The Culture of Doing It Right: Behind the Scenes with MegaFood
Next month will be four years since I started this blog. I never could have imagined it would become my full-time gig. While it might have taken me longer than others to get to this point, I have no regrets. Running this site while working full-time allowed me the financial freedom to say no to opportunities that didn’t feel right for me or my readers. I take pride in the fact that I only partner with brands that I genuinely enjoy and that I think you will too.
As most of you already know, earlier this year I was contacted by MegaFood asking me if I’d like to be a brand ambassador. They had no idea I had already used their supplements. They just saw me as someone who aligned with their values and thought would be a good fit for their blogger program.
To be honest, even though I was already a huge fan of their products, I was hesitant since my main focus on the blog is eating whole foods, not taking them in a supplement. But even I, a self-proclaimed health fanatic who tries my best to eat as well as I can, falls short sometimes. I take supplements to make sure my daily nutritional needs get met and theirs was the only brand that I ever trusted. With that in mind, it only seemed right to help spread awareness of great they truly are.
Up Close & Personal
Back in June MegaFood invited myself and four other bloggers (Nicole, Amanda, Jeanette, and Christina) to tour their facilities in Manchester, New Hampshire. We started the trip at their headquarters, learning about what makes them stand apart from other supplement companies. Whether it’s supporting American farmers that practice sustainable methods, taking the extra time during manufacturing to preserve as much nutrition as possible, or adhering to strict testing in order to assure the best quality, they truly believe in doing things the right way.
Here’s a list of the awesome organic farmers that supply the whole foods that go into MegaFood supplements:
- Uncle Matt’s Organic (Florida oranges)
- Stahlbush Island (Oregon beets)
- James Lake Farms (Wisconsin cranberries)
- Lundberg Family Farms (California brown rice)
- Kauai Organic Farms (Hawaii turmeric)
- Foxy Organic (California, Nevada, and Arizona kale)
Fresh from Farm-to-Tablet
Farm fresh produce is delivered to the facility then ground to a pulp and slowly dehydrated using Refractance Window Drying. This process takes much longer than standard applications because it uses as little heat as possible to assure that all of the nutrients, colors and aromas are preserved so that the consumer is getting the highest quality product.
Certified & Committed
Another attribute MegaFood prides themselves on is undergoing rigorous testing to assure that their supplements adhere to the most recent nutritional recommendations. In fact, CEO Robert Craven initiated the Non-GMO Dietary Supplement Working Group in 2013, which includes a group of dietary supplement manufacturers who have united to support Non-GMO dietary supplement companies and work to secure a Non-GMO ingredient supply chain. I kind of view him as the Obama (think Paris Agreement) of the supplement world. Good stuff. ;)
Here’s a list of the many certifications they’ve achieved:
- Gluten-free: MegaFood products were the first dietary supplements to have been certified gluten free by NSF. Certified Gluten Free products must test at 20ppm or less but they set their gluten free standards to comply to 10ppm or less. The facility is also open to inspections and blind product tests by NSF.
- Vegetarian: All supplements are vegetarian.
- Non-GMO: MegaFood self-verifies that all ingredients are Non-GMO and supports third party Non-GMO verifiers like the Non-GMO Project.
- Soy-free: All products with this symbol are guaranteed to contain 5ppm of soy protein or less.
- Vegan: The vegan collection is certified by Vegan Action, and was formulated specifically to support and supplement common nutritional gaps including B12, iron and trace minerals. They also choose not to add in standard potencies of nutrients that are otherwise provided with a plant-based diet such as beta-carotene, vitamin C and K.
- ISO Certified: International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a voluntary body that sets standards for quality assurance. Standards are based on an international consensus on what makes for good quality assurance practices. This means MegaFood’s on-the-premises laboratory complies with the highest internationally recognized criteria for operating standards and testing procedures.
- Farm Fresh: Food is sourced from farmers that practice organic methods whenever possible.
- Herbicide and Pesticide Free: Tests all deliveries rigorously for traces of herbicides or pesticides. If any are found, they get sent back.
- GMP Registered: Good Manufacturing Process (GMP) are guidelines set by NSF that provide a system of processes, procedures, and documentation to assure the product produced has the identity, strength, composition, quality and purity that it is represented to possess.
- Kosher: One of the first whole food supplement product lines certified kosher by OK Kosher Certification, the most respected symbol of kosher approval worldwide.
MegaFood is also involved in programs that give back to the community. Most recently they’ve partnered with Woolly Pocket, a company that creates living wall planters to make gardening possible in any location. Together they work with local New Hampshire schools to create outdoor garden classrooms and teach children the importance of establishing lifelong healthy eating and lifestyle habits.
A Lasting Impression
During my time at ShiftCon (an Eco-Wellness Conference) last month I was fortunate enough to meet the amazing Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, who formulated the MegaFood Multis collection. As a leader in the field of natural medicine for more than thirty years, she has dedicated her life to improving the health of others.
She was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy, and served for ten years as the elected Chair of the US Pharmacopeia Dietary Supplements and Botanicals Expert Information Panel.
In addition, she has spoken at more than 550 scientific/medical conferences, published 40 peer-reviewed articles, written 20 chapters for medical textbooks, and is the author of six books, including her most recent publication Fortify Your Life: Your Guide to Vitamins Minerals and More.
Seriously guys, this woman is the real deal. She also happens to be one of the most down to earth, kind people I have ever met.
Reading her book and listening to her presentation at ShiftCon had a profound effect on me. I’ve always known that taking supplements were important, especially B12 since I’ve been a vegetarian for so long, but I had no idea how widespread nutritional deficiencies are in our country. Here are just a few staggering statistics she mentioned:
- 90 million are deficient in Vitamin D
- 30 million Americans are deficient in B6
- 18 million are deficient in B12
- 16 million are deficient in Vitamin C
She also touched on the point of how much the nutritional content of our food has changed in the past century due to soil degradation. Take a look at the map below. The yellow areas are the only locations that still have stable soil.
Another interesting deficiency she mentioned was iodine. In 1924 Morton Salt Company began adding iodine to their table salt as a result of the widespread cases of goiter caused by iodine deficiency. However, in more recent years we’ve been advised to cut back on salt and are now cooking with specialty salts (such as Himalayan sea salt) or eating processed foods with salt that doesn’t provide any iodine. Because the average American eats so little of the richest iodine foods (such as seaweed and shellfish), we are starting to see more cases of iodine deficiencies pop up again. Scary, right?
Building Trust with a Brand
I know choosing the right supplements can be extremely intimidating. I’ve been there, standing in the supplement aisle, overwhelmed by the sea of bottles all claiming to give me vibrant health. What stood out to me about MegaFood was that they use REAL whole foods in their supplements and that they were proud to display the many certifications they’ve achieved to assure the highest quality.
They might not be the cheapest option out there but after meeting virtually every member of their team and seeing the process firsthand, I assure you that they are worth every penny.
I’m truly honored to be an ambassador for them this year and I hope that I’ve helped you learn more about what a great company they are.
This post was created in partnership with MegaFood, a supplement that I have used and loved for years. As always, all text and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help me bring you quality content!