5 March 2021
As humans, there are a certain number of things that we all have to do. These are biological functions that must be fulfilled. Regardless of who you are, your place in life, or even the time in human history which you inhabit, you will succumb to these different biological functions. The fact that we share in the need to undergo these biological functions runs deeper than our bond as homo-sapiens but is a connecting factor of almost all forms of biological life.
Among these different biological functions is the need to eat food. Primarily, eating food is for the purpose of providing our bodies the energy necessary to sustain life. Although many humans now exist in a modern world where they can eat to their heart’s content, we are all still subject to the necessity of eating food. Since we all need to eat food, we are also all subject to the experience of deciding what we will eat.
The available options vary on a variety of factors. In the modern world of the West though, there are a variety of options presented from different companies who are all looking to fill our bellies for the right price. Our wealth has given us an abundance of food, so the variety of choices seems abundant, although, it is mostly all the same categories of ingredients. Despite all the choices we have in what food we consume; we tend to choose what we eat based on a few variables. What is economically obtainable, what is delicious, and what is healthy.
When you are making this choice for yourself, it is easier to balance between those three variables and eat what seems right within the context of at least one of those variables. Sometimes we make a choice that is both economical and delicious but not so healthy, while other times we maybe find something that is delicious and healthy but not so economical or even a choice that is economical and healthy but not so delicious. All and all we tend to find our way through making these choices, and dependent on who we are, we may lean on one variable more than the others when making our choice.
There is an interesting thing that happens to us as humans or at least a good number of us. We end up having kids and having to make these choices for them as well. At first, the choice is between formula or breast milk. Though there are subsets of choices to be made within each of these options, it is somewhat simplistic when they are a newborn. As a baby grows you start to transition to solid foods though. This is when the range of choices becomes more daunting. Not only do you have to decide on what types of foods your baby will try, but you also must determine how they will go about trying those foods. While this is no different than the choices you must make for yourself, many parents can attest that there is a heightened focus on making the ‘right’ choice when you're making these types of choices for your kid.
When your child is in the baby food phase, you have a distinct set of times where you are feeding them differently than yourself. Even if you are a healthy eater, babies can’t take a diversity of seasonings and spices that even a healthy eater would more than likely utilize. On top of that, all baby food is blended into a fine puree. I have yet to meet a person who is willing to eat the same purees a baby would be subject to, even my three-year-old son knows better. This is largely in part because a baby’s taste buds are developing and have yet to experience the full range of taste that is possible to experience. What all of this means for the average parent, is we continue to eat the foods we would most commonly eat, while we procure a separate set of foods for our babies.
Most parents put their trust in big brand names like Gerber, Parent’s Choice, Plum Organics, and others. Yet that trust for many was broken when a recent report was released from the U.S. House of Representative’s Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy Committee on Oversight and Reform that showed alarming rates of toxic metals in many (if not all) big brand baby foods sold in stores.
Naturally, this would be alarming for any parent that even remotely cares about their child. The question then becomes, what to do with this information. In what ways will this information alter the food choices you make for your baby. I am not here to advertise any specific type of food plan. For any parent, my recommendation is to do the research and be aware of what you are selecting when making a food choice for your kids. Even though that may be a difficult skill to acquire as we may not even do that for ourselves, if we are to ever hold food producers and regulatory boards like the FDA accountable for allowing foods of low standards to be sold on the market, it will require the masses to be educated on what is going on in the production of our food.