Is it just me, or is it harder and harder these days to make sure our kids are eating healthy? Especially when new studies like the one I just read about can make even the most health-conscious parents think twice about what they’re putting on the table.
Recently the California-based non-profit Environmental Law Foundation tested over a hundred different fruit juices and packaged fruit products for kids, and what they found was that many of those products contained lead—a toxic metal that can cause severe developmental and behavioral problems in young children, along with hearing and kidney damage, poor muscle coordination, and more.
For the majority of the products tested, an individual serving contained lead above the recommended daily limit for young children (0.5 micrograms, per the FDA), and that’s just one serving! Of course, experts like those at the Children’s Environmental Health Center and the American Academy of Pediatrics are now saying that there is no safe level of lead exposure for children, something I agree with whole-heartedly.
What’s more, a lot of the products tested and found to contain lead are those you might not expect, including many organic and natural brands like Hansen’s Natural Apple Juice and Full Circle Organic Bartlett Pear Slices. And it’s not like it says it on the label either! Which means most of the time no matter how vigilant parents are, lead and other toxins can make their way into our children’s food without us even knowing about it.
So where do we go from here? Well, ELF plans to continue its research and hopes that by involving California’s attorney general it will get companies to step up their processing methods and hopefully eliminate lead from their products. In addition, experts from the Center for Science in the Public Interest will continue to investigate why some products contain lead and some manufacturers manage to avoid it entirely, which means taking a look at the crops as well as the individual manufacturing processes. Not soon enough, I say!