby formulas contain levels of arsenic six times higher than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers safe for the water supply.

These high levels of arsenic are due to the inclusion of brown rice syrup, which is the top ingredient in the organic formulas.

Nature’s One, the manufacturer of organic baby formula, wrote in response that their California based supplier of brown rice syrup:

 … uses qualified, world-renowned, third-party, independent lab to test arsenic levels in their organic brown rice syrup. Their testing results report undetectable amounts of arsenic at laboratory testing limits.

Nature’s One went on to say that:

As an organic manufacturer, Nature’s One’s primary concern is the amount of environmental chemicals ingested by infants, toddlers and children. Parents can rest assured that Nature’s One® will test arsenic levels for every lot of organic brown rice syrup and organic rice oligodextrin prior to production.

Who to believe??  Should we believe the researchers who found dangerous levels of arsenic in the organic baby formulas or the manufacturer who insists that undetectable levels of arsenic are in the brown rice syrup they use to manufacture the baby formula.

Best not to try and figure out the truth in this situation and just make your own homemade baby formula with wholesome, natural ingredients.

When food is processed in a factory, there is always the risk of something going wrong even when organic ingredients are used.

For your precious, vulnerable baby, the risk from any factory produced foods is too high.  Remember the baby that died just a few weeks ago from tainted commercial formula that the mother purchased at Walmart.  A parent carefully preparing a homemade baby formula in her own kitchen will always be an infinitely better, safer, and healthier choice than anything that is produced in a factory.


Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Source: ABC News, Organic Rice Syrup: Hidden Arsenic Source

Picture Credit

Comments (95)

  • Ariel

    Reason #153,159,541 why I will never, ever feed my babies commercial formula of ANY sort. NO guesswork is to be involved in ANYTHING that goes into my babies’ precious bodies. I have to KNOW I’m giving them only the very best, no matter what sacrifices I may have to make.

    February 17th, 2012 9:49 am Reply
    • Rebecca C

      Not to mention, it takes 10 minutes to make a batch. Plus you can freeze it for times when you truly don’t have time (not very often).

      March 12th, 2013 2:10 am Reply
  • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

    I’ve had a flood of emails in the past 12 hours since this report came out via ABC News about where to find raw grassfed milk from frantic mothers who need to immediately stop using the organic baby formulas that they thought were safe!

    February 17th, 2012 9:52 am Reply
  • Amy Jo via Facebook

    Exactly. I used this organic Natures One Babys Only formula for 6 months at the recommendation of a holistic pediatrician saying that it was the best on the market. I had twins and couldn’t produce enough milk for them both despite my best efforts. And now this…………Wtf?!

    February 17th, 2012 10:13 am Reply
  • Allison

    Sadly I have supplemented with this formula because I am a nursing mother that had to report back to work full time. It makes me sick and feeling defeated. I tried so hard to go the route of making my own, if though purse strings were tight, for purchasing the ingredients. I could not find a raw milk source anywhere near me. It is illegal in my state and I had no help when I contacted local WAPF ‘leaders’ in my area, 75 mile or so radius I looked up and contacted all listed :( I was disappointed none of them were interested in trying to help me locate a raw milk source and I don’t know if it was because the sale of raw milk is illegal on OH or what?

    February 17th, 2012 10:14 am Reply
    • Allison

      *Even though

      February 17th, 2012 10:14 am Reply
      • ashleyroz

        Did you try sourcing grassfed pasteurized/unhomogenized milk and re-culturing it with pima or yogurt? In a pinch one of my girlfriends sometimes uses non-ultrapasteurized goatmilk when she runs out of raw (fortunately we have a semi-local farm that supplies our Whole Foods) and adds the raw liver for b12.

        February 17th, 2012 10:27 am Reply
    • ashleyroz

      Even pasteurized (non-ultra) milk is better than powdered.

      February 17th, 2012 10:28 am Reply
      • Allison

        We do have a fairly close dairy that sells grassfed unhomogenized milk but I wasn’t sure if that was acceptable or would be too harsh on his stomach. I am wondering, he is 11.5 months now — wondering if it would be better to just work on switching him to this milk period? Or is it too soon. I am about all but dried up. :/

        February 17th, 2012 10:30 am Reply
        • ashleyroz

          If you culture the milk it should bring it back to life somewhat and especially if it isn’t unhomogenized, he should handle it well. You can always try goat milk if the cow’s milk doesn’t work well. Anne Marie from Cheeseslave gave her daughter the raw milk formula until she was 2 or so. I think her reasoning was that had she been able to breastfeed she would have until her daughter was at least 2. Read the WAPF page for all the information http://www.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/recipes-for-homemade-baby-formula

          February 17th, 2012 10:53 am Reply
    • Lori

      I understand the feeling. We used to live in OH and I tried my best to find local raw milk. It was frustrating because we lived in a rural area with farms but they refused to sell it, because yes, it’s illegal. We moved to PA and it’s totally different story here..you can even purchase raw milk from the local stores.

      February 17th, 2012 10:55 am Reply
    • JMR

      In OH, you must buy a herdshare to get raw milk legally. Look at realmilk.com to find a source. The WAPF chapter leader in Columbus recommended a source to me a couple years ago, and I also found it on realmilk.com. I get my milk in Mt. Gilead for a less money than it would cost to buy non-homogenized, lightly pasteurized organic milk at the store, and I share driving with others so I only have to make the trip less than once a month.

      February 17th, 2012 11:51 am Reply
  • Lori Wasserman via Facebook

    That and the fact that the new FDA Food Czar is a Monsanto Lawyer who just launched a campaign, shutting down raw milk producers…

    February 17th, 2012 10:20 am Reply
  • Lisa Wilson via Facebook

    It’s in the soil so it’s going to be in the food, esp. stuff bought at walmart , as China has lots of air pollution from all the factories .

    February 17th, 2012 10:21 am Reply
  • Sarah Kinney Wilbur via Facebook

    Read that this morning, too. :( I agree…homemade formula is next best alternative. Did that for my last baby, using raw milk, until we discovered she had dairy allergies. (prior to the raw milk intro) Got her on goat milk when she was able, and she did much better.

    February 17th, 2012 10:21 am Reply
  • Lesli Peterson via Facebook

    2 years now my son has only been on grass fed raw milk, and he has not been sick at all since them No vaccines, no pediatricians, just letting real food be is healer.

    February 17th, 2012 10:30 am Reply
  • Lesli Peterson via Facebook

    Find it here – http://realmilk.com/where.html

    February 17th, 2012 10:31 am Reply
  • Marta Navaret via Facebook

    OMG! Genocide to our new generations! Horrible !

    February 17th, 2012 10:33 am Reply
  • Anastasia Akasha Kaur via Facebook

    after watching “Thrive” I am skeptical of any “research” group at all, especially when they pinpoint organics. That being said, I encourage all mothers to breastfeed as long as possible.

    February 17th, 2012 10:37 am Reply
  • Danielle

    Hi, Sarah! I’m wondering how to I make my own baby formula when I have no way of getting Raw Milk? It is illegal to sell in my state and my family cannot afford a herdshare, as it is almost $18 per gallon of milk. We’re on a tight budget with two children and it’s very hard to justify paying that much for raw milk. Any suggestions? Thank you!

    February 17th, 2012 10:40 am Reply
  • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

    Yes, local nonhomogenized low temp pasteurized whole milk recultured with piima or yogurt cultures and then using this as the base for the formula would be a better option than the powdered formulas.

    If that doesn’t work or causes upset, use the homemade broth based, hypoallergenic formula.

    February 17th, 2012 10:40 am Reply
  • Bernadene Diane Beach-Whitten via Facebook

    Breastfeed your chidren, problem solved. Human milk for human babies, cow’s milk for baby calves.

    February 17th, 2012 10:41 am Reply
    • Anna@GreenTalk

      I breast feed all of my kids. I pumped when I went back to work but that might be hard for alot of women. Also, some women have trouble nursing.

      Do anyone think the arsenic problem is from plants grown out of the US?

      February 17th, 2012 12:11 pm Reply
      • Sharon


        It is my understanding that arsenic in rice is actually a problem with rice grown in the US, on former cotton fields where arsenic-laden pesticide use has contaminated the soil. I try to buy locally, mostly, but will buy rice from overseas before I buy rice that might have been grown in American cotton country.

        February 17th, 2012 12:29 pm Reply
      • Magda

        I breastfed my first son for 3 years (home for 5 months, then pumped for over 6 months, then BF when I was home). I got ‘lucky’ with my second and because I was let go from work, I stayed home with him for 10.5 months. I then pumped for 3 or 4 months (only planned 1-2 months but it was going well so I kept at it). I’m still BF him at home and he’s 2. It can be done!!! Only in very extreme cases (lots of stress, travel, etc. or just no being able to BF at all) will it be too much. With proper support (knowledge, nutrition, rest, etc.) it can be done!!! A friend at my former work BFd her first exclusively then supplemented some with her 2nd and 3rd child. Again, BF can be done!! My simply goal was to BF for at least a year. I was not going to accept substitutes. Of course the raw milk formula was always at the back of my mind but I didn’t have to use it after all…

        February 17th, 2012 1:06 pm Reply
    • Helen

      Don’t forget babies will wait longer between feeds when you are not around. Mine would go 4-5 hours, no problem. If you can get to them midday, you may not need to make formula…

      February 17th, 2012 5:44 pm Reply
  • Becky Lee via Facebook

    Well hopefully the raw grassfed milk is cheaper where they are (and you are) than it is here in VA. It’s about $10/gallon here, and there is a waiting list, so there’s no getting it here.

    February 17th, 2012 10:45 am Reply
  • Carrie Stutler Dunham via Facebook

    Becky, what part of VA do you live. Feel free to private message me.

    February 17th, 2012 10:54 am Reply
  • Lisa Edwards Berteaux via Facebook

    The place I know to get it is also $10 here as well in AZ. No fun.

    February 17th, 2012 10:54 am Reply
  • City Share

    I feel so lucky that I have been able to breastfeed my daughter. All of the babies I know that are on traditional formula have so many digestion problems, and many end up on acid reflux medicine. All the more reason for mothers to work to make their own if they aren’t able to breast feed.

    February 17th, 2012 11:00 am Reply
  • Amy Jo via Facebook

    It’s easy to say breastfeed breastfeed when you have ONE baby and you have adequate milk. I had TWO babies, twins, and my body didn’t cooperate and didn’t produce enough milk. I pumped every two hours, took herbs, everything….still not enough. Breastfeeding exclusively is not a viable option for all mothers. And I find it so offensive that in this organic community you are made to feel small if you cannot exclusively breastfeed. I wish when my children were babies I would have known about homemade formula but unfortunately I didn’t. I sought advice from a very holistic pediatrician-completely organic, real food Dr to supplement what my just didn’t produce and she stated the best formula was this exact brand in the news lastnight. And I believed her and used it. We do have a raw goat milk share now as I have learned over the past 6 months….however….I did what I thought to be best at the time. I hope that not one baby is affected by this finding.

    February 17th, 2012 11:05 am Reply
    • Luisa

      Exactly! THANK YOU! When some mothers don’t exclusively breastfeed or HAVE to supplement, it’s not ALWAYS because they are “inconvenienced,” “ignorant,” or “lazy.” Sometimes it’s just not possible. We do the very best that we can.

      March 16th, 2012 1:03 am Reply
  • Rene Whitehurst via Facebook

    I read somewhere else that Nature’s One Baby’s Only tests their own formula and they say it does not contain arsenic. It might be good to search their website for some answers.

    February 17th, 2012 11:09 am Reply
  • Rachel MacPherson Crouse via Facebook

    Nasty!! So glad it’s never passed the lips of my littles.

    February 17th, 2012 10:11 am Reply
  • Stanley Fishman

    Very important post. This is proof that food processing can make even organic products questionable, to say the least. Obviously, no baby or human being, for that matter, should be ingesting arsenic. I doubt very much that there is any safe level of arsenic, one of the deadliest poisons known to humanity.

    The other problem is that there may be other things wrong with organic formulas that have not been discovered yet. The health of US children is the worse it has ever been, and is deteriorating. Nutrition is important at all times, but never as crucial as it is for a baby. Poor nutrition and toxins can create huge problems that our ignorant, corrupt, arrogant medical system cannot cure. Good nutrition from day one builds a strong body with healthy natural functions which is by far the best protection against illness, environmental toxins, physical injury, mental problems, and everything else.


    February 17th, 2012 11:17 am Reply
  • Carrie Stutler Dunham via Facebook

    Wow! I need to be very thankful that our grassfed raw milk is only $7 a gallon and will drop back to $6 in the spring!

    February 17th, 2012 11:17 am Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    @Anastasia Good point .. I am skeptical of the research too but someone is lying here .. either the researchers (who funded them? nonorganic commercial formula companies?) or the company that supplies the brown rice syrup to Nature’s One which claims negligible levels of arsenic based on their own test. Hard to know as both sides have a profit motive for deception.

    February 17th, 2012 11:21 am Reply
  • Lori Wasserman via Facebook

    The FDA is claiming that raw milk is a health hazard as ridiculous as that is. People have been drinking it since time began and they’ve recently proved it’s super health benefits. The gov’t is attacking co-ops, farmers, sellers etc, whether they are legally selling or producing. My guess is that, like everything, if they don’t control it – they don’t want anyone else too. Monsanto being so intertwined with gov’t and policy and Big Food will ultimately ruin our food supply. GMOs are big money for them and this includes meats and dairy. If you google it there are tons of stories about them shutting down raw milk producers illegally and bullying them to keep quiet about the raids. The gov’t makes 20% if its economy from Big Food. Monsanto is a huge chunk of that. They are now trying to get their GMO products to be OK’d for organic use. Hopefully if enough of us stand up for our rights to clean, healthy foods, maybe it won’t happen.

    February 17th, 2012 11:22 am Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    Bottom line is who has time for these he said, she said types of news items. Best to be sure and either breastfeed (best IF you are well nourished and healthy) or make a homemade formula with wholesome ingredients from a small local farm.

    February 17th, 2012 11:22 am Reply
  • Amber Kirkpatrick via Facebook

    Yup saw this yesterday and freaked out a little bit, since my baby WAS on conventional oganic formula for a few weeks while I was trying to get my milk supply up. Milk supply never came up but I KNOW what’s in my baby’s bottle every day because I make it myself .

    February 17th, 2012 11:24 am Reply
  • Lori Wasserman via Facebook

    For mothers looking for a healthy alternative to breast milk there is a homemade formula called “The Barley Baby Formula” by Adelle Davis. you can buy the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Lets-Healthy-Children-Adelle-Davis/dp/9991578315/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1329492311&sr=1-8

    February 17th, 2012 11:26 am Reply
    • Ashleyroz

      That looks like a formula for gut problems. Grains aren’t recommended for children under the age of 1 and preferably 2. Why would any mother want to feed her developing infant Fortified barley water???

      February 18th, 2012 2:02 am Reply
  • Tina Loving via Facebook

    Lori Wilson – Tell us more. I knew that the Amish farm back East just got shut down for selling raw milk over state lines. But as long as farmers are following the laws, there shouldn’t be any trouble. At least I want ot believe that.

    February 17th, 2012 10:26 am Reply
  • Lori Wasserman via Facebook

    She’s amazing and that formula you make at home with healthy ingredients yourself. It’s the next best thing to breast milk.

    February 17th, 2012 11:28 am Reply
  • Juanita

    I am truly hoping that this will wake people up. Even if it isn’t in all baby formula. Too many moms choose to formula feed mostly due to convenience. They want their me time and need their “space”. I’m sorry but when did mom consist of “me” time and space. I have 2 kids at my hips 10 hours a day while homeschooling 3 others, work from home and do house work. The best part of it all is I LOVE IT.

    I hope more people would open their eyes that breast is best. Everything in there is enough for the baby.

    February 17th, 2012 11:29 am Reply
  • Juanita Espinosa via Facebook

    We get ours for 5 dollars a gallon and about a 2 cups of fresh butter for 2.50 a pack. It’s awesome. We are getting a cow from them in May. We are very happy to have them.

    February 17th, 2012 11:31 am Reply
  • Lynn Allen via Facebook

    I am fortunate to have a great source of raw milk in my area, but for those who don’t, Beyond Organic has a great product called Amasi that is wonderful for children. My grandson likes it and it can be given to babies (except the Milk & Honey flavor for obvious reasons). You can find it at http://www.lynnallen.mybeyondorganic.com along with other wonderful products. These foods are grass FINISHED, meaning they are not finished off with grains that may contain GMOs.

    February 17th, 2012 11:41 am Reply
  • Lisa Edwards Berteaux via Facebook

    That’s an amazing price Juanita!!

    February 17th, 2012 11:43 am Reply
  • Beth Stowers

    The very first time I read about formula was when I was in college, studying how Nestle used evil PR practices to get women in India to stop breastfeeding their children and use formula. As a result, many babies and children got sick because the women were using tainted water to mix in with the formula. They also targeted poorer women, who did not have access to cleaner water. Nestle has done (and does) this in other countries, as well. And they generally try to cover it up.

    This alone was enough to help me decide to never feed commercial formula to my babies! We have been blessed to be able to breastfeed long term.

    Nestle just keeps on going too! I was very shocked to go the regular grocery store and see that Nestle has a new product on the shelves. It’s marketed to the Hispanic population and is nothing more than more additives, preservatives, sterile food and high sugar (aka “garbage”). It’s made for younger children as some sort of a new “nutritional drink.” I can’t recall the name of it, but I did take a picture of it (because I was so appalled).

    Last night, I read the article about arsenic found in baby formula. In addition to baby formula, testers found it in energy bars, rice syrup (of course) and a few different brands of energy gel. They said white rice is better to use, because the arsenic is more concentrated in the rice bran.

    Thank you for posting this and for the links to homemade baby formula!

    February 17th, 2012 11:55 am Reply
  • Sharon Bergeron Campsie via Facebook

    I only pay $5 for grass fed raw milk in Hadley MA. Guess I’m lucky and it’s so delicious even my non believer husband has made the switch

    February 17th, 2012 11:57 am Reply

    Living in the Dartmouth community, I can also say that the word that is spreading is that the arsenic is in the brown rice-period. After emailing Lundberg rice company directly, a friend discovered that they do not even test their rice. Bummer.

    February 17th, 2012 12:02 pm Reply
  • Kim Medleycott Criley via Facebook

    We sell ours for $10, but most places around here are charging between 12-18 for a half gallon.

    February 17th, 2012 11:12 am Reply
  • Shannon

    I just heard the report last night and am sick to my stomach… I breastfeed as much as I’m able to but my supply has been low from the beginning and I’ve had to supplement. I would say on average, 40-50% of my daughter’s bottles since one month of age have been Baby’s Only Organic, on the recommendation of the Weston A. Price Organization. I feel duped. I know that hurting our babies was not the intention of WAP or Nature’s One, but who can we trust anymore?? I spent $250 on ingredients for the homemade formula, $100 speaking with nutritionists to ensure it was indeed safe and healthy for my daughter, and countless hours culturing my milk since I also don’t have easy access to raw, and as it turns out, my daughter can’t stand the stuff! She absolutely refused her bottles and would only eat at the breast or if I filled them with Baby’s Only. So, I can say with a clear conscience that I have done all I could do to give her the best nutrition possible, and it seems I’m being roadblocked at every turn. I agree with those who chant “breast is best!”, and I give her as much of my milk as I’ve been able, but now that this formula has come out as being tainted, what am I supposed to feed my baby girl? She is eight months old… what is the absolute minimum age to convert to regular milk? I will attempt the broth formula this weekend… I am willing to do whatever I have to to make sure she receives the best nutrition possible. Thank you in advance for any advice you may have.

    February 17th, 2012 12:33 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Please note that the Weston A. Price Foundation ONLY recommends Baby’s Only as a STOPGAP until all ingredients for homemade formula can be procured. Never ever ever ever ever ever as a formula to use long term.

      February 17th, 2012 1:07 pm Reply
      • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

        Almost everyone in America who can’t get raw milk can STILL can get access to low temp nonhomogenized whole milk by asking their local healthfood store to order it in for them in glass bottles. This can be cultured with piima or yogurt or kefir cultures and then used as the base for the homemade formula.

        February 17th, 2012 1:09 pm Reply
        • Shannon

          As I mentioned, I did all of that, made two double batches of the formula using cultured milk, and was forced to throw it all out because my daughter would not eat it. I’m just trying to elaborate that there are reasons beyond selfishness and lack of time or initiative that force some parents to need an alternative food source to the homemade formula.

          Thank you for the reply.

          February 17th, 2012 1:35 pm Reply
    • Molly Ellick

      There are online communities where those women blessed with excess milk, and a desire to help other babies, donate and sell their breast milk! if you can buy that, why buy formula? Here is one:

      February 17th, 2012 2:32 pm Reply
      • Shannon

        I would love to do that Molly, but my husband has been laid off for three years and I struggle to pay for the formula. I will find a way, however, if that’s the only healthy option – thanks for the recommendation!

        Also, the WAP website could use a redesign. They are very vague on many aspects of the homemade formula (for instance, in regards to the Baby’s Only Organic, the website states “This stopgap formula can be used in emergencies, or when the ingredients for homemade formula are unavailable.” Okay, the last part of that sentence seems to confer that it is acceptable if the homemade is not an option, which is wasn’t with my baby as she hated it – never did I think this was not a long-term option from the information they provide on the site), and it is not very easy to get somebody on the phone. I’ve tried calling a few times for clarification on this or that and was always directed first to the website and next, to someone without voicemail that doesn’t seem to ever be at their phone. I love the fact that WAP is trying to educate people and offer healthier alternatives, but I think it can be dangerous to put incomplete or confusing information out there and leave readers to fill in the blanks on their own. It would be wonderful if knowedgeable people were available to answer questions whose answers are not clear on the website.

        February 17th, 2012 3:11 pm Reply
  • D.

    If she doesn’t have time to pump and continue breastfeeding, and she doesn’t have time to make the formula recipe you recommended to her, she could use just plain real raw goat milk. That’s what I did if ever I couldn’t breastfeed for a time. Sometimes I even added an egg yolk to the goat milk and blended it in by hand with a wire whip. But I never gave up breastfeeding entirely with any of my three kids. The goat milk, however, would still be a better answer than anything processed. Wonder if she would have access to it?

    I posted that same article on my forum last night. There is also cupric sulfate in even the organic baby formulas, as well as the algae concocted DHA and ARA which is now causing problems, as well. Something about mold, but I couldn’t find the article to share it here.

    Still, powdered formulas are loaded with synthetic vitamins (they use dl-tocopherol or even dl alpha tocopherol for the vitamin E – most, maybe all vitamin E supplements are derived from soy) and they use vitamin D2 instead of D3 (but lots of young people don’t realize there is a difference) not that D2 is bad, but it’s simply not the same thing as D3. I am not a fan of too many supplements in the first place, but synthetic supplements – really? Does a baby’s body know what to do with those? Heck, MY body doesn’t know what to do with those! That’s why we try to eat well-rounded meals and not worry too much about supplements. But babies don’t have that luxury, so when mom foolishly stops breastfeeding (so many women can’t, so it’s always a shame to see someone stop) the baby is the one who suffers. I see it all the time though, and it breaks my heart.

    February 17th, 2012 12:40 pm Reply
  • Jen

    I just ordered and am waiting for the gallon size of Natural by Mature milk through my local health food store at $9.00 a gallon, but I realized the gallons may be homogenized. It looks like it has to be the quart size glass jars to be not homogenized.
    QUESTION: Is homogenized really that bad?
    I go through 3 gallons milk weekly, and I know that is going to be even more expensive to get 12 quart size glass jars each week. Raw milk is illegal where I live, so that is not an option for me.
    QUESTION: Also should people be feeding this formula to children beyond 1 yrs as a supplement, whether nursing or not?
    Thanks for taking the time to share your wealth of knowledge!

    February 17th, 2012 12:49 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Yes, homogenized is really that bad.

      February 17th, 2012 1:01 pm Reply
      • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

        I guess I should elaborate. Homogenization forces the molecules of fat in the cream to be very small so that is evenly disperses throughout the milk and does not come to the top and form a creamline as with raw milk. The problem with this is that it turns the cholesterol in the cream rancid. Rancid cholesterol is what is dangerous and should not be consumed particularly by a growing baby whose brain needs whole, unprocessed cholesterol for a correctly functioning neurological system. Rancid cholesterol is also linked to cardiovascular problems among other inflammatory conditions.

        February 17th, 2012 1:03 pm Reply
        • Jen

          Thank you explaining that further, that motivates to look into getting the non-homogenized when I place the next order.

          February 17th, 2012 2:03 pm Reply
  • Tina Loving via Facebook

    I wasn’t able to breastfeed my babes for reasons which are none of your business. And no one will make me feel bad and guilty for not being able to breastfeed. I now do everything to give my boys the most nourshing diet possible. Breastmilk is best but if it’s not possible then you should expect that your baby’s formula will be arsenic free.

    February 17th, 2012 12:01 pm Reply
  • Maureen Hernandez via Facebook

    I’m in the Cleveland, OH area…. if you are looking to get involed with a Herd Share I can help point you in the right direction

    February 17th, 2012 1:37 pm Reply
  • Jen

    Sorry another question just popped in my head, how do we know that the cholesterol is rancid, or what evidence is there for that? If there is a certain source to refer me to that would help, and I can read about that further. I just wanted to know case I want to explain why I am buying the milk I buy to someone else. Thanks for your time:)

    February 17th, 2012 2:12 pm Reply
    • Beth Stowers

      Whenever I have bought any milk (organic or not) that is both pasteurized and homogenized, it smells somewhat sour to me. This seems to be the case with any milk I’ve tried. Some brands smell worse than others.

      Then, we started buying either raw milk (when we can get it) or non-homogenized milk. Any of those DO NOT have that sour-ish smell.

      I wondered about this until I read the Mother Earth News article about raw milk (http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/real-milk-zmrz11zalt.aspx?page=4). The author states,

      “Homogenizing milk disrupts the chemical structure of milkfat so drastically that it releases a torrent of enzymes that promptly turn raw milk rancid.”

      And I like what Sara (The Health Home Economist) says about making the cholesterol turn rancid too.

      If homogenization makes milk do that (AND it makes it taste and smell so funky), I won’t drink it. And I believe the rancidity is why it does smell sour.

      I hope this is helpful!

      February 17th, 2012 4:31 pm Reply
      • Jen

        Thank you for taking the time to explain that!

        February 17th, 2012 6:49 pm Reply
  • marina

    This is sad.
    I used to fortify commercial formula for my second daughter, using recipe in nourishing traditions. We did not have any raw milk available in Canada at that time. She was born premature, at 7 months and I had to pump milk for 4 months until I was very tired (I also had a 1.5 year old at that time). So I started fortifying formula and she is a healthy smart happy 7 year old now.

    February 17th, 2012 2:18 pm Reply
  • Molly Ellick

    If you don’t “have the time” to breastfeed, pump, or at the least, make your own baby formula, you don’t have the time required to be a mom. We have a nation FULL of sick, drugged, and dying children because moms don’t “have the time” to adequately care for them. If women went about their jobs like they went about their parenting they would be fired. Which area of our lives deserve more emphasis, our career or the health of our children? Which area is more important??

    February 17th, 2012 2:25 pm Reply
  • Shirley J

    One thing to consider in light of producer’s comments: Is industrial ag starting to wage a war on organic products/produce like the dairy industry is waging a war on raw dairy? Someone should look into who did the research. Here our State Dairy inspectors found e-coli in the milk of our local raw dairy but the dairy has their own independent tests and no e-coli was ever found. If there are these high levels then I would be concerned about all products containing brown rice syrup.

    February 17th, 2012 2:30 pm Reply
  • Dara Ree

    I found out the hard way what was in commercial baby formula after my baby because sick and even hospitalized. You can read my story on my website. The good news is it inspired me to start my own line of PURE, HANDMADE, Truly Organic baby formula. After my daughter was healed I was told time and time again when people heard my story how much this product is needed. I agree. http://www.designedbynature.net.
    Good Luck and stay strong. We can flight getting nourishing foods back to our children and healing them with real food!
    Dara Ree

    February 17th, 2012 1:45 pm Reply
    • Shannon

      Hi Dara! I checked out your website and it looks like what you are selling is the homemade WAP recipe – that’s a great option for people who can’t access the ingredients or don’t have time to make it themselves! I have a question though… WAP suggests making it fresh daily and not freezing it, so how do you get around that with yours? I’m just wondering because that was my issue with it before my daughter started refusing it, I just didn’t have time to do it daily being that I had to culture the milk.

      Thanks in advance!

      February 17th, 2012 3:41 pm Reply
      • Shannon

        P.S. Congrats on your beautiful little girl and finding something that helped her! :)

        February 17th, 2012 3:44 pm Reply
  • Diana Condylas via Facebook

    This article came up in my newsfeed and I thought it would link in well considering the issues with formula:http://theleakyboob.com/2010/09/because-it-could-be-my-baby/

    February 17th, 2012 2:53 pm Reply
  • Melanie

    @Molly…some of us have to feed our children formula because we aren’t able to breastfeed not because we don’t have time to. I pumped for my son for 7-1/2 months but it was making me sick and I could no longer do it (and my milk wasn’t healthy since I wasn’t healthy). I tried everything to get him to breastfeed but he had a posterior tongue tie and once we got him clipped he would no longer latch on. By the time I went back to work, my milk supply dropped anyway and I had to supplement with formula. I work full time and my husband stays home full time with the kids because I had the higher income at the time and in this economy my husband cannot find a job making what I make. I would love to make homemade formula but I can barely afford commercial formula and raw milk in CA (I live in San Diego) costs about $5 for a pint, plus I would need to then buy all the other ingredients to go along with it. But believe me, the health of my child is very important. I do make all of his baby food…he will never eat jarred food. We do the best we can do for our children in the best way we can. But please don’t assume all of us who use formula do so because “we don’t have time” to make homemade formula or breastfeed.

    February 17th, 2012 3:11 pm Reply
  • Tawanda

    I don’t think any accusations were being made for women who are in situations where breast feeding is/was not possible. Poster attempted to speak to the all the varied situations that might then require formula. I see Sarah’s report as an alert on information we may not have been aware of previously. Now with this information, we can make some decisions for our family as to alternatives and how to move forward. I do not see it as an indictment on anyone’s current or past choices. We are all trying to find our way in a society that has ill-equipped us for the optimal nutruing of our children from pre-preganancy diet, to pre-natal care and preganancy, to delivery, to post preganancy diet and care of children. Thanks Sarah for this very helpful post.

    February 17th, 2012 4:08 pm Reply
  • Mindy Arledge via Facebook

    For infants, goat milk is the closest to human milk and the easiest to tolerate. I even find that fresh raw goat milk is is tastier and feels better during digestion than fresh raw cow milk. The downside with goat milk is that you do not get all that delisious cream on the top though for butter and such. One husband I know actually took the initiative to go buy two lactating goats so that his nursing wife and babies would have the freshest milk possible. It was also the best way to know the animal producing the milk was feeding on good organic grass and feed, passing down the nutrition in the milk. I understand that this is not an option for most people, but I think a lot of people overlook it as an option too. The animals also provided manure for gardening, green mowing survives, extra milk for cheese and keffir, and a valuable commodity to trade with foody friends for garden produce or even a little help around the property.

    February 17th, 2012 4:38 pm Reply
  • Heather

    I just want to reassure those out there completely overwhelmed at the prospect of making formula from difficult/impossible to find ingredients that it’s going to be ok. I adopted 2 infants 1 month and 3 months old. I tried my darndest to induce lactation, but only got up to about 4 oz a day. We could barely afford commercial formula from Costco after the cost of the adoption, and this was years before I knew about WAPF stuff. My kids are 5 now, and they are doing great. There is no way we could have afforded to bring them into our family if we were eating the way we do now, or if we felt like we had to make homemade formula. I was so completely overwhelmed as a new mother I don’t think I could have taken on one more thing.

    I think you have to do your very best, make every effort possible, and then send a prayer out to bless your efforts. Priorities change over seasons in your family’s lives. I probably would at least try to make formula if we were to adopt again, but we are much more financially stable right now, and we are much further along our real food journey.

    You have to find balance in all of this. I often have to stand back and consider…am I serving the food, or is the food serving us? If God can create a universe then he can magnify the efforts I make to nourish my family. He will guide me to the truth and then help me find a way to implement it, but it doesn’t have to be all overnight.

    Feeding my family the best way I know how is really important to me and I spend a lot of time and money trying to feed them the best that I can…but if I am completely stressed out, crazy mean mom because I’m trying to do every thing perfectly, then I’m not nourishing them emotionally. Also, if I am putting my family in financial risk by spending a ton of money on food, then I’m not serving them well.

    All I am trying to say is that I really think if you do your very best…even if others may criticize you…it’s okay. Hang in there!

    February 17th, 2012 5:17 pm Reply
    • Patrice

      Love what you said “If God can create a universe then he can magnify the efforts I make to nourish my family”. What an amazing statement! Thanks for sharing this.

      February 24th, 2012 3:26 pm Reply
    • Maria


      Thank you so much for your insight.
      I really needed to read words like those you wrote :)

      April 29th, 2012 5:15 am Reply
  • Christine

    Thank you, Heather – that’s exactly how I’ve been feeling about all of this!

    February 18th, 2012 1:09 am Reply
  • Leanne Woodrum via Facebook



    Milk sharing. Or here:


    I did this with my baby. It helped so much when I couldn’t express because of a reduction. These mama’s donate freely for the sake of other’s babies. Each state has a hm4hb Facebook page too to ask for or announce donations. Some will ship on dry ice, some will let you come pick up, some will even drive part way to meet you if you are in need.

    February 18th, 2012 1:21 am Reply
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  • Danny

    This is another lesson that pretty much everything on the grocery store shelves is not good for you, whether natural, or organic, or minimally processed, etc.. This lesson takes a long time to sink in as it is basically a process of unlearning years of indoctrination by corporations. It took me years to truly understand this. Keep up the good work Sarah! Sarah do you sell butter directly to local consumers? Thanks

    February 18th, 2012 10:09 am Reply
  • Ami

    I too returned to work when my infants were 6 weeks old. I am a physicians and would sometimes work 30 hours straight. But, the healt of my babies (I have 3) was so important that I pumped whenever I could, even while driving (my electric pump was a lifesaver)! There is never a good enough excuse to not sacrifice when you physically can provide. But, I would definitely do the homemade formula if I could not! You only get one opportunity to grow up a good child!

    February 18th, 2012 2:37 pm Reply
  • Nicole, The Non-Toxic Nurse

    I supplemented my daughter with the Baby’s Only Formula when I could not make enough milk to feed her secondary to PCOS, hypothyroidism, and having had pre-eclampsia. At the time it was the highest quality formula I could find. I was not aware of the Weston A. Price Foundation at the time. I had no idea that making homemade formula was even a possibility until I found the WAPF. In addition to baby formula, rice is used as an ingredient in many store-bought foods. I agree with Danny’s comment above: organic or not, store-bought foods are risky . . . and not just to babies:-(

    February 18th, 2012 2:53 pm Reply
  • Nathan Fischer’s Eider Janes via Facebook

    Breast feed your child and you have no worries

    February 18th, 2012 9:06 pm Reply
  • Dana

    If a mother cannot or will not breastfeed, pump, or make homemade formula, what about breast milk banks? Milk from a donor mother of course varies according to her diet, but perhaps some of these resources allow you to find a local donor who matches what you’re looking for, sort of like a wet-nurse back in the day? Thoughts?

    February 18th, 2012 10:49 pm Reply
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  • NaturesOneSara

    Hi Sarah,

    Just wanted to follow up and give you the latest on this:

    Nature’s One® continues to pursue its mission to make organic better. Today the company confirms its new organic-compliant filtration technology reduces organic and inorganic arsenic found in brown rice syrup to undetectable levels of less than 4 parts-per-billion.

    Nature’s One was founded on the principle of ensuring its products are formulated with the purest ingredients possible. Its advanced filtering process establishes the highest purity standard for rice used in organic infant foods and formulas. This new industry standard is well below the EPA’s drinking water regulation for arsenic. Learn more: http://naturesone.com/brown-rice/.

    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at Nature’s One!

    July 31st, 2012 4:19 pm Reply
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  • Katherine

    Just a correction to your claim that commercial formula killed that poor baby- the investigation found that the formula itself was not contaminated, but that the bacteria came from the kitchen surface of the home. So even if that mother had used homemade infant formula, she would have still caused her own baby’s death. It’s almost unthinkable that something in your own home can cause such a horrible outcome, but the formula was not the culprit in this case.

    May 3rd, 2013 2:15 pm Reply
  • Lillie

    Thank you for the write up. I surely agree with what you’re saying. I have been talking about this subject a lot these days with my brother so ideally this will get him to see my point of view. Fingers crossed!

    July 18th, 2013 12:09 pm Reply

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