It was only a matter of time. Formula companies, in a fit a frustration over all of the potential profit they could be making, had to find a way to get inside the pocketbook of pregnant and breastfeeding moms. After all, breastfeeding moms are most likely not purchasing formula. Formula companies see this as lost profit. And why not get pregnant women hooked on their formula? Perhaps if the pregnant women love it then they will decide not to breastfeed.
Before I continue on, let me state for the record that I am an advocate of breastfeeding, especially extended breastfeeding. However, I am more of an advocate of babies getting fed. Period. This post is NOT going to be a breast is best or a formula versus breast milk debate. So please play nice in the comment section. Let's stay focused on the atrocity at hand.
Similac (one of the most prominent infant and toddler formula brands) recently introduced “the first and only nutritional beverage for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.” Yes, you read that right. There is now a formula for moms. Apparently, pregnant and breastfeeding woman have been feeding themselves incorrectly for the past 250,000 years or so. We now all need the mom version of infant formula to make sure that our nutritional needs are met.
This is the point at which I would like to use curse words. But I won't. I'll keep it professional.
I am DISGUSTED. Actually, I am disgustipated. Really Similac? You think pregnant and breastfeeding women need their own formula? Blech.
The good news is that this product is currently a Canadian product. (Sorry to my Canadian friends!) It has not infiltrated the good old United States – yet. The bad news is that this product actually exists and if one formula manufacturer has jumped on the bandwagon, others are sure to follow. I'm sure it will be available worldwide in short order.
Similac presents this product as a nutritional snack or meal replacement for pregnant and breastfeeding moms. It is a ready-to-use beverage that provides complete balanced nutrition packed with protein, vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients. Yee haw. It comes in vanilla or chocolate flavors. Flavors being the operative word. Hmmm…a flavored, ready-to-use beverage with a shelf life of several years. “Balanced nutrition” is not how I would refer to this product on those two facts alone.
I took a good look at the nutritional breakdown of this product and scrutinized the ingredients. I wanted to see exactly what sort of nutrition Similac Mom really offered. You ready for a look at all the wonderful ingredients packed into the vanilla formula? Here you go:
Water, sugar, sodium and calcium caseinate, corn maltodextrin, high oleic safflower oil, canola oil, soy protein isolate, corn oil, potassium citrate, sodium citrate, calcium phosphate, magnesium phosphate, natural and artificial flavour, magnesium chloride, salt (sodium chloride), soy lecithin, potassium phosphate, carrageenan, ascorbic acid, zinc sulphate, ferrous sulphate, niacinamide, dl-α-tocopheryl acetate, manganese sulphate, cupric sulphate, calcium pantothenate, vitamin A palmitate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine chloride hydrochloride, riboflavin, folic acid, potassium iodide, sodium molybdate, biotin, sodium selenate, chromium chloride, vitamin D3, cyanocobalamin.
I hope you are as appalled as I am.
First, sugar is the second ingredient. If you are at all label savvy, you know that labels list ingredients with the ingredient of highest concentration first and the ingredients with the lowest concentration last. So basically, this nutritional powerhouse is sugar water with a bunch of synthetic stuff in it.
Similac Mom also includes corn maltodextrin and corn oil which undoubtedly are from a genetically modified product. If you are not familiar with GMOs I strongly suggest you start doing some research. That topic is at least six additional posts so I will not go into the dangers and health concerns of GMOs here. But I would not lie to you. You do not want to go anywhere near anything that contains a GMO.
Another ingredient that I see as a real concern is soy. Soy that has not been properly prepared (fermented) can cause a lot of damage to the human body. Again, if you are not familiar with the health risks associated with consuming soy products, please take a moment to visit Soy Alert! an article from the Weston A Price Foundation which outlines some of the major health risks.
What about all of those other ingredients? The ones with the fancy long names? Well, I live by a pretty simple rule. If I cannot theoretically grow it or raise it myself, then my body does not need it. If I cannot pronounce it, then my body will not benefit from it. So pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine chloride hydrochloride, and cyanocobalamin have no right to enter my precious temple.
Similac – nice try! I really hope that women everywhere ignore your marketing scheme and realize that your “mom formula” will only hurt them and not help them. More concerning is the fact that this product will be passed on to a growing fetus or breastfeeding baby. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that most everyone understands that sugar is NOT going to do their bodies any favors. And clearly, this is all your product is. Sugar, soy, GMOs, and crap ingredients.
I will not give this company or this product any extra website hits, therefore I have not provided a link to the product. You can find it if you do an internet search. Just in case you have to see for yourself that this poor excuse for nutrition actually exists. How did I even find this product in the first place? A pop up ad. Yep. They are already advertising far and wide.
What do you think about Similac's newest product? Are your surprised? Appalled? Concerned? Do you think women will actually fall prey to this? I would love to hear your thoughts.