Nestle SA recently bought Gerber Products Co. for $5.5 billion. This move gave Nestle, already the world's biggest food and drink company, the largest share of the world-wide baby food market.
Nestle was already the world's largest manufacturer of infant nutritional products, but sold no baby food in the United States. Gerber dominates the U.S. baby food market with a 79 percent share.
Nestle bought the company from pharmaceutical maker Novartis SA. Recently, Nestle also acquired Novartis Medical Nutrition and weight control company Jenny Craig.San Francisco Chronicle April 12, 2007
CEE--Foodindustry.com April 12, 2007
I have clear memories of Gerber baby food products when my twin brother and sister (who are 11 years younger than me) were growing up. I thought that was the best food they could possibly have.
I held that impression even into medical school and believed that rice cereal would be one of the best foods to feed a baby once they started eating food.
But that was not at all correct.
Sure they needed some soft food, but a highly refined high-sugar cereal was not what they were designed to eat. Freshly pureed organic vegetables would have been far more nutritious. Hopefully you won't make the same mistake my mom did when she fed me.
Now, some high-rollers in the business world may applaud the purchase of Gerber Products by Nestle SA. However, there is absolutely no health upside to this news if you are a parent with a small child.
Chalk it up to one of the most unethical and devious marketing moves ever pulled in the history of the planet: Nestle's long and sordid history of pushing third-world women away from breast-feeding so they could sell them their vastly inferior infant formula. Sacrificing the future health of innocent babies for profits is unconscionable.
How could you EVER possibly trust such a company to have any intent to provide a high-quality product?
The Gerber purchase also caught the attention of the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) who pointed out, according to an independent survey, that Nestle is one of the most boycotted brands in the world and tops in the UK.
Nestle's latest acquisition, IBFAN says, puts them in a stronger position to compete toe-to-toe with breastfeeding, the safest, healthiest means to nourish your child and protect your health. If you're unable to breastfeed your baby, I urge you to review this series of articles I posted on healthier alternatives to conventional baby formulas.
Stay away from Gerber. Avoid it like the plague. It was never that great anyway and now makes absolutely no sense. Take a few extra minutes and prepare your own baby food from scratch. It is far less expensive, but more importantly, it is FAR more nutritious and will go a long way toward providing your child with a firm foundation of health.
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