The Heavy on Heavy Metals

We’re meticulous about what we give your baby, and what we don’t.

That’s because babies’ vulnerable bodies and brains are far more sensitive to harmful metals and chemicals. (1) Even slight exposure in the first 1,000 days of life can have long lasting effects for years to come. That’s why — like you — we’ve been deeply disturbed by recent reports about high levels of harmful metals in some of the most popular brands of packaged baby food.

At Yumi, we partner with trusted farms who are USDA Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified and follow rigorous food safety testing, including regular checks for heavy metals. We carefully choose our ingredients, avoiding some, such as brown rice, which is known to be high in arsenic.

There are two ways metal can seep into baby food:

Contaminated Soil

These days, the words “organic” and “healthy” are often used interchangeably. Unfortunately, this is simply not true. Just because a product is organic, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily good for you or even free of heavy metals. Many heavy metals still make their way to plants even in organic soil. That’s because contaminated water run-off, not pesticides, are the common cause of metal in soil.

The Handling and Cooking Processes

Contaminants on the other hand are caused by contaminated cooking water, metals used in the food processing equipment, over-processing and overheating certain foods.

A Map to the Metals

Heavy metals occur naturally in soil, in fact, the USDA measures soil for mineral levels yearly. However, things go awry when food comes into contact with water run-off or soil contaminated through farming or industrial manufacturing practices. Learn more about heavy metals and where they come from.

Areas with High Concentration of Lead in Soil

Why it Matters?

Even small amounts of lead, can cause learning and behavioral problems. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, it can cause lasting problems with growth and development including, lower IQ, Autism, ADHD, hearing problems and Anemia. (2)

Ways to Decrease Lead Absorption:

  • Calcium helps block lead: You can find calcium in kale, chia seeds and beans. (2)
  • Iron helps block lead: You can find iron in spinach, beans and lentils. (2)
  • Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron: You can find vitamin C in tomatoes, peppers and kiwi. Just be sure to limit fruit juices, they are high in sugar. (2)

A Guide to Our Food

Heavy Metal Fighters

These foods help block or transport heavy metals out of the body.


Japanese sweet potatoes have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which allow them to bind heavy metals in the digestive tract. This prevents them from entering your babe's bloodstream. (8)


Calcium rich foods help block lead absorption and foods rich in B12 help block arsenic absorption. Some of our favorite plant-based options for calcium are broccoli, kale, chia seeds and beans. B12 is hard to find but our favorite source is nutritional yeast.

Foods We Avoid


Soy based infant formulas have on average 7x more Cadmium than other formulas. (10)


Rice cereals are common first foods, but brown rice is one of the highest forms of arsenic we come in contact with in food. (5)


Glyphosate, an active ingredient in weed killer, was found in 96% of conventionally grown oats and in 30% of organically grown oats. (9)

Our Sources

1. Consumer Reports

2. Academy of Dietetics and Nutrition

3. Heavy Metals in Contaminated Soils: A Review of Sources, Chemistry, Risks and Best Available Strategies for Remediation

4. What You Eat Can Prevent Arsenic Overload

5. Consumer Reports: How Much Arsenic is in Your Brown Rice

6. What You Need To Know About Cadmium, How It Affects You And What You Can Do To Reduce Your Risk.

7. Cadmium & Its Adverse Effects On Human Health

8. Anthocyanin Acts As Scavenger For Heavy Metal Ions, Attack Cancer Cell And Interacts With Uric Acid And Urea To Expel It Through Urine System And Its Effects On Biopolymers | 74817

9. EWG Breakfast With A Dose of Weed killer

10. Infant Formula and Baby Food Study