: a natural food and especially an unprocessed one (such as a vegetable or fruit)
Our definition would be a food that is in or as close to its original state as possible, like an apple or dried apple slices with no additional ingredients. If you took that apple and turned into applesauce and added additional vitamins, or added sugar to those apple slices- now it's become a processed food.
When it comes to supplements, are the terms
'whole food', 'food-based', 'food-derived', etc. regulated?
No. You can put these terms on any bottle of supplements, without consequence. Until the FDA sets firm definition of the terms, it will simply be the wild west.
How do we define a whole food supplement?
A supplement that is made 100% from food, that is dried at a low temperature, properly manufactured and has no synthetic or isolated substances added at any time during the process.
A whole food vitamin C supplement is: camu camu berries dried at a low temperature then made into a powder or capsule with nothing else added to them.
A whole food vitamic C supplement is NOT: a supplement claiming to be acerola powder on the front of the label, but when we look at the supplement facts panel, it's spiked with ascorbic acid to increase the vitamin C content.
If you add non-food ingredients, including synthetic or isolated vitamins to a supplement or food, then it is no longer a whole food product, according to Rooted Nutrition's standards.
What is a synthetic vitamin?
A synthetic vitamin is one that is made entirely in a lab and does not exist in nature, but may be identical to the vitamin as found in nature, but lacking the normal cofactors.
For example, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) can be synthesized in a lab, made from various types of sugar. While it may look identical to ascorbic acid in food, it does not contain the cofactors and entourage compounds that occur when ascorbic acid is found in food.
Another example is synthetic vitamin e, also known as dl-alpha tocopherol. This molecule is completely synthesized in a lab and does not occur in nature. It is not identical to the vitamin E found in food.
What is an isolated vitamin?
An isolated vitamin is one that is isolated from a food. While this may have been derived from food, it is not a whole food vitamin because it is missing all the cofactors and entourage compounds that occur when it is found in food. In addition, foods often contain a variety of vitamin forms that are not found in a supplement when isolating it from food. For example, there are at least eight types of vitamin E that have been discovered so far. If you just isolated one or two of these molecules, you are not getting the other ones.
The person at my health food store or practitioner's office told me that by law companies have to add synthetic or isolated vitamins to a supplement, they cannot actually make a supplement just from food. Is this true?
This rumor was started by fake whole food brands who wish to make excuses for they are not making true whole food supplements. There is no truth to this whatsoever. Neither the FDA nor any other regulatory bodies require the addition of any particular vitamin or other ingredient to a label. The law on the books (however the FDA does not have the funds to actually enforce it), is just that you must meet label claims. So if you claim 100mg of vitamin c per tablet, than you must be within five percent of that label and contain somewhere between 95 and 105 milligrams. It is much easier for a company just to add extra synthetic vitamin C to a product to meet label claims, than to properly manufacture true whole food supplements.
Is it better to get my nutrition from food or from vitamins?
It is always better to get your nutrition from real whole foods. However, in some cases, in can be hard to get enough from food, so supplements can help to fill in the gaps with things like vitamin D, omega-3, choline (during pregnancy) and magnesium. In addition much of our food is grown in soil that is heavily depleted, so additional supplementation may be needed. There are also some medical conditions where additional, higher dosages or different forms of certain nutrients may be needed for the short or long term. In many cases; concentrated, properly prepared, whole food powders can be used to fill in the gaps- such as NYS-grown pumpkin seed powder (as opposed to Chinese-grown- remember, quality matters!) for magnesium. In other cases, such as very low vitamin D levels, isolated or synthetic supplements may be needed. There is no one answer or one size fits all approach to this. We can help guide you through this process and make sure you get the regimen to meet all of your nutritional needs.
Are all the products you sell certified organic?
Unfortunately the term “certified organic” and the USDA seal simply does not mean what it used to or what people think it does. We have created our own, truly strict standards for organic that all of the products in the whole food center must meet. Our standards are far more strict than the federal ones and encompass not just which pesticides and herbicides but can be used, but also sustainability, how farmers and workers are treated, the health of the soil and much more.
Are the products you sell in the whole food center non-GMO?
There is no actual regulation of the term non-GMO. Despite the prevalence of various seals and claims, the FDA has not put out a standard. You can basically say non-GMO on any product you want even if it was made with or contains ingredients that are genetically modified. We have created our own stricter, true non-GMO standard. All of our whole food products must be non-GMO from seed to bottle, not just claiming to be or testing the finished product for the presence of a protein.
What are your standards, testing and quality control requirements for the products in your whole food center?
Each food category will have its own quality control needs. You can read about the specific ones on each product page.
Are your products fair trade?
While many of them are considered fair trade, we have taken an additional step and implemented direct trade wherever possible, because fair trade has been watered down so much.
Are all the animal derived ingredients truly wild caught, grass-fed and/or pasture raised?
Yes, unlike many companies who use these as mere marketing terms, we have actual standards that all of our animal ingredients must meet.
Are the bee products you sell from bees that are fed corn syrup?
None of the apiaries we get our bee products from use corn syrup. You can read about standards for bee products here.
How come the bee products sometimes look different when I buy them? Depending on which flowers the bees pollinated or the time of year, texture and color and vary greatly.
My honey has crystallized- what should I do? Run it under warm water until it un-crystallizes. There is nothing wrong with your honey.
Is it true that honey lasts forever? Yes, it is. They even found honey in some Egyptian tombs that was still edible!
A lot of Manuka honey on the market is fake, how do I know yours is real?
You can read all about our manuka honey sourcing process and the farmers it comes from here.
Are your food products safe for children?
While many of them are foods traditionally eaten by children, we always recommend checking with your child's pediatrician before starting your children on any supplements. One notable exception is bee products, which should not be given to children under one year of age.
Do your products have any drug interactions?
Yes, some of them do. For example, you should not start concentrated green food powders while taking the blood thinner Warfarin because of the vitamin K content, without checking with your doctor first. The listed drug interactions are not meant to be a complete list and you should always check with your doctor before starting any supplement.
Do any of the products have possible side effects?
Yes, but since these are just food, there is less of a chance of serious side effects. One common one is that beet powder may make your urine turn pink or purple temporarily, which is completely harmless but could give you quite a fright if you forgot you had taken beet powder!