Natural Factors has a long history of creating quality supplements filled with hand-harvested organic whole foods, formulas that are backed by clinical trials and certified by Isura, which tests for quality and purity above and beyond Canadian Manufacturing Guidelines.
Their Whole Earth & Sea line takes the Natural Factors commitment to quality one step further by using only plant-based ingredients wherever possible, and utilizing the unique whole foods raised on Factors Farms in Okanagan Valley, British Columbia.
To learn more about Natural Factors’ sourcing, formulations and the Whole Earth & Sea line in particular, we spoke with Naturopathic Doctor Kate Rheaume, the lead educator for the line (and author of Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life).
What sets the Whole Earth & Sea line apart from the rest of the Natural Factors product line?
You can tell at first glance that it is a premium line, even within Natural Factors. The goal of the line is to use plant-based ingredients wherever possible, specifically Farm Fresh Factors, a concentrate of both land and sea vegetables that offers maximum nutrition. It’s not always possible to use this intense concentrate in the rest of the Natural Factors line, but you’ll find it in most Whole Earth & Sea formulations.
Can you tell us more about the EnviroSimplex process and why it’s better for maintaining nutrients?
This proprietary process isn’t unique to the Whole Earth & Sea, but it is unique to Natural Factors. It’s a method of extracting nutrients from whole foods that doesn’t require excipients that can dilute the final product. With our process, we don’t need excipients—instead, whole foods are added to a chamber, mixed and liquefied, and then the moisture is pulled from that chamber. Throughout the process, the foods are kept at a very low temperature, so the final product is technically “raw.” The process was developed more than a decade ago to enable highly concentrated final products.
What is so unique about the Natural Factors farms and how your whole foods are grown?
Factors Farm is a very special place. It has nearly 1,000 acres of land that is certified organic and Non GMO. The Okanagan Valley itself is a wonderful area for farming because of its deep alluvial soil. All crops are fertilized with compost and nitrogen-rich sea plants, and then hand-weeded and hand-harvested—and often sent to a plant just down the road so foods can be processed at peak freshness. The farm has also kind of created its own ecosystem; beehives line the outskirts to promote healthy pollination, and birds and bugs are simply allowed to have their own share of the crops. Factors Farms has also been instrumental in heirloom seed preservation to help maintain biodiversity globally.
A portion of the Whole Earth & Sea line utilizes fermentation. Why is that important?
The newest Whole Earth & Sea products, 100% Fermented Organic Greens and 100% Fermented Organic Protein & Greens, make use of fermentation technology. The process gives the greens a much nicer taste, as it helps to tone down the grassy flavors. In addition, while greens are fairly well tolerated in the body, plant-based proteins can cause indigestion such as gas and bloating. Fermentation markedly improves that digestibility of plant-based proteins. Fermentation also helps enhance the nutrient bioavailability of proteins and minerals; since plants can bind up minerals, fermentation helps release those minerals to be used by the body.
You’ll also find some fermented ingredients in our Pure Food Multivitamin and Mineral formulas.
What are some of the more unique ingredients in these formulations that you won’t find in other vitamins and supplements?
- The 100% Fermented Greens and 100% Fermented Organic Protein & Greens contain a complex of six fermented organic mushrooms, which you don’t see very often. Mushrooms are extremely nutritious, great at supporting the immune system, and have potent adaptogenic properties.
- Our Herring Gold also contains a source of omega 3 phospholipids from fish eggs, which makes them a more environmentally sustainable alternative to krill oil. The fisheries where the eggs come from are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, which has responsibly been managing the stocks for decades.
- From a personal and professional standpoint, I’m very happy that all the Whole Earth & Sea Pure Food Multivitamins include vitamin K2, which you don’t see often enough in multis. And you’re getting a good dose in each multi, which can be especially helpful for bone health and heart health.