A reader emailed me a few days ago asking which formula is closest to breast milk since she was going back to work and would no longer breastfeed.
My email reply suggested that learn how to make 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 or use a breastmilk donor bank and pressed for a commercial formula recommendation.
I responded that I could not recommend any commercial formulas, not even the organic ones. She really needed to find the time to make the homemade formula or have a relative or friend make it for her. The long term health of her baby depended on it!
The reasons for avoiding commercial formula both dairy and nondairy go far beyond the fact that they are highly allergenic concoctions of denatured milk proteins and rancid vegetable oils.
Here’s another big issue few parents seem to know about ….
Arsenic in Organic Baby Formula
According to reports 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, A Hidden Arsenic Source