5 Things Every Parent Needs to Know About Heavy Metals.

Here’s a dirty (pun intended) little secret:  anything that grows in soil has some form of contaminants in it.  Elements like lead, cadmium, mercury and others occur naturally and as environmental pollutants in air, water and soil enter the food supply the plants absorb them as they grow.  


Yuck, right?  We all heard about the report released by Congress earlier this year that found that “baby foods are tainted with dangerous levels of Arsenic, Lead, Cadmium and Mercury” and we all collectively hit the panic button.  Arsenic? Lead? MERCURY? Didn’t Jeremy Piven get mercury poisoning?? These are scary facts to begin with, and when you hear the government writing and releasing an official report about them, it takes it to another level.  Which is why it’s important to be armed with the right knowledge and know exactly what to look for when it comes to this topic.  We enlisted Cerebelly’s Chief Supply Chain Officer, Greg Peterson to help guide you on this important topic.  

Lead is extremely harmful to health.  Especially a little one’s developing brain.  It is also one of the heavy metals that has caused the most harm to the overall population.  Lead can enter the body not only through vegetables but also through meats, fruits, seafood and wine.  Look for brands that take the time to carefully safety test their partners.

Cerebelly only partners with trusted farms who are USDA Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified and follow rigorous safety testing. The farms monitor their soil to determine the best possible locations to grow food with the lowest levels of toxic heavy metals.

Greg Peterson
Cerebelly Chief Supply Chain Officer

Ingredient selection is equally important – some ingredients absorb these contaminants more readily than others.  Root vegetables like Sweet Potato and Carrots, for example, are known to typically carry a higher risk for contamination.  “Each ingredient is carefully assessed for potential risk of toxic heavy metals, and high-risk ingredients such as rice which is known to be high in arsenic is simply eliminated,” says Peterson.  “Ingredients where the nutritional value are critical, are then thoroughly tested and screened prior to agreeing to purchase and release for shipping.  Any ingredients that fail to meet our heavy metal risks and standards are rejected and not purchased.” 

We all need standards! As of right now, the FDA does NOT regulate the levels of heavy metals or toxins in baby food – while it does for things like baby formula, candy, and fruit juice.  Crazy, right? It’s also why so many of these other brands were able to get away with levels that were downright insane.  Look for brands that have standards that they set in place (and hold themselves to!).  Cerebelly has set limits for toxic heavy metals in all of their finished products based on information available from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).  In fact – Cerebelly abides by the same standards as the WHO for drinking water.  Every lot of finished product is analyzed by a third-party lab for toxic metals prior to release.  Any finished products over the Cerebelly limits are rejected and not released to the market.  Boom.  

Homemade baby food can STILL contain the same amount of heavy metals and toxins – it’s a pure myth that it won’t.  In fact – it might contain more.  Why? Because brands like Cerebelly are committed to testing their ingredients and finished products before getting them into your little one’s hands.  The vegetables you purchased at your local grocery store have not been independently tested for any heavy metals or toxins.  And while they might be organic, organic doesn’t mean they are exempt from contaminatination. Making sure your little one gets a variety of foods is the key to ensuring you are limiting their exposure.  

Not all heavy metals are bad!  Growing brains and bodies needs SOME like Iron and Zinc – those are the good guys.  In fact, they are considered essential nutrients that support things like immune function, growth, wound healing, development, cell production….the list goes on.  A deficiency in these types of nutrients can lead to stunted growth in children and adolescents.  So be sure to always read your labels and check that your baby food has adequate levels of these essential nutrients your little one needs.

Have more questions? Send us an email at parentingisanart@cerebelly.com and we will be sure to get back to you! 

Did you know?

All Cerebelly products undergo rigorous, independent testing for over 400 different contaminants including heavy metals, chemicals, plastics, pesticides and other toxins?

It’s true! We are the first shelf-stable baby food to receive this incredible honor and are excited to lead the way.