Comparing the US Organic Infant Formulas
One of my girlfriends wrote me on Facebook recently with some news to share: that she just saw a press release from the Honest Company introducing a new organic baby formula to the market. She said, “Maybe this will be like HiPP?” Well, it’s not like HiPP at all. It’s instead exactly like all the other baby formulas we have in the US, ridden with sugar disguised as glucose syrup solids. How is this anything new?
The only way to really compare formulas is to look at the ingredients lists on the back of each can. For many of us, formula constitutes the sole source of food for our babies for many months of their life. So it goes to reason that we would be very interested in what our babies are consuming and advancing their growth. The nutritional panels and the quantities of x, y, z vitamins are going to all be comparable across any formula you choose. But the crucial difference is going to be an ingredients issue. What source of carbohydrate are they using for those calories?
There are two exclusively organic brands of formula made in the US. Earth’s Best, made by Hain-Celestial a NASDAQ traded corporation, and Nature’s Only, made by Nature’s One. Earth’s Best Infant Formula with Iron might be considered the top US brand of organic infant milk. But when you read the label? It’s once again full of unnecessary oils and processed sugars. Tell me what you think…
Earth’s Best Ingredients List (derived from Earthsbest.com website 2015)
Ingredients: ORGANIC LACTOSE, ORGANIC NONFAT MILK, ORGANIC GLUCOSE SYRUP SOLIDS, ORANIC PALM OIL OR PALM OLEIN, ORGANIC WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, ORGANIC SOY OIL, ORGANIC COCONUT OIL, ORGANIC HIGH OLEIC (SAFFLOWER OR SUNFLOWER) OIL, AND LESS THAN 1%: MORTIERELLA ALPINA OIL*, CRYPTHECODINIUM COHNI OIL**, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, BETA-CAROTENE, VITAMIN D (CHOLECALCIFEROL), VITAMIN E (dl-ALPHPA TOCOPHERYL ACETATE), MIXED TOCOPHEROL CONCENTRATE, VITAMIN K (PHYTONADIONE), ASCORBYL PALMITATE, THIAMINE HYDROCHLORIDE, RIBOFLAVIN, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE, CYANOCOBALAMIN, NIACINAMIDE, FOLIC ACID, CALCIUM PANTOTHENATE, BIOTINE, ASCORBIC ACID, CHOLINE CHLORIDE, INOSITOL, CALCIUM CARBONATE, CALCIUM CHLORIDE, CALCIUM HYDROXIDE, FERROUS SOLFATE, SINCE SULFATE, MANGANESE SULFATE, CUPRIC SULFATE, MAGNESIUM PHOSPHATE, POTASSIUM BICARBONATE, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, POTASSIUM IODIDE, POTASSIUM HYDROXIDE, POTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, SODIUM SELENITE, SODIUM CITRATE, TAURINE, ORGANIC SOY LECITHIN, NUCLEOTIDES (CYTIDINE-5’-MONOPHOSPHATE, ADENOSINE-5’-MONOPHOSPHATE, DISODIUM URIDINE-5’-MONOPHOSPHATE, DISODIUM GUANOSINE-5’-MONOPHOSPHATE, DISODIUM INOSINE-5’MONOPHOSPHATE). CONTAINS: SOY and MILK.
You can simply copy any of these ingredients into Wikipedia if you want to know more about what they are. Baby’s Only has a similar issue. While it actually has a purer list of ingredients, it contains brown rice syrup as a carbohydrate source and…organic vanilla, likely for flavoring. It leaves you to wonder what this actually tastes like without the vanilla…
Baby’s Only Ingredients List (derived from NaturesOne.com website 2015)
ORGANIC BROWN RICE SYRUP*, ORGANIC NONFAT MILK, ORGANIC HIGH OLEIC SUNFLOWER AND/OR ORGANIC HIGH OLEIC SAFFLOWER OIL, ORGANIC SOYBEAN OIL, ORGANIC COCONUT OIL, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, CALCIUM ASCORBATE (VIT. C), ORGANIC SOY LECITHIN, CALCIUM CITRATE, CHOLINE BITARTRATE, ORGANIC VANILLA, TAURINE, FERROUS SULFATE, INOSITOL, D-ALPHA TOCOPHERYL ACETATE (VIT. E), ZINC SULFATE, NIACINAMIDE, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, CALCIUM PANTOTHENATE, THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE (VIT. B1), COPPER SULFATE, RIBOFLAVIN (VIT.B2), PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VIT. B6), FOLIC ACID, PHYLLOQUINONE (VIT. K1), POTASSIUM IODIDE, SODIUM SELENATE, BIOTIN, VITAMIN D3, CYANOCOBALAMIN (VIT. B12).
We don’t need to make this more complicated than it really is. No one is discounting the complexity of creating a stable, safe formula with enough shelf life that it can be shipped across the country for parents who need it. But the question we really need to ask is why these mega US companies is why do our nationwide brands need to have high levels of sugar and starch solids when it can and has been produced for decades overseas without?