Well, before today I had never seriously considered buying organic baby formula. I honestly have no clue why, it just never crossed my mind!
My son has had Similac Advance since he has been on formula (from the time he was about 1 1/2 months old), we tried Gerber at one point and it didn’t seem to agree with his little tummy, so we went back to Similac Advance.
This morning I made our last bottle of what formula we had in the house and went on an adventure to the store. As I went to the baby aisle I found that Similac Organic was 1/2 price (?!), shocked, I asked one of the ladies working why it was discounted so heavily, turns out people around here don’t buy so much organic formula and they needed to get it off their shelves (!!??!!). Yay for me!
I did a quick google search on my phone to make sure there wasn’t anything crazy going on because I remembered hearing about arsenic in organic formulas recently (this was from brown rice syrup concentrate being used as a sweetener). Turns out, Similac Organic is made with evaporated cane juice, which has also caused some upset. I found several articles and community boards where people were expressing a concern that the use of cane sugar would lead to childhood obesity. It got me wondering,
1- how many of the current obese children were given formula sweetened with cane juice?
2- If this is a more naturally occurring sweetener than the other sweeteners used (usually lactose, corn syrup, rice starch,etc- depending on the brand) why is eating naturally sweet fruits not a concern for increasing risk of obesity?
3- Supposedly, over consumption of cane sugar can lead to type II diabetes and obesity… Crazy right? Not really, over consumption of any sugar can cause type II diabetes and obesity (COME ON PEOPLE!). In our society today we consume a ridiculous amount of sugar (confirmed by the USDA as seen in the table below). So if we are consuming roughly 40% more sugar now compared to 50 years ago, why are people singling out cane sugar in baby formula as causing a problem? Couldn’t it be our eating habits as a whole society and what we are teaching our children that is really the problem?
I also saw some comments regarding the fact that infants and toddlers who are given formula sweetened with cane sugar, may start refusing to eat solids and refuse regular formulas. Don’t most kids love sweet stuff? I know my 7 year old would eat candy till his head exploded if I let him! Don’t we have the responsibility as parents to teach our kids to eat healthy and balanced diets? We can’t expect some research facility to decide what is best for our families, we need to take some time ourselves to learn about solutions to our problems, and make an educated decision based on that.
I wanted to add a little more about the differences between organic baby formula and non-organic.
Organic formula’s are made with organic ingredients (I know, a little obvious!), if it is labeled as USDA Certified Organic there are (supposedly) no pesticides, unnatural fertilizers, or GMO’s allowed into any part of the product.
Non-organic formula’s are allowed to have ingredients that have been treated with pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and bio-engineered ingredients. Considering the possible health problems that have been associated with pesticides, synthetic pesticides, and GMO’s- I’m thinking it may be a good idea to just sacrifice the extra couple of dollars from now on to buy organic formula, why risk it with my little man right?
Here is a comparison of Similac Advance Organic to Similac Advance… Just in case anyone is interested 🙂 There is really no nutritional difference as far as what nutrients your baby will be getting from it!