Raw or Not so Raw? Deceiving labels and How the products are really made

by Wayne Gendel

In my research I have to date only found 2 (1 mass market and 1 smaller-scale distributed) whole food vitamins. MegaFood (Canadian and U.S. Health Stores, Forever Healthy is the Canadian Distributor for MegaFood) and Vita Synergy (niche market). Yes, every other brand I have ever researched is not 100% whole food and is made from synthetic isolates. Some foods might be added but they are NOT 100% whole food.

For example you cannot add enzymes and probiotics to synthetic vitamins and call them WHOLE FOOD! That’s like adding enzymes and probiotics to an aspirin and calling it a whole food. Although superior to 98% of the 1359 synthetic vitamins currently on the market in North America, these enzymes are chemical isolates made in a lab. They are NOT WHOLE FOOD, they have whole food added. MegaFood and Vita Synergy on the other hand are whole food vitamins from grown food concentrates dehydrated at 79F. You can read more on MegaFood here.

Below I will share with you the truth on a few popular products that I have researched lately. Please search our past e-letters as I frequently wrote about supplements and how they deceptively lead people into believing they are food.

Please feel free to email me and ask about the product you’re interested in. I will be happy to research any product for the first 5 emails I receive and put it in the next Forever Healthy e-letter Please make an effort if you really want to find out what is in any packaged products, getting the information from the company is the only true way to know what is in a product and how it is made.

AGAVE
Although you see ‘raw’ on the label, agave is NOT raw! Only 2 agaves I have researched thus far have been manufactured below 140F and even they are not truly raw. Currently we have a low temperature (below 140F) agave exclusively available on special order from Nancy Desjardins nancy@healthlady.com or 905.873.0194

Maranatha Raw Almond
Available in many health food stores. The reason I researched this product is the frequent inquiries about our nut butter being more expensive. Living Tree nut butter is a popular raw foodist nut butter for a few reasons listed below. Forever Healthy is the exclusive Canadian distributor.

LIVING TREE NUT BUTTERS
1. It is truly raw, processed below 118F.
2. It is ALWAYS processed within 2 weeks of Forever Healthy receiving the product. Ultra super fresh.
3. The almonds are organic.
4. Taste and compare! Most nut butters taste burnt once you have tasted a truly raw nut butter.

Now for the answer we received on a Maranatha almond butter that says raw on the label. Please see the email from the company below. Bottom line is it is NOT raw! It’s unfortunate that label laws are so deceptive.

From: lscatena@nspiredfoods.com
Sent: Friday, April 01, 2005 1:29 PM

Thank you for your email regarding our products. We sell our products to distributors and they would sell to retailers such as yourself. Please provide your mailing address and I would happy to send you some product information, along with a list of our distributors that would best fit your needs.

Regarding our Raw Almond and Raw Tahini. The temperature the nuts/seeds are exposed to during the grinding process and/or length of time it takes for the product to cool after grinding may cause the enzymes in our raw nut products to become altered. Like many commercial nut butter manufacturers including Maranatha, we start with raw nuts/seeds then grind them according to our own time-tested methods to achieve a specific flavor and texture profile. We realize that our definition of “raw”, which is consistent with many other large nut butter manufacturers, may not be shared by raw food enthusiasts. However, we stand behind the quality, flavor and nutritional profiles of all our raw and roasted nut butters we produce. Therefore, we can’t guarantee that our raw nut/seed butters do not reach temperatures above 118 degrees during the grinding process. So, If you are following a “strict” “fresh” raw food diet – our brand would not be suitable for you.

Best Regards, Liz Scatena, Consumer Relations Manager – Maranatha Nut Butters.

bolded some key words in her email (smiles) Wayne.

OLIVE OIL
Extra virgin is tops. But not always raw. The only way to truly know the temperature of oils, is to call the company. Our Silver Leaf Olive oil is one of the only ones that print the temperature on the label – 88F. Now that’s raw! Through my years of research on oils, I have found that oils should be processed below 100F to be truly raw. More information.

HONEY
Unpasteurized honey is NOT raw. Unpasteurized honey is defined as processed at 140F or below. Raw honey is raw. Please note raw honey should not be given to children under 2 years of age due to a lack of an enzyme not yet developed, as it could cause death!

Please Live Forever Healthy!

Wayne Gendel