See entire July 23, 2010 newsletter

Few things make me happier than being the voice of green – most of the time. When I read an article recently about a comprehensive study that found dangerous levels of lead in kids’ juices and snacks, I knew I had to share it and I felt like Kermit – sometimes it’s just not easy being green.

The study was done by The Environmental Law Foundation. It enlisted a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lab to screen 400 samples from 140 branded products specifically marketed to children, including grape juice, apple juice, packaged pears and peaches (and yes – including baby food) and fruit cocktail mixes. The results: 125 out of 146 products tested contained alarming amounts of lead.

I read on, it got worse. The offenders weren’t just the usual suspects. I hate when that happens. Brands like Earth’s Best Organic, 365 Everyday Value Organic and yes, even Trader Joe’s were in the line up right alongside of Welch’s, Minute Maid, Gerber, Del Monte and Dole.

What’s so bad about lead? From what I can conclude, everything! I couldn’t find a single scientist who didn’t agree that there is no such thing as a “safe” level of lead exposure, especially when it comes to babies and young children. I’m sure there are some who think lead is harmless, I just couldn’t find any. Lead is known to cause physical and developmental problems. In other words, our bodies just can’t handle it.

There is some good news. Since I love Trader Joe’s, I’m happy to report that the study found no lead in Trader Joe’s Fresh Pressed Apple Juice all natural pasteurized, 100% juice. There were others and you can check the list out yourself.

My wish? To have my own research team to go down the research rabbit hole on topics like this and provide me/us with a balanced, research based, multiple sources summary of findings. Until then, I will share what I know, invite your comments and do everything I can to help all of us make healthier choices for ourselves and for those we love.