Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Eating Well: Ingredient to Watch For

Natural living means being vigilant. Eating and using products that are processed in any way means reading labels AND understanding them (no easy feat!). In this "Eating Well" series, we profile good and bad things to consume. Boline believes takes a holistic approach- we believe that what we ingest (whether through the digestive tract or our skin) becomes the building blocks of our bodies- and that means choosing natural*, high quality ingredients.

Today, we look at concentrated milk protein (also called MPC or milk protein concentrates). This is milk that has been put through an ultra-filtration process to remove all liquid and then dried. This makes it a lightweight and easily transportable additive for big food conglomerates to use to boost protein counts on their products like greek yogurt. They use MPCs to avoid the original (lengthier) process.

The problem with MPCs are that there is absolutely NO regulation on this ingredient. The milk can be sourced from anywhere in the world and in the USA, MPCs are all imported. Does anyone remember the melamine milk scare in China? The consumption of unregulated milk from questionable sources led to kidney failure and death. We honestly have no idea what's in these products so it is safer not to consume them at all.

What's more, the imports of MPCs are driving down the cost of local domestically produced milk, according to Food and Water Watch, thereby putting American dairy farmers out of business.

When buying items with dairy, be sure that the manufacturers know where the milk comes from- and that includes how the cows were raised and how the milk was processed.

"Natural" is a word thrown around a lot, especially by companies hoping to profit off of well meaning consumers. Because it has no legal definition the way "organic" does, they use it in a false way. What do we mean when we say "natural"?

  • Natural means all the ingredients are easily identifiable (and close to their original state as you find them in nature) and easy to pronounce. Nothing harmful, ever. No chemically extracted isolates. We employ no one in a lab coat! We use ingredients safely used by generations of humans.
  • Natural means Boline knows where all the ingredients came from.
  • Most are local and Lily, our herbalist, either raised the plants herself or saw the plants as they were growing (before harvest).
  • Other ingredients were raised by people that we know and trust or wildcrafted ethically, according to United Plant Savers standards.
  • Natural means organic whenever possible. No chemical pesticides or fertilizers ever when using cultivated plants and wildcrafting in chemical free areas.
  • Natural means every batch is made in small quantities, artisinally. This way, we have ultimate control over what goes in and what does not.
  • Natural means that Boline products that have bee products (honey, beeswax, pollen, or propolis) in them come from beekeepers whose emphasis is on bee and hive health- not rampant production.
  • These ethical beekeepers also do not treat their bees with chemicals and do not move their hives for monoculture pollination purposes. You may have heard that bees are in trouble, and by keeping bees organically and not moving their hives, we can do our part to save life on this planet. We only work with beekeepers dedicated on working WITH bees.

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