Reader Tip: Lead in Juice, Baby Food

On yesterday’s post about marketing and apple juice, commenter Dana linked us to a story about juice testing positive for lead.

Tests from the Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) revealed lead in fruit juices and in several types of baby food.

The ELF’s Notices of Violation (pdf alert) include the brands and types of food that tested positive. The scary part: both conventional and organic brands tested positive.

According to Maria Rodale, author of The Organic Manifesto, the lead could be coming from the soil:

…lead arsenate was used as a pesticide in orchards for over 100 years. While it only takes three years of not applying toxic chemicals to orchards for their fruits to become certified organic, who knows how long it will take for all that previously used lead and arsenic to work its way out of the soil. In the meantime, we are stuck with it.

Brands that tested positive for lead include conventional baby foods and juices like Del Monte and Gerber, but also surprising ones like Whole Food’s 365 brand grape juice and R.W. Knudsen’s organic apple and grape juices.

This strikes me as just one more reason that kids and grownups alike should be drinking water and eating whole fruits rather than downing sugary juices. As Rodale points out, “while that organic apple still might have a bit of lead in it, you’ll get more fiber from eating it, and will reduce your exposure to lead contamination from the concentrate.”

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by quickpic

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