American Vs European Baby Formulas – Which One Is Best?
When it comes to culture wars, nobody’s been at it quite like Europe and the United States. From wine, food, scenery and more, it’s no surprise that baby formula is a contender in this never-ending competition of superiority. At the end of the day, the answer is largely subjective - but when it comes to baby formula, many experts agree that European formula is better.
Big Companies Dominate Baby Formula Market
Unfortunately in the United States, the baby formula market rarely contains local and organic brands. Head to the local grocery store and you might find dozens of different baby formula brands – but if you happen to read the fine print, you’ll find out that many of these formulas are produced by the same company.
In fact, the American baby formula market is dominated by a few big companies, including “PBM Nutritionals.” Besides their own branded formula, this company also produces “Bright Beginnings”, “Earth’s Best”, and “Vermont Organics.” Then there’s Nestle, which produces Good Start, Gerber, and more. In some cases, the only real difference between formulas is the label.
Strict European Regulations
Times are changing, and many parents are now turning to organic baby formula. In the United States, this formula often carries the USDA Organic label. While you might believe that formula with the USDA Organic formula is, in fact, organic, some not-so-healthy ingredients banned in the European Union make their way into these formulas.
Take high fructose corn syrup, for example. While this syrup is usually associated with extremely sweet sodas, it often finds its way into baby formula.
Another common sweetener for baby formula is brown rice syrup. Unfortunately, researchers at Dartmouth found that some baby formulas sweetened with brown rice syrup contained high levels of arsenic! In fact, some syrups contained six times the Environmental Protection Agency’s safe limits for arsenic. Who wants to feed their baby arsenic? No good parent, of course.
While it’s true that breast milk is naturally quite sweet, there are natural, safe ways to sweeten breast milk. Certain baby formulas are sweeter than breast milk and simply contain too much sugar and other sweeteners.
It’s not just about added sweeteners, either. Palm oil is often found in American baby formulas and is used to add fat. Breast milk contains Palmitic Acid and Oleic acid, which provides about half of the energy a baby needs. Unfortunately, the palm oil used in American baby formulas is chemically different from the fats found naturally in breast milk.
Then there are synthetic preservatives and nutrients, such as ascorbyl palmitate, taurine, lutein, and more. Some of these chemicals are even extracted using neurotoxins. These synthetic chemicals can make their way into organic formula - yet in the European Union, many of these synthetic additives are banned.
The European Union’s organic regulations are much stricter than the organic regulations found in the United States. This means you can have more confidence when buying European organic foods and baby formulas. When you buy American formula, there is a risk that many nonorganic chemicals will make their way into the formula even if it’s labeled organic.
What’s More Natural?
European formulas often use more natural, healthy ingredients, like whey. The European Union has also banned sucrose in baby formula due to obesity concerns. While European formula is still sweet, European brands tend to use healthier sweeteners. In fact, European brands often use lactose, a sweetener naturally found in cow milk and other natural milks.
We’ve only described some of the differences between European and American baby formulas. While American brands contain Carrageenan, a thickener, the EU bans this substance.
Yummy Ganics Formulas
We strive to provide our customers with the best care possible when it comes to selecting what’s right for your baby. Our team of experts can help you with anything from what formula is best for your baby, to why you should choose our European formulas and more information on European formulas.