Not too long ago, my adult son pointed out these Gerber Graduate meals for toddlers. The first thing I see on the box is ” made with farm grown vegetables’ …uhhh.. where else are vegetables grown? The second claim I see is,” no preservatives”. According to the package, Gerber pressure cooks the food so there is no need for preservatives.
Now for a look at the ingredients:
Hidden forms of MSG -Modified Corn Starch, Maltodexterin, Autolyzed Yeast Extract,
Most likely GMO- Soy Lecithin. You can read my other post about GMO’s here.
Salt- Salt, Potassium Chloride (Salt Substitute)
Starch- Tapioca Starch, Modified Corn Starch
Natural Preservatives -Soy Lecithin, Lemon, Salt, Sugar
Natural Flavor- The origin from where this is obtained can be disgusting. You can read my post on natural flavoring here.
There are vitamins that have been added to this product. These are artificially added vitamins:
- Thiamin mononitrate
Starch is mentioned 4 times in the ingredients list.
I called Gerber to ask about their plastic container marked recycling code #7. Plastics that have the #7 could contain BPA if they don’t have the letters PLA or a leaf symbol on them. The leaf symbol and PLA let you know the plastic is from plant sources and doesn’t contain
BPA. There is no PLA or leaf symbol on the container that Gerber supplies. The outside package says that it plastic doesn’t contain BPA. I called Gerber to ask if they do quality control checks on their plastic to ensure ongoing safety and that they do not contain BPA. This was a brutal call. I spoke with a supervisor named Diane who was not happy about my questions regarding quality control. I simply wanted to hear that Gerber does their own testing for BPA and possibly had a third-party tester as well. She insisted on dodging my questions, and asked me at one point, ” I don’t know what it is that you don’t understand?” I kept my cool during the whole entire time, but what I didn’t understand was why she insisted on avoiding my question. Finally she relented and contacted quality control for me and had Carla call me back from the quality control department. Carla assured me they did their own testing for BPA at Gerber and they had compliance requirements from the plastic manufacture as well. She couldn’t go into detail as to what they were due to confidentiality reasons. I am not sure why Diane couldn’t tell me that in the first place …
One other note, Diane, in an attempt to impress me, told me that regarding their vegetables, they test the soil, tell the farmer what kind of seeds they can use and what kind of pesticides they can use. This is the layout for factory farming and GMO crops. I wasn’t impressed at all.
I was curious about the,” no preservatives claim” on the box. So I bought a package of these and left them out in the open to see how long it would take to grow mold on the food. It took right at 4 full days. Pressure cooking and natural preservatives like, salt, sugar , lemon, soy lecithin are what Gerber use to keep this product on the shelf without refrigeration…..gross. Pressure cooking involves cooking food at high temperatures. This is my guess of why they had to add in some artificial vitamins to account for what was lost in cooking (or perhaps what was never there to begin with).
This is a box that basically contains MSG, GMO, starch, sugar, and salt along with some artificial vitamins.
Gerber needs to graduate to producing real food for toddlers, and not boxes full of sugar, salt, starch, MSG & GMO’s to our younger generation.
Sources: Live Strong, Gerber, Inrfood.com