Natures best organic baby food
Earth's Best | Organic Food for Babies, Infants, Toddlers and Kids
With Dr. Deena Blanchard, full-time mom and pediatrician.
Request Earth’s Best Organic® Infant Formula and Product Coupons for Your Patients
Since 1985, we've led the organic baby food movement. With quality ingredients, simply packaged and available in regular stores for reasonable prices. All because we believe every baby deserves an organic start in life.
I just wanted to write to you letting you know that my daughter loves your baby food! We have tried other brands and she just wasn't really into it. I decided to give Earths Best a try and she loves it!! I have never heard of Earths Best before! I am so glad I decided to give it a try! I love organic and I love how this is affordable to people!
Michelle B, AL
Hello Earths Best! I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your products. Specificly your infant formula. My twin girls are 8 months old and I have recently transitioned them from breast milk to earths best and it was a smooth transition and they love it. We more than anything appreciate that tour products are non gmo and do not have added corn syrup solids like most formulas on the market now! Thank you so much! We will definitely continue using your products!
Logan N, MI
Love all products! Especially your formula! !We've used it for our 4 year old 2 year old and now we will be using it for our newborn! Thank you!
Kachina B, WI
Nurturing our Future
As your little one grows, you’ll have to make a lot of important decisions. With Earth’s Best Organic® products, choosing quality is easy. Our products are grounded in a humble appreciation for the earth, and are produced without the use of potentially harmful pesticides, which allows us to protect the environment for generations to come.
Looking for something specific?
Time-trusted and safe, we strive to provide better for baby products made with pure ingredients to help children grow up strong and healthy.
Diapers & Wipes
To keep your baby’s delicate skin fresh and clean, we thoughtfully provide chlorine free…
Infant & Toddler Formula
Earth’s Best Formulas come in Dairy, Soy, Sensitivity, Gentle, and Toddler…
Infant & Baby Foods - Cereal, Purees, & Jarred Foods
Nurture your baby’s development with organic cereal and pureed foods, in convenient packaging.
Discover wholesome products including breakfast foods, entrees and snacks for your toddler from…
Foods For Special Diets
The Earth’s Best® brand team believes that everyone should be able to enjoy our delicious products…
Oral Care For Kids
We offer a line of earth-friendly oral care products for infants and toddlers.
Earth's Best Baby Food Recall 2022: Everything You Need To Know
Updated on 17 September 2022 • 11 minute read
As much as 95% of baby foods might have high levels of toxic heavy metals. The baby food manufacturers know it but are getting away with selling these tainted items to unsuspecting customers. (1)(2)
Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (Earth’s Best Organic) is among the popular name brands in the recent Congressional baby food safety reports released last February and September 2021. These reports showed that several popular brands knowingly released baby food products with very high heavy metal content. (2)(3)
Have there been any Earth’s Best Baby Food recalls in response to the baby food safety reports? What was the response of the other popular baby food manufacturers to these reports? Did they issue a recall on their tainted products? Find out more below.
Is Earth’s Best Baby Food Recalled?
No recalls on Earth’s Best Baby Food products have been issued by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) or the company concerning toxic elements in the baby food safety reports. (2)(3)(4)
These were the only Earth’s Best baby food recalls that have been issued:
Earth’s Best Baby Food Recall (2007)
On February 9, 2007, Hain Celestial Group Inc. recalled Earth’s Best Organic (stage 2) products that may have been contaminated with Clostridium botulinum. This pathogen can cause botulism (a severe form of food poisoning). (5)
These products were recalled: (5)
- Apple Peach Barley Wholesome Breakfast (4.5-ounce jars in individual packs and 4.5-ounce jars in 12 packs) with UPC 23923-20223 and expiry date of September 14, 2008
- Wholesome Breakfast Variety Pack (12 pack) with UPC 23923-20295 and expiry date of September 13, 2008
No illnesses have been reported relevant to this baby food recall. But affected consumers were instructed to dispose of the products, even if these didn’t look spoiled or contaminated. (5)
The FDA warned that botulism can cause: (5)
- Blurred vision
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty swallowing
- Restricted breathing or even death in severe cases
Hain Celestial Group Inc. said that it has distributed 4,072 cases of the specified individual jars with 24 jars per case and 38,298 variety packs with the specified jars.
If you bought these products, you may contact the company at 1-800-434-4246 for a refund.
Earth’s Best Baby Food In Congressional Reports
Which Baby Food Brands Are Toxic?
The US House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, headed by Chairman Raja Krishnamoorthi, called on these popular baby food manufacturers to submit their internal policies and heavy metal test results: (2)
- Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (Earth’s Best Organic)
- Nurture, Inc. (HappyBABY and HappyTOT)
- Beech-Nut Nutrition Company (Beech-Nut)
- Campbell’s Plum Organics
- Walmart Inc. (Parent’s Choice)
- Sprout Foods, Inc. (Sprout Organic Foods)
Hain, Nurture, Beech-Nut, and Gerber were the only brands that submitted their results and internal policies for the first Subcommittee Report. Yet the results showed alarmingly high levels of toxic metals. (2)
The Subcommittee expressed concern over these findings, especially because studies have shown that exposure to heavy metals can negatively affect your growing child’s body and brain development. (1)(6)(7)
According to the Subcommittee, these companies knew that their products had dangerous levels of heavy metals but didn’t correct them to meet government regulations. Instead, they increased their maximum levels so these products could pass. (2)
The FDA’s inorganic arsenic limit is 100 ppb (parts per billion) for infant rice cereals, but these companies increased their limits: (2)(8)
- Hain (arsenic): 200 ppb
- Beech-Nut (arsenic): 3,000 ppb
- Nurture (arsenic): 115 ppb
The FDA set these maximum limits for bottled water: (8)
- 10 ppb inorganic arsenic
- 5 ppb cadmium
- 5 ppb lead
But the baby food companies increased their internal limits to several times the FDA standards: (2)
- Hain (lead): 200 ppb
- Hain (cadmium): 200 ppb
- Beech-Nut (lead): 5,000 ppb
- Beech-Nut (cadmium): 3,000 ppb
Is Earth’s Best Baby Food Safe?
Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (makers of Earth’s Best Organic) told the Subcommittee that it doesn’t test for heavy metal content. Instead, “theoretical calculations” are done based on the raw ingredients’ results. (2)
The company set internal limits that are higher than FDA standards: (2)
- Arsenic: 200 ppb
- Lead: 200 ppb
- Cadmium: 200 ppb
But they still released products with toxic content much higher than their internal testing standards: (2)
- Up to 309 ppb (raw ingredients)
- Up to 129 ppb (finished baby food products)
- No mercury test.
- Up to 352 ppb (raw ingredients)
- Up to 260 ppb (raw ingredients)
Second Congressional Report
According to the follow-up report released by the House Subcommittee in September 2021 based on independent tests conducted by the state of Alaska, the companies still produce the same products with harmful heavy metal content. (2)(3)
None of the baby food companies mentioned in the first report notified the public of their heavy metal content or recalled the tainted products. (3)
Earth’s Best In Baby Food Lawsuits
Several class suits have been filed against the companies listed on the first Congressional Report, including Hain Celestial Group Inc. (manufacturer of Earth’s Best baby food products). (9)(10)
A class suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York City, New York, in February 2021 claims that Hain “misleadingly portrays” its Earth’s Best Organic products as “time-trusted and safe” and “are made from pure ingredients to help children grow up strong and healthy.” (9)
Another lawsuit was filed against the makers of Earth’s Best Organic, Gerber, Beech-Nut, and Happy Baby for producing baby foods with toxic metals that allegedly caused harm to at least seven children diagnosed with autism in Las Vegas, Nevada. (10)
The first Congressional Report was used as the basis of this lawsuit, with the companies accused of “knowingly selling tainted baby foods” to unsuspecting parents. (10)
Earth’s Best In HBBF Comprehensive Food Safety Test
Aside from the Congressional Subcommittee’s reports, other baby food safety reports have also shown the worrisome status of the baby food industry in the US.
In 2019, an HBBF (Healthy Babies Bright Futures) report showed that as much as 95% of baby foods from different brands sold in the US might have high levels of toxic heavy metals. (1)
HBBF commissioned independent tests of 168 baby foods from 61 brands. (1)
The tests had alarming results: (1)
- Arsenic: 73% of baby foods
- Lead: 94% of baby foods
- Mercury: 32% of baby foods
- Cadmium: 75% of baby foods
What’s alarming is that 26% of these tested baby foods have all four toxic chemicals in a single container. (1)
Acknowledging the absence of a known safe level for heavy metal exposure, HBBF urges baby food manufacturers to establish a goal of having no measurable amounts of heavy metals in any baby and children’s food. (1)
Earth’s Best Products’ Test Results In HBBF Study
The following are some of Earth’s Best baby foods tested in the HBBF study: (1)
Earth’s Best Whole Grain Rice Cereal
- Total arsenic: 138 ppb
- Inorganic arsenic: 113 ppb
- Lead: 22.5 ppb
- Cadmium: 14.7 ppb
- Mercury: 2.41 ppb
Earth’s Best Chicken and Brown Rice Organic Baby Food, 6+ months
- Total arsenic: 34.4 ppb
- Inorganic arsenic: 13 ppb
- Lead: 18.3 ppb
- Cadmium: 1.9 ppb
- Mercury: 0.232 ppb
Earth’s Best Whole Grain Oatmeal Cereal
- Total arsenic: 29.5 ppb
- Inorganic arsenic: 27 ppb
- Lead: 2 ppb
- Cadmium: 20. 1 ppb
Earth’s Best Sweet Potatoes Organic Baby Food, 4+ months
- Total arsenic: 3.3 ppb
- Inorganic arsenic: (not measurable)
- Lead: 14.7 ppb
- Cadmium: 4.6 ppb
Earth’s Best Sesame Street Organic Peanut Butter Baked Corn Puffs
- Total arsenic: 4.4 ppb
- Inorganic arsenic: (not measurable)
- Lead: 1.3 ppb
- Cadmium: 26 ppb
Earth’s Best Sunny Days Snack Bars – Sweet Potato Carrot
- Total arsenic: 13. 9 ppb
- Inorganic arsenic: (not measurable)
- Lead: 3.8 ppb
- Cadmium: 10.5 ppb
- Mercury: 0.161 ppb
The following Earth’s Best products also have measurable toxic heavy metal content, but all are within government regulations: (1)
- Carrots Organic Baby Food, 6+ months
- First Carrots Organic Baby Food, 4+ months
- Winter Squash Organic Baby Food, 6+ months
- First Peas Organic Baby Food, 4+ months
- Apples Organic Baby Food, 6+ months
- First pears, 4+ months
- Spinach and Potato Organic Baby Food, 6+ months
- Organic Turkey Quinoa Apple Sweet Potato (Homestyle Meal Puree)
- Organic Chicken Pot Pie Homestyle Meal Puree
- Organic Sweet Potato Cinnamon Flax & Oat (Breakfast Puree), 6+ months
- Sesame Street Organic Fruit Yogurt Smoothie (Apple Blueberry)
- Organic Sensitivity – DHR/ARA Infant Formula (Organic Milk-Based Powder with Iron)
Earth’s Best In Consumer Reports Food Safety Test
In 2018, Consumer Reports tested 50 baby foods for heavy metals. The independent study showed that all the packaged baby foods tested have measurable levels of at least one toxic metal. (4)
At least fifteen baby foods tested by Consumer Reports may pose potential health risks, even if eaten just once a day. (4)
Consumer Reports expressed alarm over these results: (4)
- About 68% of baby foods can have high levels of at least one toxic metal.
- Products containing sweet potatoes or rice can have higher toxic metal levels.
- Organic foods can have similar heavy metal content as conventional baby foods.
Despite these troubling results, Consumer Reports explained that eating these foods doesn’t automatically cause health and growth issues for your baby. But regular intake of these foods may increase the risk of developing these health problems. (4)
Still, Consumer Reports warned that young children exposed to other toxic chemical sources (such as lead paint or contaminated water) can have increased risks. (4)
Baby Foods With Limited Daily Intake
These products may pose “more concern” and are best eaten in moderation (with daily serving limits): (4)
Earth’s Best Organic
- Chicken & Brown Rice (
- Sunny Days Snack Bars, Strawberry (
- Whole Grain Oatmeal Cereal (
- Sweet Potatoes, 1st Stage (
- Whole Grain Rice Cereal (
- Banana Rice Rusks (
- Vegetable Rice Rusks (3 servings)
Happy Baby Organics
- Organic Probiotic Baby Cereal (
- Organics Superfood Puffs, Apple & Broccoli (
- Organics Superfood Puffs, Purple Carrot & Blueberry (
- Classics Sweet Potatoes (
- Complete Rice Single Grain Baby Cereal (
- Complete Oatmeal Whole Grain Baby Cereal (
- Organic Oatmeal Whole Grain Baby Cereal (
- Turkey & Rice (
- Lil’ Meals flavor White Turkey Stew With Rice and Vegetables (
- Carrot, Pear & Blackberry (
- Carrots Peas & Corn With Lil’ Bits (
- Oatmeal Single Grain Cereal (
- Organic Oatmeal Cereal (
- Graduates Arrowroot Cookies (
- Graduates Cinnamon Graham Animal Crackers (
- Graduates Banana Cookies (
- Graduates Waffle Wheels Puffed Grain Snack, Banana Cream (
- Graduates Lil’ Biscuits Vanilla Wheat (
- Graduates Cereal Bars, Strawberry Banana (
- Little Yums Organic Teething Wafers, Pumpkin & Banana (
- Just Sweet Potato Organic Baby Food (
- Mighty Sticks Whole Grain Snacks, Berry Beet (
Parent’s Choice (Walmart)
- Little Puffs Cereal Snack, Strawberry Apple (
- Quinoa Puffs Baby Cereal Snack, Apple Kale (
- Garden Vegetables Brown Rice With Turkey (
Baby Foods With No Daily Limits
These products have low levels of heavy metals. They may pose “less concern” and have no daily limits for consumption, based on the same report: (4)
- Apples + Strawberries Nibbly Fingers
- Classics Apple, Pear & Banana
- Naturals Carrot, Broccoli, Apple & Strawberry
- Organic Just Apple & Green Beans
- Organic Peas, Green Beans, and Avocado
- Quinoa Crispies, Vanilla
Happy Baby Organics
- Purple Carrots, Bananas, Avocados & Quinoa
- Graduates Puffs Cereal Snack, Strawberry Apple
- Lil’ Beanies Baked Snack Made With Beans, White Cheddar & Broccoli
- Lil’ Crunchies Baked Corn Snack Mild Cheddar
- Lil’ Crunchies Baked Corn Snack Vanilla Maple
- Organic Puffs, Puffed Grain Snack, Apple
- Lil’ Entrées Chicken & Brown Rice With Peas & Corn
- Grabbers Strong Veggies, Broccoli, Carrot, Banana, Pineapple
- Organic Peas, Carrots & Beets
- Breakfast Buddies Hot Cereal With Real Fruit, Apple Cinnamon
Other Popular Baby Food Companies In The Congressional Reports
Nurture, Inc.(HappyBABY, HappyTOTS, And Happy Family Organics)
Is Happy BABY organic baby food safe?
Nurture, Inc. submitted these test results to the Subcommittee: (2)
- Up to 180 ppb (variation: Apple & Broccoli Puffs)
- Up to 160 ppb (variation: Strawberry & Beet Puffs)
- Up to 160 ppb (variation: Banana & Pumpkin Puffs)
- Up to 100 ppb (over 25% of Nurture baby products)
- Up to 10 ppb (variation: Brown Rice Cereal Canister)
- Up to 9.8 ppb (variation: Banana Sweet Potato)
- Up to 641 ppb (variation: Blueberry Purple Carrot)
- Up to 560 ppb (variation: Multi-Grain Cereal Canister)
- Up to 10 ppb (variation: Nurture vegetables and rice products)
- Up to 49 ppb (variation: Multi-Grain Cereal Canister)
- Up to 36 ppb (variation: Strawberry Raspberry)
- Up to 5 ppb (around 65% of Nurture products)
Gerber Products Company
Gerber only tests the heavy metal content of raw materials, not in the finished products. (2)
- No mercury test.
- Up to 90 ppb (rice flour, raw ingredient)
- Up to 48 ppb (sweet potatoes, raw ingredient)
- More than 5 ppb in carrots (75% of raw ingredients)
- Up to 87 ppb (carrots, raw ingredient)
- No cadmium test for other raw materials
Campbell Soup Company (Plum Organics) Results
The Subcommittee said that Campbell Soup Company refused to submit their internal standards or actual test results but insisted that their baby foods “meet criteria.” (2)
So, the Subcommittee released these test results for Plum Organics (variant: Just Sweet Potato) from the HBBF report: (1)
- Less than 0.142 ppb
- Up to 3. 1 ppb
- Up to 5.6 ppb
- Up to 2.3 ppb
Test results from Plum Organics were published in the new report by the Subcommittee. But these showed that the products have higher heavy metal content than those in the HBBF report: (1)(3)
- Arsenic: Over 200 ppb arsenic (all Plum’s Super Puff rice-based products)
- Lead: Over 5 ppb lead (54.5% of all Plum Organics products)
- Cadmium: Over 5 ppb cadmium (38.3% of all Plum Organics products)
Walmart Inc. (Parent’s Choice)
According to the Subcommittee, Walmart refused to submit internal standards or test results. The following are data from the HBBF report: (1)(2)
- Up to 108 ppb (variation: Organic Strawberry Rice Rusks)
- Up to 56. 1 ppb (variation: Little Hearts Strawberry Yogurt Cereal Snack)
- Up to 2.05 ppb (variation: Organic Strawberry Rice Rusks)
- Up to 0.941 ppb (variation: Little Hearts Strawberry Yogurt Cereal Snack)
- Up to 26.9 ppb (variation: Organic Strawberry Rice Rusks)
- Up to 5.2 ppb (variation: Little Hearts Strawberry Yogurt Cereal Snack)
- Up to 26.1 ppb (variation: Little Hearts Strawberry Yogurt Cereal Snack)
- Up to 2.4 ppb (variation: Organic Strawberry Rice Rusks)
Does Sprout Baby Food Contain Arsenic?
The company never responded to the Subcommittee. These test results for Organic Quinoa Puffs Baby Cereal Snack (variation: Apple Kale) are from the HBBF report: (1)(2)
- Up to 107 ppb
- Up to 1. 31 ppb
- Up to 39.3 ppb
- Up to 41.5 ppb
Beech-Nut Nutrition Company (Beech-Nut)
Beech-Nut declared that all its ingredients passed internal standards. However, they had set much higher maximum limits than FDA standards for similar foods. So, these results still fail government regulations: (2)
- No mercury test.
- Up to 913.4 ppb (raw materials)
- More than 300 ppb (in additives or ingredients used in various products)
- Up to 886.9 ppb (raw materials)
- Up to 344.55 ppb (raw materials)
How Heavy Metals Get Into Food
Heavy metals can be found on the Earth’s surface. Still, the toxic chemicals in food may come from contaminated water or soil due to pesticides and other farming practices. (4)
Contamination may also be possible from tainted machinery or manufacturing processes used in making baby foods. (4)
Reducing Heavy Metals in Baby Food Products
Heavy metals, even in low concentrations, can negatively impact your baby’s brain development. So, Consumer Reports and the US PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) call for the Baby Food Safety Act of 2021 to be passed into law. (11)
Under this law, the FDA needs to create and strictly implement baby food regulations with much lower maximum heavy metal limits than the current standards. (11)
It also requires baby food manufacturers to test both ingredients and finished products. These test results must be released to parents and regulatory agencies. (11)
Healthier Baby Food Products
The following baby food products may be healthier alternatives:
- Little Spoon (subscription-based)
- Yumi (subscription-based)
- Serenity Kids
- Little Journey Organics
- Once Upon A Farm
Preparing Healthier Alternatives At Home
You can prepare your baby’s food using these ingredients: (4)
- Quality meats, poultry, or fish
- Whole or puréed vegetables and fruits (avocados, apples, bananas, peaches, grapes, and strawberries)
- Organic eggs
- Bone broth
- Healthy fats (coconut oil, olive oil, or ghee)
- Raw yogurt
- Coconut yogurt
- Applesauce (unsweetened)
You can also do the following: (1)(4)
- Avoid using brown rice (higher levels of inorganic arsenic content than white rice)
- Sushi rice from the US or white basmati rice from California, India, and Pakistan can be healthier alternatives to brown rice.
- Feed your baby with carrots and sweet potatoes in moderation. These can have high levels of lead or cadmium but are important sources of vitamin A and other nutrients.
- Limit your baby’s intake of infant rice cereal (or other infant cereal products.)
- Limit packaged snacks and teething biscuits
- Prepare rice using larger amounts of water (6 to 10 parts water to 1 part rice). Drain afterward to help reduce levels of arsenic.
- Avoid processed fruit juices.
- Avoid chocolates
- Avoid high-mercury fish: bigeye tuna, king mackerel, shark, swordfish, and orange roughy.
- Test your drinking water for high arsenic levels.
(2) https://oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats. oversight.house.gov/files/2021-02-04%20ECP%20Baby%20Food%20Staff%20Report.pdf
Organic baby food: benefits for babies from nature itself - Children
Watching a baby grow and make the first amazing discoveries, caring parents begin to think about how to protect the child as much as possible and give him all the best. Adults increasingly prefer organic products, choosing them for themselves and their child, but not everyone understands what their features are. How is organic food different? What is its use? Is it safe for children? To find answers to these questions, we visited Bio Farm of HiPP , which has been producing organic products for children for many years, and spoke with its head , Stefan Hipp.
The content of the article
What is organic nutrition?
Many people think that organic food is food without the addition of chemicals, however, in reality, everything is a little more complicated. Arriving at the HiPP farm in Poland, we were convinced that the principles for the production of such products are based not only on the absence of harmful ingredients in the composition, but also on the quality of the raw materials themselves and respect for nature.
Organic baby food contains only natural raw materials. Such purees, soups or cereals do not contain any chemical components, therefore they will be absolutely safe, and parents can safely choose them for a novice gourmet as first complementary foods.
How is organic food produced?
At the HiPP farm, we saw with our own eyes how food is grown to produce organic food, which then ends up on the children's table.
Fruits, cereals and vegetables grow without the use of artificial fertilizers, pesticides and growth regulators, which are often used in modern agriculture and cause irreparable damage to the earth. Organic farming developed by HiPP eliminates chemical constituents, therefore ensuring the production of safe and environmentally friendly food.
The land, which implements the principles of organic agriculture, is carefully selected and fertilized only by natural methods, for example, with the help of clover. The fruits ripen naturally - thanks to this, they retain all the beneficial properties, as well as a rich taste. In addition, the use of chemical-synthetic plant protection products is prohibited on HiPP farms. Instead, agricultural pests are fought with natural methods: for example, Colorado beetles are dealt with with the help of neem tree oil or rhododendrum decoction, and ladybugs are saved from aphids.
What are the benefits of organic nutrition?
Parents can be sure that they do not cause any harm to the child's body by treating the baby with organic puree, adding soup made from natural ingredients or organic juice to his diet. A balanced and healthy meal will ensure the growth and development of the baby, good condition and mood, as well as the formation of proper eating habits. Organic products contain 20-30% more nutrients, reduce the risk of allergies, and also increase the child's immunity due to the high content of vitamins.
Stefan Hipp is convinced that the responsibility for baby food is the most important thing, so his company's products are only marketed after many tests and trials under the supervision of professional and attentive specialists. The quality guarantee is the "HiPP BIO" badge, which confirms compliance with the strict requirements of organic production. It regulates even more factors than EU BIO - the quality mark of bioproducts, which is determined by European legislation.
The benefits of organic food also lie in the way it is produced. Sustainable agriculture, which Stefan Hipp emphasizes, helps to preserve the environment and ensure a healthy and comfortable life for future generations. Managing resources wisely, caring for the earth, restoring ecosystems - all this is necessary to preserve nature and create favorable conditions in which our children can grow up healthy and happy.
organic farming is a source of organic raw materials. Organic baby food HiPP
Back in the beginning of the last century, the great Russian geologist and soil scientist, the founder of the school of soil science and soil geography Vasily Vasilyevich Dokuchaev wrote: "Only that is durable and stable, only that has a future, which is done in accordance with nature." However, it was at that time that the entire civilized world was actively industrializing agriculture, and few people thought about nature. Today, soil destruction is an urgent environmental problem. Why are soils destroyed and how to maintain their fertility in modern conditions? What is "organic farming" and how does it differ from traditional? Let's try to figure it out.
Why soils are destroyed
The earth is an exhaustible, but still renewable resource that requires careful management. The process of soil formation proceeds very slowly - from 0.5 to 2 cm of soil in 100 years. The thickness of the fertile soil layer is only 10-30 cm, and if it is destroyed, it will take many years to restore (in some cases up to 20 years!). To understand how to stop the process of soil destruction, you need to know the causes that cause it.
Year after year, the soil is blown away by winds, washed away by rains and groundwater, collapses, landslides and salinization occur. Cities and roads are being built, the area of deforestation is increasing, hazardous industrial waste and household waste are turning the earth into a lifeless substance. It’s not just the soil that is being destroyed – the whole ecological system is suffering.
"Agriculture does the most damage to soils: almost all farmlands use mineral fertilizers, plow too large areas, perform improper soil cultivation, destroy weeds and pests with the help of aggressive pesticides that have the ability to accumulate in the soil for decades," says Stefan Hipp, head of Germany's largest organic baby food company HiPP.
Perhaps the most infamous is the famous insecticide DDT (the common household name is "dust"), which has been banned in many states since 1973 years as a dangerous ecotoxic substance that adversely affects the environment and the health of all living organisms, including humans. Its half-life in soil is 2000-6200 days, and the period of complete decay is not known to science at all.
DDT is not able to decompose even under strong heat (for example, at a temperature of 185°C the substance evaporates but does not decompose), exposure to special decontaminating enzymes or sunlight. 45 years after the ban on the use of DDT and its metabolites (DDD and DDE), they are still found in the soil during soil analysis.
Unfortunately, in modern industrial chemical agriculture, growth hormones, fertilizers, antibiotics and other chemical additives are used to speed up the process and reduce the risk of losses. This applies not only to agriculture, but also to animal husbandry. Concern for the environment has long gone by the wayside.
Organic farming - what is it?
The realization that the traditional farming model is aggressive and sometimes even dangerous has led man to seek alternative methods of obtaining healthy food for himself and his offspring. This is how the theory of natural (organic, biological, ecological) farming appeared, which to this day is the subject of numerous discussions, disputes and even manipulations by unscrupulous farmers who seek to sell their goods under the sign "bio" or "eco".
First of all, organic farming is not only a complete rejection of the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, it should be aimed at maintaining soil fertility and maintaining the ecological balance. How?
Refusal of deep tillage and heavy agricultural machinery is one of the foundations of biological farming. Plowing and deep digging of the soil cause a decrease in soil fertility due to mixing of layers, increase the risk of weathering of the fertile soil layer and leaching of useful substances from it, worsen the living conditions of numerous living organisms that contribute to the formation of humus. Earthworms, insects and their larvae, various bacteria - they all have a beneficial effect on the soil structure. By killing them, we change the microbiological composition of the soil and its natural ability to maintain fertility.
"Earthworms are the most important participants in organic farming, they make the soil structured, loose," explains Stefan Hipp, "their presence in the soil is a real quality indicator. There are few of them in 1 m2 of "normal" soil, sometimes even less than 30 individuals of earthworms , in organic - 500-600".
"Also in organic farming, it is important that the soil is tilled at the right time," continues Mr. Hipp. "It is impossible to cultivate too dry or too wet soil. To avoid erosion, cultivated areas should not be large, and it is advisable to plant trees around their perimeter and shrubs. Green spaces will protect soils from weathering, as well as attract birds and animals. Preservation of the ecosystem, support for species diversity is our task."
Creating an arable layer of soil: crop rotation and green manure
An important place in organic farming is crop rotation, the principle of which is the annual change of crops grown in a certain area. Cultivated soils must be allowed to rest, they are sown with seeds of green manure plants - clover, chin, alfalfa, mustard, buckwheat. Green manures enrich the soil with nitrogen, and also protect and improve its structure, suppress the growth of weeds.
During flowering, green manure attracts beneficial pollinating insects, which increases yield, as well as predatory insects that prey on herbivorous relatives. In addition, these plants have high fodder qualities and can be used in organic animal husbandry.
Since there is an absolute ban on the use of synthetic fertilizers in organic farming, soils are enriched not only with the help of green manure, but also by applying organic compost and manure. The use of genetically modified and processed seeds in organic farming is also prohibited.
Organic certification and labeling
There is a misconception that a gardener who refuses to use "chemistry" on his plot can automatically be considered an organic producer. This is not true. The inscriptions "environmentally friendly product", "100% bio", etc. on packages and jars they also do not say anything, they only confuse gullible buyers. So how do you determine where the organics are?
Organic certification is a guarantee of the quality of the entire technological chain of organic food production. Without Organic certification, the seller cannot back up their claims about their quality and production methods. You can’t just buy a certificate: to get it, you need to pass an organic standards check.
A special commission takes the soil for analysis, checks the quality of seed, agricultural machinery, animal welfare, and communicates with workers. Finished products are also subject to total verification, but already in laboratory conditions. Only after successfully passing all stages of the inspection, the manufacturer receives an Organic certificate, which is valid for 12 months.
In 2010, the EU Organic Bio or Euro Leaf ("Euro Leaf") label, the mark of a single certification system for organic food products, was introduced throughout the European Union. The badge in the form of a leaf, consisting of 12 stars, must be accompanied by the following inscriptions: the code number of the regulatory authority that issued the organic certificate, the method of organic production and the place where the agricultural raw materials that make up the product were grown.
Now Russian organic production is gradually emerging from the legal vacuum. At the moment, there are various certification opportunities in Russia: someone develops their own standard (standards of organizations, private standards), someone decides to get certified according to a foreign (European or American) standard.
On January 1, 2016, the long-awaited National Standard GOST R "Products of organic production. Rules for production, storage, transportation" came into effect. Also, this fall, the adoption of the even more long-awaited Federal Law "On Organic Production" is expected, since there is a need for large-scale work on the development of a national label "organic product", as well as on the accreditation of certification companies in this area. This federal law will come into force only on January 1, 2020.
After fulfilling all these conditions, organic products produced and certified according to the new Russian law on organic production will appear on the shelves of stores.
The best of nature, the best of nature: HiPP Organic Baby Food
Caring for the health of the child lies entirely on the parents' shoulders: the mother knows that the baby needs high-quality and safe food, rich in all the necessary substances. But how to find it if vegetables and fruits contain pesticides, and animals on farms grow with the help of hormones and are treated with antibiotics? That's right, make a choice in favor of baby food made from organic products.
HiPP has been producing organic baby food for over 60 years. Organic raw materials for the company are grown by over 6,000 European farmers - in accordance with all the rules and regulations adopted by European legislation on organic production. To obtain organic raw materials, the land for sowing is carefully selected, vegetables and fruits ripen naturally without the use of synthetic fertilizers and growth hormones, and animals whose meat is used for the production of HiPP organic baby food are kept in comfortable conditions of free grazing in the fresh air, eat only natural food and, if necessary, receive phytotherapeutic or homeopathic treatment.
In 2009, HiPP built its own plant in Russia (Mamonovo, Kaliningrad region), which became the first enterprise producing organic baby food in the Russian Federation. Almost all organic raw materials come to production from the EU countries, but some of them (carrots, potatoes, and beef) are already the fruits of labor of domestic organic farmers.