Pesticides In Breastmilk And Baby Food


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I’ve been thinking about an SBS documentary on the ‘Secret life of breasts’ I saw the other night. It had some really interesting and concerning findings about how easily pesticides from the foods we eat and the chemicals in the plastics we use, are transmitted through our breast milk. Whilst it’s definitely not a reason to discontinue breastfeeding, it does make me realise that my body doesn’t have as much of a protective filter as I’d hoped to have, so I’ve got to start doing some of the filtering myself! It made me feel really happy to have done the research on the dirty dozen. I’m going to be more mindful of what I eat from now on, and the plastics in the containers that I use, as well as what foods I will soon give to Isabella.

When I was researching the dirty dozen and clean fifteen, I also found out that there was no regulation on pesticide amounts in commercial baby food in the U.S. and Australia, whilst there is regulation in the E.U. Pesticide levels are reduced in making baby food by the cooking process itself, compared with the raw product. But it does make me think of the dirty dozen and what pesticides there could be in our commercial baby food… The EWG (Environmental Working Group) in America, found apple juice and apple puree to be high in pesticide residues and that nearly a third of peach baby food samples didn’t pass European standards for residues. It makes me wonder if Australia is similar.

Isabella hasn’t quite started food yet, but is just about to begin that journey. Being a baby, she’s more vulnerable to pesticides as her gastrointestinal tract is still developing and she’s less able to break down toxins. Babies also eat more food relative to their body weight.

So, what to do about it? I’m just about to start my own journey of making baby food. I’m relieved to have a list of dirty dozen produce that I’m going to buy organic… Hopefully both for myself and Isabella! And if I find myself in a fix and need to buy something commercially, you can bet I’m now going to pick the organic option too!

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