If you have never heard of organic baby formula before, you might be wondering what the big deal is. Why should anyone care what goes into their baby’s formula? What are the health implications? How much does it cost? If you’re not sure there’s anything to be concerned about, you can relax – there’s absolutely nothing to worry about. The fact is that organic baby formula has been on the market for several decades, and there are a few reasons why it’s becoming increasingly popular each day.
Organic means different things to different people, but in this case it refers to the manufacturing process. Essentially, it means that the animal (usually a cow or goat) that will produce the milk has not been confined in any way. That means no antibiotics or chemicals have ever been used in the intensive stages of pregnancy or the making of the milk itself.
Another plus for using organic baby formula are that the ingredients used are as close to the actual food as possible. That means that you’re getting all-natural ingredients, which are often better for your baby than other alternatives. For example, organic lactose is made from the milk of lactose-producing cows and is completely natural. It contains all the necessary nutrients your baby needs, without any synthetic ingredients or additives.
Another important aspect of organic formula is that it usually doesn’t contain any artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, which can be harmful to your baby’s health. In many cases, the manufacturer chooses to add a small amount of a preservative called dha (which stands for “dihydrotestosterone”), to improve its shelf life. While this may sound like a good thing (if you can find a brand that uses this ingredient, that is), dha is a chemical that can potentially pass into your child’s bloodstream when he/she sucks on the bottle.
If you’re worried about pesticides or synthetic ingredients, you won’t see them in organic formulas. Organic baby formula companies don’t use synthetic pesticides or artificial flavoring. The only thing they use that’s not natural is dha, which is also the chemical used to make testosterone. (DHA is another derivative of testosterone; it’s really cheap to obtain and used by some companies to save costs.) Now, if you’re looking for an after-bottle scent, that’s another story. Most certified organic formulas do contain artificial fragrances, but they’re minimal and actually considered safe by most medical professionals.
One of the biggest risks with non-organic formulas is lead. Organic baby formulas can be very low in lead, but you still need to make sure the ingredients are certified. Look for these words on the back of the bottle: “Competitor assurances are provided on the basis of federal law” and “nature of organic raw materials comply with those required for use in cosmetics.” Other than the risk of pesticides and synthetics, there’s no reason to buy a non-organic formula over a certified organic one. Holle is one of the few companies that does both.