I’m sick AF but I’m coming out from under the covers of my comfortable bed because we need to talk about that baby food study/report.
And before anyone asks, yes, those are my daughters in the header photo! I can’t believe they’re 11 and 9 now. Crazy.
Anyhow, not only was this report was misleading as hell, but I’ve seen this sort of fear mongering before *ahem* *hey, EWG Dirty Dozen…* and I want to smush it like a bug before it fools anyone else.
The report I’m referring to is the one that came out a few days ago that found that 95% of baby foods contain heavy metals.
Welp! No better way to get peoples’ attention than by telling them that they’re poisoning their kids. WOW! It’s like a flash-bomb!
YOUR KIDS ARE POISONED AND IT’S YOUR FAULT!
One of my followers DM’d me and asked me what I thought of the news, and I wrote back:
1. Who did the study
2. The methodology they used
3. The levels of toxic chemicals versus the FDA safe limits
And these questions, my friends, are EVERYTHING.
I hope that in the time you’ve been following my page, you’ve learned that when media headlines are blaring crazy shit, you need to take a step back and actually investigate. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but unfortunately clickbait sometimes trumps the facts. And this situation isn’t any different.
The study was done by a non-profit group *cough* RED FLAG *cough* that aims ” to measurably reduce babies’ exposures to toxic chemicals in the first 1,000 days of development.”
Listen, I have no issues with people trying to make a difference. But non-profits don’t carry the same weight as, say, a university-affiliated body or something associated with the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Another infamous non-profit is the Environmental Working Group, which has for years put out crappy, fear-mongering ‘research’ and ‘reports’ that suit its agenda. So yeah, once bitten, twice shy with non-profits. (Read what I had to say about the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list)
For this report, 168 baby foods were tested, and 160 of them were deemed to have lead, mercury, or arsenic in them.
And maybe I missed something in my cough-induced haze, but I didn’t see anything in the report that showed how the foods were tested. Hm.
The report also talks about percentage of IQ points a kid loses by eating the contaminants.
So not only are your kids going to be poisoned, they’re also going to be stupid! Great!
It all sounds really frightening. I’m a mom, and I get it: I don’t want to feed my kids heavy metal (but I do make them listen to it in the car, yes I’m a child of the 80s).
The problem is that something doesn’t seem right with this whole thing. Sure, we know that rice naturally has arsenic in it, but still, kids’ rice cereal and puffs still exist. So what’s up?
THE DOSE IS WHAT’S UP!!
You all know that the dose makes the poison, right?
Well, it’s a good thing to remember when you look at this report’s findings.
Best example: Biokinetics Brown Rice baby cereal was found to have the highest amount of arsenic at 353 parts per billion. But wait! What does that equate to?
0.000353 grams per kilogram of baby food.
Even with the ‘but it’s cumulative!’ warnings the non-profit gives in its report, suddenly this is all a lot less scary.
Healthy Times Organic Brown Rice Cereal has 67.4 parts per billion of lead, but again – let’s break that down.
It’s 0.0674 milligrams per kilogram of baby food or 0.0000674 grams per kilogram.
Do you see what I’m getting at here?
In fact, many of the foods had undetectable levels of most of the contaminants, and the two examples I gave above were the absolute highest- by a LOT – of all the foods tested.
All of the findings were well within the FDA’s limits for these contaminants in food. Which, well, you might not think are strict enough, but I certainly do.
I’ve mentioned the Environmental Working Group several times because this is exactly the stunt they pulled with their Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists. Fear mongering at its finest to further their agenda. And they know that people will believe them, because who wants to dive into the actual report and check the conversions and levels and all of that stuff?
I sure didn’t, but here I am!
Baby food isn’t killing your kids.
And to the woman on Facebook who commented, ‘everyone should be MAKING their own baby food anyhow! It’s so easy!’ I say, fuck you, lady, when my kids were eating baby food, I was working three jobs, and I didn’t feel like making my kids pureed shit.
So take several seats and shut your idiot trap.
Here’s the lesson:
If you’re not doing it already, take a step back when sensationalist headlines hit the media. Don’t immediately get sucked into the fray, because chances are it’s all for nothing.
In this case, I saw somewhere that members of congress are even getting involved, which is really sad since they obviously didn’t read the report or understand it. *head shake*
Check who’s behind the study. If it’s not a government or educational entity, that raises an eyebrow. It it’s a non-profit, that raises both eyebrows.
Check the methodology, if they even give it, which this report didn’t.
Do the conversions. 67.4 parts per billion is 0.0674 milligrams per kilogram or…wait for it…6.74e-5 grams per kilogram. Which yes, I admit I needed to look up to understand that it’s 0.0000674 grams per kilogram.
Aren’t you glad I did though?
Don’t fall for fear mongering garbage, and hey: don’t worry about making your own baby food either.