Superfoods seem to be everywhere nowadays. Are you confused about all the superfood products out there? Not sure what superfoods are, where they come from, why you need them and what product to choose?
You are not alone! A whopping 80% of our social media following is right there with you. 3 years ago, after using superfoods already for several years myself, I decided to dig deeper… I wanted more transparency and I believed more education was needed. What I found out was shocking!
1. SUPERFOOD PRODUCTS ARE NOT ALWAYS HEALTHY
Ever noticed the huge price differences between brands? Wonder how that is possible? Turns out 99% of the brands out there add some crazy stuff to their products to trick you. Things I came across:
- Adding sweeteners like stevia to make the mixes taste better. Sweeteners trick your brain and can make you more hungry afterwards.
- Natural flavorings can basically be anything, including highly processed foods - not that healthy after all...
- Acai berry mixes that only contain 2% of acai powder - nothing super about that! So we solved this ..... AND it's less expensive than a lot of poor quality products - I know you'll love it - check it out here.
- Use of cheap ingredients as fillers - for example flax seed powder. I even came across brands where that is their main ingredient in green superfood mixes.
- Adding a couple of liters of cheap oil to the production process to make the product less powdery, which results in less cleaning costs of the factory afterwards. And no, they are not required to put this on the label!
2. QUALITY TESTING IS NOT THE STANDARD
You would think that every batch of superfood ingredients coming in is tested for at least pesticides, herbicides and bacteria? WRONG! Usually, the answers you receive from superfood wholesalers are: “We tested the batch from this particular supplier last year”, “we do some randomized testing, however, this batch was not included” or “you’ll get an ‘internal’ lab report”. This is pissing me off, because:
- They import tons of the same batch worth over hundreds of thousands of Euros and they are too cheap to do a 70 Euro test!
- These wholesalers will never tell you from which exact region or farm they get their ingredients, so you have absolutely no proof that what they are saying is true.
- Same goes for internal testing reports: if there is no external accountability, how can you know that what they say is actually true?
- These ingredients are sometimes shipped overseas in large containers for several weeks and there is always a high risk of contamination.
Solution: Superfoods are powerful nutrient-dense ingredients with many health benefits. However, many producers and wholesalers don’t really care about making sure that they retain all of these health benefits! We require 3rd party lab testing for all ingredients and share these with anyone who wants to see them (just ask!).
3. SUPERFOODS FROM CHINA ARE ALL 'ORGANIC'
Isn’t that funny? Every country or region has their own organic certification laws and so does China. I am not saying every ingredient from China is bad, but they their organic standards are generally much lower than in Europe and very few ingredients grown there would meet European organic standards. A hell of a lot of ingredients are all grown organically there lately: from wheatgrass, barley grass, spirulina to chlorella - and all for a fraction of the price of those in Europe! Most superfood brands buy their superfoods from a handful of large wholesalers and simply choose the cheapest ingredients to optimize their profit. A couple of interesting examples I want to point out here:
- Until 2 years ago, organic spirulina and chlorella were only to be found in China. Why you might wonder? As these ingredients are algaes and not vegetables, there was no description in the western law of how these ingredients would have to be cultivated in order to be recognized as organic. However, when ‘organic’ spirulina and chlorella was imported, brands could say it was organic. I call it BULLSHIT! In the past 12 months this has slowly started to change and there are some organic sources of spirulina available in France and chlorella in Germany. Yes, it is 5x the price, but clean farming, no fishy taste and amazing nutritional values makes it worth it. I promise you that our green superfood mix will simply knock your socks off!
- 75% of wheatgrass and barley grass comes from China. Yes, again it is waayyy cheaper than sourcing it from Germany, United States or New Zealand, for example, but it also has a completely different color, smell and taste. Wheat- and barley grass from Germany actually taste like real grass
Solution: It matters where your superfoods come from! Look for brands that are transparently sharing the country of origin on their packaging and on the website. And even if ingredients come China check if the brand buys from smaller independent suppliers, does 3rd party testing or simply send them an email to ask for more information if you can't find it...
4. EXPLOITING PEOPLE IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
Many superfoods (not all!) come from developing countries like Brazil, Peru, Senegal, Tanzania… the soil is amazing in these countries and as a result, many nutrient-dense superfoods come from there. Are we stealing their healthy food? Turns out responsibly exporting these foods can boost the local economy and well-being of the people. However, not always…
- Larger wholesalers’ main interest is to buy the ingredients as cheaply possible and sell them at the highest price to optimize their profit. Brands buying from these wholesalers have no idea what is going on at the source.
- Brands that source directly or from smaller independent suppliers and have a good relationship with them know exactly where the ingredients are coming from - more than just the country of origin.
Solution: Try to search for brands who communicate transparently about sourcing directly and sustainably, or work with smaller independent partners. Is giving back at the source one of their core values? Besides sourcing our ingredients carefully, we give back a life-saving food bar together to malnourished children with Action Against Hunger. Learn more here.
5. THE LACK OF RESPONSIBILITY
Is your mind blown, too? The whole point of these superfood ingredients is to make you healthy! It was so disappointing to learn that a large number of people are in the superfood business to make a quick buck. My wish is that more people in the health food world start taking responsibility for their actions: as a health food company your role is to, not only provide the highest quality health products but also to educate consumers about how to live healthier and make the world a better place - everywhere!
Very few companies stand behind their products like we do - but that's just who we are! Try my products in your own home for 30 days and if you don't love them for any reason return them for a full refund - no questions asked. Wondering who I am? Why I know all this information? Why I decided to share this with you? I am the founder of Your Super. Together with holistic nutritionists, we created 7 functional superfood mixes to healthy eating easier. Little did I know what I got myself into 3 years ago…
I am a health geek, super passionate and driven to change the current industry. At Your Super we do things differently and we do care! I am not saying that we are perfect. However, we are committed to making a change and doing things differently - even if it costs us more!
We are building a 100% transparent supply chain and source directly at origin whenever possible or otherwise partner up with farmer cooperatives. While 3rd party lab testing is done by all our suppliers, we test all our ingredients before and after production in 3rd party labs to triple check.
You can read more about my personal story here (my co-founder Michael was diagnosed with cancer at age 24 and then I....)! In case you have any questions, comments or feedback - please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
P.S. Wondering why you need superfoods in your life? only 90% of people don't eat enough fruit&veggies (vitamins & minerals) on a daily basis (CDC study published in NBC News). --> Everyone knows they should eat more fruit and veggies, but life gets busy! I totally get it and that’s where our superfood mixes can help you increase your natural vitamin and mineral intake one spoonful at the time. Simply add them to water, smoothies, breakfast or snacks. Start here.