I Found Mold in My Son's Baby Food: Is Earth's Best Baby Food Safe?
Nothing But the Best for My Kids
It was mid-morning, and my son was still hungry after devouring his 8 ounces of Enfamil Gentlease.
He's 4 months old now, which means he can enjoy some Stage 1 baby food several times a day. Stage 1 is generally limited to apples, pears, carrots, and peas- although I have found a few awesome blends from Ella's Kitchen. Max's favorite is the package that contains a delicious puree of sweet potatoes, pumpkin, apple, and blueberries. Yum.
His other favorite is the First Bananas, made by Earth's Best. I'm kind of a health nut (okay, maybe "kind of" is the understatement of the century), so I tend to stick with organic, all natural food when it comes to feeding myself and my family. Earth's Best is an organic brand that I felt safe buying for my son.
But it Wasn't Safe...
Unless you consider a fluffy patch of white mold on top of the banana mixture to be safe.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), moldy food is definitely NOT safe. The exception is when you're eating a food that is supposed to be moldy, such as blue cheese or Brie.
So what are the side effects of eating moldy food? Respiratory problems and allergic reactions are two of the most common side effects. Some types of mold can cause cancer, liver damage, or even death.
So What Type of Mold Was in My Son's Baby Food?
I'm not a scientist, so I can't identify the mold.
However, I did some research on different types of mold. Most of the information I found was about meat and fresh produce. I did find some facts on jellies and jams, which is what I'm assuming would be similar to baby food.
What I found made me pretty upset. Several sites said that when jams and jellies have mold inside of them, they usually contain mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are poisonous and can make you very, very sick. Several forms of cancer, including liver cancer, has been linked to mycotoxins.
Can you imagine how much more upset I'd be right now if I had fed my adorable 4 month old son a jar full of toxic mold that could have caused long-term side effects?
The Jar of Moldy Earth's Best Baby Food
How Could This Have Happened?
How did mold end up in my son's jar of Earth's Best First Bananas baby food?
According to Captain Dave, a popular blogger, mold in canned food is rare. When mold is found in canned food, the cause is "either a flaw in the procedure you used, or something affected the jar or can after the fact to break its seal".
He goes on to explain that there are a few different times during the canning process where an error can cause mold. Mold can grow in the empty jar after it is taken out of boiling water. Errors during the waxing process used to seal a jar can also give mold an opportunity to take over your food.
How did Earth's Best React to the News?
I contacted Earth's Best via email on April 19, 2011. Today is May 1, 2011. I received a confirmation that my email was sent, so I'm pretty sure they got it.
Moldy baby food is a serious issue. You'd think they would have responded immediately, but 12 days later and I still haven't received an email, letter, or phone call back.
When your company sells me moldy baby food, I expect an apology. A refund would be nice too, but I at least needed an apology.
I am shocked and disappointed that a respected company like Earth's Best doesn't care about the health of my son. I always thought that organic companies cared more about their customers than non-organic companies. I was obviously very wrong.
What Do I Plan to Do About the Moldy Baby Food?
I'm not sure yet.
I've heard that I can take legal action against Earth's Best, but I'm hesitant to do that. However, they need to take action immediately and make sure no other products are contaminated.
It's important to know that mold isn't always visible to the naked eye. Just because I was able to see the mold on top of my son's food doesn't mean that everybody will notice it.
I've started making homemade baby food for now. Yesterday, Max had a mashed up banana mixed with applesauce. He loved it, and I knew it was safe because I made it myself.
All companies make mistakes, but moldy food is a big one. Earth's Best needs to rectify this situation immediately.
In the meantime, I'll be editing all of the previous articles I wrote about them. I used to love Earth's Best, and have quite a few articles and reviews promoting their food.
If you're a mom or dad, be careful. Pay attention to what you feed your child. I never expected to find mold in an organic jar of baby food. I'll be watching everything even more closely than I already do from now on.
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