Continuing our five-part series detailing the value-adds we're seeking to bring to your life!
For us, nutrition goes way beyond the limited confines of the nutrition panel, which only displays roughly 13 macronutrients you need to survive, and ignores thousands of other micronutrients and phytochemicals that you need to thrive.
When we think holistically about food, these days it’s comprised of at least four main components:
- Toxins from processing
- Agricultural pollutants
Many of the toxins and agricultural pollutants that we see in food have only been there since the end of World War II.
When we want to achieve the most nourishing food outcomes, we need to maximize nutrients, while minimizing anti-nutrients, toxins, and agricultural pollutants.
Regenerative farming and craft processing are two of the most effective ways to achieve these outcomes that need more research to fully quantify their holistic benefits.
How this plays out in the way that we create our products:
1. Nutrients - the impacts to these are quantifiable both on the farming and processing sides.
2. Anti-Nutrients - some sources suggest that sprouting decreases phytic acid, lectins, and oxalic acid. If true, this would make the almonds more digestible and healthful.
We believe that more research is needed on the subject, which we intend to engage in through partnership with third party non-profits, universities, and labs. More on that soon!
Anecdotally, many of our customers report to us that they can digest our sprouted almond butters, and not other non-sprouted almond butters. We’re committed to discovering why this is the case.
“I have severe food allergies and have found that I can tolerate your almond butter. Unfortunately, I've had reactions to all the other "clean" brands available.” - Kathlena, “The Allergy Chef”
“I have a lot of digestive sensitivities so usually I can’t eat nuts or nut butter because it creates horrible bloating and discomfort but the sprouted is incredible and I don’t have any of my usual side effects. My digestion has been great while eating this and I usually struggle with eating nuts and nut butters.” - Anna
“I was never able to digest nut butters before. I’m so glad my friend told me about you guys. It’s a miracle. I have so many dietary limitations due to severe Lymes disease and your butter is a dream come true for me. Such a gorgeous treat.” - Zora
“Other almond butter is ruined for me now! Yours is so delicious and I digest it way better. Too good!” - Sam
3. Toxins from processing - aflatoxin, propylene oxide, and acrylamide are a few of the carcinogenic elements that almonds are exposed to or develop during storage, in processing, or after harvest.
We’ve tested our products for aflatoxin, which did not show up.
Propylene oxide is a carcinogenic chemical used to chemically pasteurize non-organic almonds. We only use organic almonds, so we avoid this completely.
Acrylamide is a carcinogen generated during the roasting process. Because we sprout, dehydrate, and stone-grind our almonds at slow speeds and low temperatures, we avoid generating acrylamide.
4. Agricultural pollutants - consumers unknowingly and unwittingly consume many carcinogenic and toxic compounds from agricultural inputs from conventional agriculture.
Almonds are the most heavily sprayed agricultural crop in California, according to publicly available data from the state, with over 39 million pounds of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fumigants sprayed every year.
One key example is glyphosate, the carcinogenic active ingredient in Roundup, which is the most heavily sprayed herbicide on almonds in California.
We found glyphosate in unsafe levels above the 10 ppb “safe” threshold in every conventional almond butter we tested, and none of the organic almond butters we tested (including ours).
81% of North Americans don’t know what glyphosate is, but 80% of Americans test for it in their urine, including 87% of children.
Our friends at Farmer’s Footprint are doing great work seeking to ban glyphosate, which we fully support.
We offer the first and only Glyphosate Residue Free certified nut butters on the market to display our commitment to getting this ingredient out of our bodies and environment, starting with all the products made by our brand.
A great website for finding out the various kinds of agricultural pollutants that are on a given food is What’s On My Food?, a handy resource from the Pesticide Action Network.
Nutrition is a complicated science, and we don’t claim to be experts on it. We’re on a learning journey, and simply sharing our results so far, all of which are subject to change as new information becomes available.
We invite you to hear the inspired 3-minute clip below by founder Tim Richards on why we'd be wise to value food quality over price and add other metrics of value to our food.
Please let us know your thoughts! Would you value having this information about your food? Should we invest time and energy into quantifying a "True Nutrition Facts" label for you?