Let's take a moment to discuss the recent report, "Baby Foods Are Tainted with Dangerous Levels of Arsenic, Lead, Cadmium, and Mercury."
This is a lengthy report, so I want to break things down for you.
This finding and headline are no doubt SCARY.
HOWEVER... This is not new. Let me explain.
Many of these baby foods are made from plants (including rice). These foods are planted in our beautiful green earth, which absorbs these metals from the soil and water.
The report notes that the levels in certain tested baby foods EXCEEDED the FDA's limit and were, "...multiples higher than allowed under existing regulations for other products."
There's more... Currently, companies are NOT required to test for these toxic heavy metals.
So... What do you do?
Limit baby foods and food items for your child (and the rest of your family) containing rice. Rice seems to accumulate more arsenic than other grains and plants. I have never recommended rice cereal for babies... Even prior to this report.
If your family eats a lot of rice, wash the rice prior to cooking it. Believe it or not, brown rice has higher levels of arsenic than white rice. Basmati and jasmine rice seem to have the lowest levels of arsenic in them.
Have your child eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits and veggies. Limit (or cut out) the juice, as there is no nutritional value and can also contain high levels of toxic heavy metals.
Everything in moderation! This does not mean that you and your family should never eat rice or rice-containing products! These heavy metals are most concerning when babies are repeatedly exposed to them day in, day out.
It is IMPOSSIBLE to remove these heavy metals completely. There absolutely needs to be more regulation on these food items that are given to our growing and developing babies.
When in doubt, chat with your child's primary care provider.