Last month, I posted about organic canned foods containing levels of BPA comparable to levels found in cheap, nonorganic canned foods! This study served as a warning to me that while the food inside a package may be nontoxic and organic, the packaging frequently seems to be just as cheap and toxic as nonorganic varieties!
It seems that savvy parents must now be alert to the type of packaging of the foods they buy as well as the ingredients on the label!
High Levels of Lead in Many Brands of Organic Juice
Additional disturbing information regarding the packaging or manufacturing process of organic juice has now come to light. Many brands of organic juice have been found to contain levels of lead dangerous to children under the age of 6. The limit according to California Proposition 35 is .5 micrograms of lead per serving.
The list of organic juices exceeding this limit includes high quality brands such as Earth’s Best Organic Apple Juice, Trader Joe’s Concord Grape Juice, Full Circle Organic Apple Juice, O Organics Unfiltered Apple Juice, Walnut Acres Organic Concord Grape Juice, Santa Cruz Organic Concord Grape Juice, 365 Everyday Value Organic Grape Juice, and the list goes on.
What is going on here? Clearly the organic juice itself does not contain lead, so there must be something amiss either during the manufacturing process or perhaps the juice packaging? A complete list of all products tested by Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) which also includes brands of packaged peaches, pears, and fruit cocktail can be found at this PDF file.
No Safe Level of Lead for Children
While I do not agree with The American Academy of Pediatrics on a number of fronts, I do fully agree with their stance that there is no safe level of lead exposure for children (or pregnant women, for that matter as lead passes through the placenta).
Children absorb lead at a higher rate than adults and their growing bodies are more vulnerable to its effects. Lead has a particularly detrimental effect on children’s IQ.
This study does not bode well for use of these types of products by those most vulnerable to the effects of lead. Lead accumulates in the body over time so repeated, small exposures can add up to a big problem later.
Make Your Own Juices!
Studies like these convict me all the more to continue spending the time making healthy, fresh pressed juices for my family and to offer probiotic filled fermented beverages such as kombucha, kefir soda, and root beer.
Drinking a lot of processed juice, even if organic, is not a good idea anyway as 100% juice increases risk of obesity just the same as sodas. Pasteurized store juice is just a glass of sugar in the final analysis.
Perhaps this study that there is lead in with the organic juice will motivate folks all the more to prepare healthy drinks for their families at home!
Here is a lacto-fermented juice recipe from Nourishing Traditions Cookbook that my children enjoy (we call it Tangy Lemonade):
Juice of 6-8 Lemons or Limes (or a mix of the two)
1/2 cup sucanat or rapadura
1/2 cup liquid whey
1/2 Tsp grated organic nutmeg
2 quarts filtered water
Mix all ingredients in a 2 quart glass container. Cover and leave on the counter for 2-3 days. Skim off and discard any foam that comes to the top after fermenting and then refrigerate.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
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