Tuesday, April 2, 2013

B is for Baby Food

I live in the baby food capital of the world. I bet you didn’t even know such a place existed. It does. Not too far from where I live right now, the Gerber family whipped up their very first batch of baby food, and a dynasty was born.

When they first got started, the Gerber family made a deal with the local farming community. In exchange for the produce needed to make the baby food, the family gave the farmers shares of the company. This turned into a very lucrative deal for everyone. 

The Gerber Baby Food Company can trace its roots all the way back to 1901. In those days it was called the Fremont Canning Company. In the late ‘20’s the company shifted its focus to baby food.

There is a National Baby Food Festival (though it might be formally called Gerber Days, I can’t remember) It’s pretty much like every other small town festival. Main Street gets shut down, some games and carnival rides come in, and there are a couple of concerts. Several years ago when country singer Mark Wills performed at the festival, he also took part in the baby food eating contest.
The entire town always smells like whatever type of food Gerber happens to be cooking. During harvest time the combination of baby food and corn dust is quite homey.

It’s common knowledge that some of the baby foods (the desert flavors) Gerber produces make an excellent grown up snack. I’m fond of the Dutch apple and blueberry buckle.


  1. You're right..I never knew there was a baby food capital. I guess it has to come from -somewhere- though :)

    Amazing the things I'm learning on this A to Z trip.

    1. I grew up in a town that considered itself the onion capital, so baby food feels like a step up.

  2. Oh wow, how cool! I love that the town smells of whatever food they're cooking. There is a town in Michigan where they process sugar, and you would think that would be a good thing, but it actually stinks to high heaven!

    I love blueberry buckle!

  3. I have a few jars left over from our littlest babe. They are past the expiration date so I can't donate them to a food bank. I just slip a jar into a cake or a sauce now and then. No one knows. But yes, there are green beans in that spaghetti! Hehe!

  4. When I fed my babies their Gerber jars, IF there was banana in the mix, I'd give the baby one teaspoon, I'd get two. :)

  5. Oh that is really neat! I really had no idea. What a great idea they had back then to team up with the local farmers. That's really pretty awesome.


  6. I grew up in Elvis's birthplace. The baby food capital sounds more exciting LOL. When I was a baby, I had a baby doll of the Gerber baby. I carried her everywhere with me. :)

  7. Even over here, we use Gerber baby food. :)

  8. Enjoyed reading your post. My personal fav is apple strawberry bananas :)

    Chontali Kirk

  9. Count me in among the ones who didn't know there was a baby food capital!

  10. I can honestly say I've never eaten a jar of baby food as an adult. Maybe I'll have to try it. Good portion control, anyway :-) Thanks for the interesting post!

    Jenny at Choice City Native

  11. I used to live near enough to a landfill that when the wind was just right... Yeah, baby food would be a much nicer smell.

  12. Hm... I guess there's worse things than a town that smells like baby food. And blueberry buckle is the best.

    KC @ The Occasional Adventures of a Hermit & Oh Frog It

  13. baby food eating contest...? ugh
    oh unless it's those appley desert ones like you mention and not the veg ones :)