OK, so we're not the first to report that Tom Douglas is teaming up with Seattle's Full Tank Foods to produce a line of baby


Tom Douglas' Next Project

Celebrity chef baby food?

OK, so we're not the first to report that Tom Douglas is teaming up with Seattle's Full Tank Foods to produce a line of baby foods.  But we will give you an interview with Full Tank founder John Anderson. 

Basically, a while back, Anderson approached Douglas, asking if he would be interested in helping improve the way kids eat.  To Anderson's surprise, Douglas said OK, saying he wanted to reach out to kids.  So they hammered out an agreement for Douglas to design a few baby foods, as well as entrees for children and school lunches.  Full Tank has signed on to do lunches for a couple dozen private schools, and is working on public schools for this fall.  Anderson says the baby food is planned to debut in July or August and will go for $2.59 for seven ounces.

School lunches and healthy entrees for kids, sure, but a signature line of baby food?  That's a frontier that few celeb chefs have conquered.  A Douglas spokesperson declined to comment, saying that it was too early.  But here's Anderson:

On why how he got into making baby foods: 

"If you look at the way baby food is manufactured, it’s been done the same way for about 50 years.  They take product, cook the hell out of it, puree it, and retort, which is like pressure canning.  That process kills botulism, and also kills the quality of the food.  I mean, would you want to eat corn or carrots or, God forbid, chicken out of a can?  I’m a passionate cook, my wife is too, and I don’t like giving my son something I wouldn’t eat.  You can buy organic baby foods, but it’s the same process, with just organic ingredients, so there isn't much difference in taste."

On what Douglas's baby foods will offer:

"We’re going to give him some creative license.  We’re going to give him the general specifications of what needs to go into baby foods and what to avoid.  The idea is that each of them has a Tom Douglas signature flair.  You can expect them to feature Northwest ingredients, with some international influences.  For examples, using edemame, seasoning with a slight hint of lemongrass, or interesting fruits.  We’ve talked about stuff with mango and papaya.  What actually is going to be created has not been defined, but I think we can expect interesting stuff." 

On why he's making tasty foods for babies when they don't really have discerning palates: 

"That’s sort of the point.  They’re blank canvases, is the way my wife [a pediatrician] describes it.  Their taste buds are physically not even formed yet.  The way I look at it, the child is relying on me to make the choices for them.  If I was in their shoes, I would want someone to try and develop my palate so I’m not going to be a picky eater and I’ll appreciate fresh foods as opposed to processed foods.  Common sense suggests you’re building a foundation for good practical eating habits as your child grows.  It’s all just common sense to me.  I don’t get too caught up in the science of it all.  With organic foods, you’re eliminating presticides, and that’s gotta be a good thing.  Is that going to result in better health 50 years down the road?  I don’t know.  But why not try it?"

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