We recently hosted a Q&A on Instagram stories with the founder of Hermosa Organic Baby– a local Southbay company based out of Hermosa Beach that sells European formula.
You guys loved having this info as much as I did- I had so many requests to save this Q&A so that you could share it and access is later. So here is the entire Q&A below with all of your questions and Rod’s, the owner of the company, answers. He is a wealth of information when it comes to formula and I am grateful to not only learn this information myself but to also share it with you!
Q: How/why are European formulas better than U.S. formulas?
A: The U.S. in general has lower standards for what is considered organic farming practices and the ingredients allowed to be added to baby formula than the EU does. Even the highest quality, most expensive U.S. formulas are allowed to contain low quality ingredients and/or use non-organic farming methods.
Q: What ingredients to avoid in baby formula?
- Processed, refined sugars! U.S. manufacturers use corn syrup, sugar, or brown rice syrup because they are cheapest to produce. These are all high in sucrose and have a high GI. The EU has banned the use of sucrose in formula die to concerns with growing childhood obesity and early onset diabetes, caused by these added sugars. The EU formulas use LACTOSE, which is the highest quality ideal sugar that should be in infant formula.
- Carrageenan: Stabilizer added to really-to-use US formula; not permitted in EU formulas. Can cause bloating, inflammation, and digestive issues.
- Preservatives: Many US-made formulas contain synthetic preservatives like ascorbic palmitate and beta carotene. This practice is disapproved by the National Organic Standards Board, and you won’t find any of these preservatives in any European formulas.
- Synthetic (man-made) Nutrients: Not permitted in any EU formula- conventional or organic. Added to many US baby formulas even though they are not necessary or required. They are problematic because they are made through a chemical process using neurotoxic chemicals for extraction and production. Examples of these synthetic nutrients include lutein, lycopene, nucleotides, taurine, l-carnitine and l-methionine.
- Other things to keep in mind when comparing US standards to EU: use of pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, steroids, hormones, and GMO ingredients.
Q: Will European formula help with colic/gas/fusiness?
A: While there are specific European formulas that we sell that are specifically made for sensitive tummies (gas, colic, allergies, etc.), most parents find that the “standard” European formulas are easier on the digestive system and will relive the health issues present when using US formula, due to the higher quality ingredients and the lack of addictive and synthetic nutrients that are banned in the EU.
Q: How long does it take to get the formula? What if I need it same day?
A: Shipping is free for all orders over $50 and all orders are shipped using 2-day express shipping. We keep a small stock on hand for pick up in Hermosa Beach for those types of emergency situations We also do deliveries via Lyft, so you can get the formula exactly when you need it.
Q: Do you have goat milk formula? Is is better than cow?
A: Yes! We carry Holle and Nannycare which are both goat milk based. Goat’s milk proteins produce smaller ad sober curds and lower casein and lactose levels making it a great option for babies with sensitive tummies who do not tolerate cow’s milk well.
Q: If I order the formula is it stored locally or shipped from Europe?
A: Our formula is stored in a climate-controlled warehouse in the Netherlands. It is turned over weekly for the fretted formula on the market. Our warehouse is located less than 100 miles from the source, so we qualify for direct delivered and transit time is limited to 2 hours. We then ship directly to you from our warehouse, meaning it is only shipped once and we have direct oversight and control from manufacturer to your door.
Q: What happens if there’s an issue with the lot/production- how would we know?
A: Our company is incorporated in the EU. This allows us to have direct relationships with the largest distribution companies in Europe. It is a legal requirement that we can trace where we purchased every box of formula and where it was shipped. We are audited through every step of the process to ensure we are complying. This ensures that in the vent of a recall we know exactly where the formula came from and exactly where it is located. None of the U.S. based sellers who ship domestically can have that level of traceability or guarantee of product safety and authenticity.
These are huge health and safety benefits for ordering from Hermosa Organic Baby when compared to other US sellers. All of our products are shipped fro our certified warehouse and we have copied with EU Bio regulation for food safety, storage, shipped, and far to table tracking in the event of a recall. It is not horrible for shippers outside of the EU to have these food and safety standards and the direct relationships with the largest food distributors in Europe, like Hermosa Organic Baby does.
Q: My pediatrician hasn’t recommended European formula. Is it still ok?
A: There are 2 factors at play here:
1. Being able to find a reputable seller- some pediatricians will not recommend it as they are not able to verify the authenticity of the suppliers. As an online purchase it can be difficult to ensure legitimate suppliers, such as Hermosa Organic Baby, as this is a very high trust transaction.
2. The second factor causing the lag of product awareness by pediatricians may be more due to pre-existing commercial relationships (sponsorships, insurance benefits, etc.) rather than health and safety concerns.
Even a small amount of research on this baby formula topic should make you feel empowered that this is best for you and your baby.
Q: How long does the formula last?
A: Once you receive the product, it will last more than a year until expiration. Once it is opened, it should be stored at room temperature, in an airtight container, and consumed within 4 weeks.
Q: Are there any easily accessible English instructions?
A: There is detailed formula preparation instructions for all products on the Hermosa Organic Baby Website.
Q: Is buying high quality organic U.S. brands comparable to European formula?
A: Unfortunately, the organic farming regulations in the U.S. are much less stringent when compared to those in Europe.. in fact, there was a study that came out recently citing that at least 50% of organic dairy farms are not adhering to organic methods. It’s pretty awful if you look into it.
Q: Is there a big cost different between American and European formulas?
A: The pricing is comparable to organic U.S. baby formula. But remember that these will be shipped to your door and the price is inclusive of shipping (from Europe!) if your order is over $50.
Here are some price comparisons:
Q: Do you only delivery locally in Southbay?
A: We are based out of Hermosa but deliver anywhere in the U.S.- same 2-day express shipping and free over $50
Q: Is it a dairy-based formula?
A: Yes, all of our formula is either cow or goat milk based.
Q: Should we be worried about recent studies regarding heavy metals/toxins in U.S. baby food?
A: In a nutshell, yes we should be worried. A report was released on 2/4/21 that found dangerous levels of toxic heavy metals in the baby food manufactured by some of the largest and most trusted baby food companies in the U.S.
95% of manufactured baby foods were found to contain dangerous levels of arsenic (biggest offenders were Gerber and Enfamil)
Perchlorate (aka rocket fuel) has been found in U.S. formula in dramatically increased levels since 2005.. there is no improvement in sight and the EPA will not regulate or set upper limits. Perchlorate is linked to irreversible thyroid damage, hindering brain development, and permanently lowering IQ.
Due to the significantly higher farming practices and standards that the EU adheres to, the level of these toxins only exist at naturally occurring levels. Even for non-organic EU baby formula there is a specific regulation- just for formula- that is below global guidelines for safe exposure.
In addition to formula, Hermosa Organic Baby also carries baby porridges, pouches, fruit bars, and biscuits to help you avoid these ingredients all together.
Q: Best EU sub for Gerber extensive HA?
A: HiPP HA– this is a hypoallergenic formula. The milk protein is HiPP is divided into simple molecules (partially hydrolyzed) and subjected to ultrafiltration to prevent and reduce the risk of allergies triggered by milk protein.
Q: Is European formula regulated at all by the FDA? If not, how can I be assured it meets U.S. standards?
A: As the formula is produced in the EU it is outside the scope of the FDA’s jurisdiction. The health and safety body that it is regulated by is called the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The EMA guidelines are much more stringent and are actively monitored and regulated when compared to the FDA.
Q: Does European formula meet most of the FDA nutritional guidelines?
A: EU organic formula exceeds FDA guidelines for tow reasons:
- The organic farming standards are higher in the EU, meaning that the quality of ingredients contained within the formula and the farming practices used to produce it, such as soil and water management and the overall treatment of livestock, results in a healthier and more nutritional formula.
- Baby formula regulations in the EU are much more stringent than the US. Many ingredients that are prevalent in nearly all US formula (organic or non-organic) are totally banned in all EU’s formulas regardless of organic or not. These banned ingredients include any processed refined sugars (sucrose), food stabilizers like Carrageenan, man made preservatives, and man made ingredients. The EU formula is as close to nature as possible without any added ingredients.
Q: Why doesn’t FDA enact stricter guidelines for US formula?
A: The largest US formula manufacturers are ultimately owned by pharmaceutical companies. These companies have a strong lobbying capability in Washington. Whilst there is pressure being applied by public health advocated on the FDA and EPA to enact guidelines and actively regulate the industry, in reality the dollars flowing from Big Pharma outweigh any impetus for change.
Q: Is formula stored correctly during all the shipping stages?
A: Our shipping is directly from our warehouse in the Netherlands to your door and it is a 2 days in transit. So after it leaves our warehouse it is driven 2 hours to Brussels and is flown by air cargo to the US, where it is delivered via van to your address. The formula is stored at room temperature every step of the way and transit is fast.
Beach Cities Moms wants to thank Rod for all of this extremely valuable information! As a bonus, has provided us with a code to receive $5 off your first order of $99+! Just enter code BEACH5 at checkout!