12/05/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Change is in the Air

There's no denying it - change is in the air. It's the pervasive theme in the rhetoric of every political candidate, regardless of his or her affiliation. It's in the attitude of everyone confronting their financial statements and household budgets, regardless of income. It's truly in the atmosphere, as we change the time on our clocks, our days grow shorter and the leaves change their hues.

Change is what's been on our minds at Tastybaby from the very beginning - as long as 2 years ago, when we embarked on this marvelous journey. In fact, we considered it long before that, when it was just an inkling in our minds, as yet unarticulated. What if we set out to change the world?! A lofty goal, for certain ... but that's precisely what we intend to do!

We make baby food, and at first, that may sound fairly mundane. It's a product everyone needs and uses. No child on Earth avoids the experience of being weaned from the breast and starting solid foods, so what could be so transformative about baby food?

To answer that question, let's back up over 60 years, when Beechnut and Gerber first introduced strained fruits and vegetables, preserved through processing and additives. Ever since, this has been the nutritional start for tens of millions of infants whose developing organs, limbs and neurological systems were dependent on good nutrition. They were raised on highly-processed and preserved food with added chemicals and stabilizers. Some parents chose to make their own purées, but this hardly amounted to a "movement."

Now, we live in a time of nutritional crisis. Childhood obesity is at an all-time high. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) calls the situation "an epidemic." Children today are now at greater risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. Type 2 Diabetes, which once only occurred in adults, is on the rise, and children today are the first generation expected to have shorter life-spans than their parents. To us, this is nothing short of horrifying.

Look at the offerings in any supermarket and the products that are most affordable - especially in the "children's" category - are bound to be the least healthy. So, what are parents on restricted budgets (and who isn't, these days?) supposed to do? Children go to school after breakfasts of garbage and carrying lunchboxes of junk, and somehow they're expected to "perform." They're reprimanded for having low energy, scattered focus and lack of discipline. They're being diagnosed - and often mis-diagnosed - in alarming numbers with Hyperactivity, ADD and other diseases.

What if we could make a difference? Wouldn't that help change the world?

It stands to reason that a baby's first introduction to solid food is a pivotal experience. Imagine having brand new, virgin taste buds that have never been corrupted by sugar, salt, chemicals, or any additives. Food would be a wide-open playing field; the possibilities limitless. The way a baby begins eating in the earliest stages of development literally sets the course for that person's life, nutritionally and we want parents to have the opportunity to give their children the gift of a better start in life.

We applaud people who are reforming school lunch programs and intervening in the juvenile health crises that we are faced with. However, it seems that the time has come for change from the very beginning, to help avert this crisis for new generations. Nothing could be more important or more pressing than this, for our economic viability, environmental well-being and even national security are irrelevant without healthy people who will inherit the planet.

So, this is our campaign - now and forever, until children's health becomes a priority, from the very beginning of their lives. Our agenda is change ... what's yours?