Saturday, May 1, 2010

Ah, industry...

Now I know I'm a giant hippie, because I keep seeing these ridiculous ads online for baby stuff and getting irritated.

"The Gerber Generation." Gerber food is processed crap, and the more I hear and the more I promote finger food over purees and cereal for babies starting cereal, the angrier I get about parents and doctors being duped by stupid baby food companies. And their stupid jars of crap. And packages of crap. And of course, Gerber was bought by Nestle around the time that The Boy was born, so "The Gerber Generation" includes Nestle baby formula.

And, as usual, because of our culture being a formula-feeding culture despite the still-fledgling attempt to encourage mothers to feed their children as nature intended, I have to include the usual caveat that some mothers have to use formula for one reason or another and that I don't mean to judge mothers who legitimately have trouble breastfeeding. Which is true, but since this discussion isn't so much about formula vs. breastfeeding, I'm exasperated by the fact that if I don't say something to that effect, someone will pick on the post for being judgmental about formula-feeding mothers. I guarantee it.

Anyhow, I have seen the ads recently about "The Gerber Generation" and I stick my tongue out at them. The messed-up thing is that SO many parents think that because Gerber is a baby-food company, everything that they make is obviously healthy and is ideal for babies. And they have that same picture of a baby that you grew up with, so obviously it is a wholesome company. Gerber food is expensive, processed, and the icing on the cake is that Nestle owns them, and Nestle's aggressive marketing of formula in developing countries has been jeopardizing the lives of babies for decades. So by purchasing this Gerber junk, you are supporting the promotion of formula to families that can't afford it, when breastmilk is free and can't be contaminated due to lack of clean drinking water. Way to go.

Also, did you know that the same people who make Huggies disposable diapers and Pull-Ups also make Depends undergarments? So a person can spend so much MORE time creating disposable diaper garbage thanks in part to the Kimberly-Clark company.

No thank you to the Pull-Ups, by the way. I have enough trouble convincing The Boy that he can't pee in his underpants without making a puddle. Pull-Ups are just a diaper that slides on and off in a slightly easier fashion. For educational purposes, we'll just have to keep the puddles.

5 comments:

The Reluctant Crunchy Mama said...

I will admit to having fed my daughter some baby food for a few months. I remember reading at the time that you were feeding The Boy table food. It sounded foreign to me, to be honest! Talk about bizarre. But, after a few months, I was sold! In fact, now I wonder why it is not the natural thing to do. If I bake sweet potatoes, make butternut squash, steam broccoli, etc., for the grownups, then I can certainly do it for a baby. Heck, if anything, knowing that a baby is eating table food makes one evaluate cooking techniques and might lead to everyone eating healthier.

It feels like we get smarter about some things, but, at the same time, we insist on doing things that are not the healthiest options and cost more. What is best is considered 'hippie' or 'crunchy.'

Jessica said...

here is my issue with the whole baby food argument. my son is ebf'd and has been since day 1. starting at 6 months we noticed that he was interested in our food, and so we started solids with him. i live in a part of the country where organics and well... good nutrition is not always top priority. in fact, the only organic veggies or fruits i can get at my grocery store are apples and maybe some frozen green beans and corn. So I have to drive about 50 minutes away to get the closest Whole foods. I get my meats organic at a local butcher. So in order for me to feed my child the organic fruits/veggies I want him to have, he has had to had baby food. I dont purchase gerber, i purchse from a lady that makes organic fruits and veggies and freezes it. i also give my son oatmeal, its a brand called Happy Baby and there oatmeal is fortified with probiotics, which I feel is very important.
yeah a lot of what gerber makes its crap. I would never feed my kids their "meals" or "meat" sticks, but in many cases, especially where i live, this is the only form of fruits and veggies kids get...EVER. there are many alternatives out there that are organic, healthy, baby food, but not gerber and not loaded with sugar. My son still gags, so giving him whole cut up foods, is not possible right now. Now, if i am making broccoli or green beans potaotes or any sort of veggies, then yes I will make one for him. So he is learning to feed himself by picking up whats on his tray. We give him whole fruits and veggies in the mesh feeder, but he is not satisfied, he wants a meal. once he is 9 months, then he will eat mainly what we eat, in smaller form. but just cause someone gives their child baby food, it isnt a bad thing, in some cases, its the best nutrition that child will ever. have.

Alina said...

I am with you Molly. Leaving situations like Jessica's aside, most most mothers who purchase packaged baby food are those who are ok wtih feed their family pre-packaged foods. Not to blame them in any way, as that may be because they work, don't know how to cook or are not so inclined, or whatever other reason. So starting the babies on jar food is only a small part of the problem - the bigger picture is that those kids will grow to buy into whatever companies like Nestle decide to shove down their throats (pun intended). Not sure this problem has a solution though, it's a trend of our society and it is probably going to go on; all we can do on an individual basis is to take good care of our own families. Great post though :)

茂恒 said...

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JC said...

We didn't do pull-ups either. Good luck with the puddles! :)