For those new to this website:
Tamara Rubin is a multiple-federal-award-winning independent advocate for childhood Lead poisoning prevention and consumer goods safety, and a documentary filmmaker. She is also a mother of Lead-poisoned children (two of her sons were acutely Lead-poisoned in 2005). Since 2009, Tamara has been using XRF technology (a scientific method used by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission) to test consumer goods for toxicants (specifically heavy metals — including Lead, Cadmium, Mercury, Antimony, and Arsenic). All test results reported on this website are science-based, accurate, and replicable. Items are tested multiple times to confirm the test results for each component tested. Tamara’s work was featured in Consumer Reports Magazine in February of 2023 (March 2023 print edition).
March 17, 2023 — Friday
This is an ad-free article
Here’s an Amazon affiliate link to my favorite organic coffee (!): https://amzn.to/42h9IT7. If you have some time to be entertained, you may want to check out the reviews and comments for this product (on that Amazon listing) when you click through!
(I am sharing this simply because so many Lead Safe Mama readers are always telling me they’re curious about the products I purchase and use every day in my home.)
In response to sharing about this coffee on social media, readers have asked questions like “Is it Lead-free?” and “Does it have mold?” My answer to both these questions is, frankly, I have no idea. I don’t personally examine every food I eat (or beverage I drink) for Lead content. Here’s a link to Death Wish’s statement on mold.
When it comes to food and beverage consumption, instead of focusing on the details of each and every product or food item I might consume, I have some general universal guidelines I tend to follow when considering the stuff I choose to put into my body — including the following guidelines:
- I avoid known high-Lead foods (including chocolate, as well as the worst offenders of the known contaminated soil Lead-absorptive vegetables [including most root vegetables], seeds, etc.). More on that here.
- I avoid highly-processed foods and highly-processed ingredients (as these also routinely test positive for heavy Lead-contamination).
- I avoid/limit flour-based products whenever possible (but I confess I am not ultra-strict about this if an interesting and tasty flour-based thing crosses my path!).
- I buy certified organic whenever possible. (Note: this does not guarantee better/ Lead-free soil, but organic certification is somewhat correlative — and tends to reduce exposure to Glyphosate, and other nasty chemical fertilizers and pesticides “conventionally” used in U.S. [and foreign] agribusiness.)
- I avoid supplements (including things like protein powders or concentrated foods). More on that here.
- I avoid/limit commercially-dried fruit.
- I make sure to eat as much organic fresh (ideally, local & seasonal), raw, or lightly steamed vegetables and fruit as I can every day: carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, bell peppers, snap peas; and berries, apples, pears, oranges, etc.
- I drink a lot of organic fresh-pressed vegetable juices (and avoid sweet juices/juices with a fruit base).
- I make sure my food prep area (my kitchen, cookware, dishes, etc.) is all Lead-free.
- I limit espresso drinks purchased at cafes — as espresso machines tend to have many Leaded-brass high-Lead (food-contact!) components.
- I rarely (almost never) eat rice.
- I rarely (almost never) drink alcohol (once or twice a year at most).
- … And beyond following those guidelines, I generally don’t worry too much about Lead content or other issues for the foods I do choose to eat (or the beverages I choose to drink).
It is important to emphasize that “organic” does not equal “Lead-free” — especially when it comes to processed foods (like chocolate, multi-ingredient industrially-processed or dried/powdered/concentrated foods, highly concentrated supplements [in powder or pill form] or any processed ingredients in general)!
Fundamentally, having a “healthy lifestyle” is about the bigger picture approach — what forms your habitual daily patterns of consumption, and not about the occasional exceptions you might make here and there.
Because not everyone makes the same choices I make, and because many foods that people do eat (including chocolate, salt, spices, vitamins, and supplements) can be very high in Lead, Cadmium, and Arsenic, whenever a Lead Safe Mama reader comes to me with concerns about a specific food or supplement I always encourage them to ask for the COA (Certificate Of Analysis) for that product from the company/manufacturer (especially if it is a product they consume daily — like supplements). This helps them get a sense of where that product might stand related to other similar products (to help you make the best choices for yourself and your family).
Personally, I simplify this for myself by generally avoiding products that might tend to have a COA — in most cases, only highly-processed products, like supplements and dried/processed spices or powders will have COAs and I just don’t use those things!