Is Nuzest Organic?

Is Nuzest organic?
We get asked this a lot. Which is good. We ask it a lot from other brands ourselves. Organic is a good thing.

We are not organically certified
We are however very open and honest and transparent and would rather explain what that means than just shrug our shoulders and say “so what?”. We believe organic is important for lots of reasons, from the quality of our environment to the risk of contamination of the food we eat by pesticides and heavy metals. So we want to give a full account of why we’re not organic so you can feel confident in the premium quality of our products and the way they are produced.

We are incredibly clean
Clean Lean Protein isn’t organic because it represents the very highest quality of pea protein we can get anywhere in the world. At present, we cannot guarantee supply of organically certified protein of this quality. It’s also incredibly clean. It’s a very high purity isolate containing almost 90% pure protein produced from sustainably farmed peas from northern France.

Creating a clean product is about more than organic certification
Every part of the supply chain and production process is important in determining how clean the final product is. We demand the highest quality and standards at every stage of the production process, from the source of our peas to the extraction process of the isolate to the levels of lectin in our isolate and the testing we use to reassure ourselves it’s clean.

It’s good to be worried.
We think that the public SHOULD be concerned about contaminants in vegan protein. There have indeed been genuine issues with specific types of plant proteins containing excessive levels of heavy metals and chemical compounds. But it is important to appreciate that this risk occurs whether or not a plant protein is certified organic because the sources of the contamination are from the soil, the air and the manufacturing process. They are not linked to the method of production or whether or not pesticides or artificial fertilisers are used. The contaminated proteins have tended to be rice proteins where heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium and lead can be taken up from the soil and accumulate from polluted environments. There can also be contaminant risks when solvents, especially benzene-containing hexane, are used in the extraction process.

We get our peas from farms (and farmers) we trust
Nuzest pea protein isolate comes from sustainably-cultivated European golden peas grown in Northern France. They are grown in soils that do not have high natural contents of heavy metals. Nor is the environment (air, water, soil) contaminated in any other way.

The French farmers who grow the peas do this exclusively for our protein. They are committed to sustainable production methods that minimise any use of pesticides or artificial fertilizers. What’s more, from an environmental and water usage perspective, peas are among the most sustainable crops that can be grown.

We use a clean and highly efficient extraction process to isolate the protein from the peas
The extraction system used to remove the protein from the peas (that naturally contain around 25% protein) is also entirely water based, with absolutely no solvents or other chemicals being used.

The effectiveness of this extraction process means Clean Lean Protein is lectin free
Lectins can occur in high amounts in peas and other legumes. They are naturally occurring compounds that act as a natural pesticide in the plant to reduce damage by insects. In people, over-exposure to lectins has the ability to damage the delicate intestinal wall promoting inflammation and ‘leaky gut’. Some people are more sensitive than others and may suffer bloating and wind after eating legumes and other vegetables rich in lectins e.g. potatoes. Lectins are generally only broken down after hours of slow cooking.

Our protein is entirely free of lectins. Our manufacturer tests for them regularly and the results are always negative, because the water extraction process is so effective, delivering such a high purity of protein and component amino acids. That purity is evident by the lack of strong smell or taste of Clean Lean Protein – something that can’t be said of some of our competitors.

We test regularly
From a consumer health point of view, the most important thing is the testing of the finished product. Nuzest products are tested routinely for heavy metals, pesticides, solvents and other contaminants. We can guarantee the products are entirely clean and free of contaminants.

We are committed to continually improving the quality of our products and a clean lean future

Looking to the future, as more farms who produce to the standards we demand are certified organic, we hope to be able to offer a certified organic Clean Lean Protein alongside our current offerings. But we can’t do that until we can guarantee a consistent supply chain – and that means we need more farmers to go through the certification process. To cover the costs of certification, an additional premium will have to be applied, yet you’ll appreciate, because of the purity of the pea protein and its almost perfect profile of amino acids, the quality of the product will be the same.

What about Good Green Stuff?
Good Green Stuff isn’t certified organic either. However the bulk ingredients, namely the chlorella, spirulina, barley grass, flaxseed, and wheatgrass are. Why these? That’s because these are the ones present in greatest quantity, for which there can be issues with contaminants when grown conventionally. We also are very confident, now with over 5 years of operation, that we can guarantee the supply of these, week in, week out. We don’t however have the same confidence over the 70-odd other ingredients in Good Green Stuff, all of which we select with meticulous care.

We test that too
So, just like Clean Lean Protein, we not only source our ingredients with the greatest of care, we also undertake routine heavy metal, pesticide, polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) and other contaminant testing of the finished product. We can guarantee that the product is contaminant free. It also doesn’t contain any GMOs or other ingredients that health-aware consumers are keen to avoid.

When Nuzest says #NoBadStuff or no nasties – we mean it!
Put simply, Nuzest is a brand centred around quality. We put a lot of time, effort, expertise and investment into delivering the highest quality products that make the most difference to people’s lives, at the best price – as sustainably as possible. That’s what Clean Lean Protein and Good Green Stuff are all about – it’s a notion that’s embedded deep in the DNA of the company’s founders and formulators – and we wouldn’t be using it ourselves if we didn’t feel the same way!

This article written by

Robert Verkerk – Robert Verkerk PhD (BSc MSc DIC PhD) is an internationally acclaimed scientist with over 25 years of experience specialising in agricultural, environmental and health sustainability. He has a Masters Degree and a PhD from Imperial College London, awarded prior to his continuing research for a further 7 years at Imperial’s Department of Biology as a post-doctoral Research Fellow. In 2002, he founded the Alliance for Natural Health International (ANH- Intl) which has become one of the leading, not-for-profit campaign organisations working globally to promote more sustainable healthcare systems through the use of natural and bio-compatible approaches. He is presently Executive and Scientific Director of the ANH-Intl as well as being co-chair of the ANH-Intl’s Scientific and Medical Advisory Board. Amongst his many affiliations, he is a regional fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (UK), Patron of the College of Naturopathic Medicine (UK) and acts as scientific advisor to the Irish Association of Health Stores. He has authored some 60 papers in scientific journals and conference proceedings and contributes regularly to magazines and other popular media. He is an accomplished and inspirational speaker and communicator on a wide range of issues relating to sustainability.

More articles by Robert Verkerk

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