One of my favorite movies of all time is Role Models. Which, I know, makes me quite the embodiment of what a good parent should be (sarcasm.) If you’ve ever seen this movie, you know it’s full of all kinds of nonsense. One of my favorite scenes is when Jane Lynch is telling the two main characters that they aren’t going to get away with anything, and not to try to “bullshit a bullshitter.” It’s hysterical, and Jane Lynch is amazing.
I had an experience recently with a customer service rep at Gerber that made me think of this phrase over and over. I try SO hard to feed my baby organic foods, and up to this point I’ve been pretty successful. More expensive? You bet. But if getting him the best food means I have to get one less Chipotle bowl a month, I’ll make it happen. My frustration comes from food labeling, and the ambiguity in all of the wording. Anything labeled “organic” is certified organic. BUT, you will come across food labeled “all natural”. HUH?! Honestly, I didn’t think there could be much of a difference. Wrong. So wrong. I contacted Gerber to ask what the difference was. The rep beat around the bush and gave me the most vague answer; that essentially their “all natural” products met strict standards. Well great, but why wouldn’t all of your food just meet the absolute best standards? These are babies we’re talking about here.
After quite a bit of research, it’s evident that “all natural” doesn’t mean what it says at all. All natural means GMOs, unconventional farming methods, and the difficult part of this is that the “all natural” products aren’t regulated as well as the organic ones are. Organic products must meet strict criteria, whereas adding the word “natural” onto a product just means minimal processing and additives, to an unknown degree.
It’s frustrating. Frustrating that there is an option at all for us not to feed our kids the best, and that baby food labels are misleading. In my perfect utopia I’d just like to see 100% organic baby food on the shelves, with a larger demand so that it’s more affordable for everyone.
So to the companies intentionally misleading customers, shame on you for not just laying it out. Don’t give me the run-around and try to convince me that your products are much the same. And to the companies that only offer organic solutions? Bravo. I’m only buying your products, and thank you for being concerned about the well-being of these babies.
So, parents, here’s a breakdown:
Some brands that I love:
- Plum Organics
- Earth’s Best
- Ella’s Kitchen
All of these can be somewhat difficult to find, depending on what you have close by as far as shopping goes. I have the most luck at Babies R Us and Target. Most big chain grocery stores have a pretty poor selection of organic baby food.
Good luck, parents!