Saturday, May 19, 2012

Exposing Facts About Moringa Quality Including the Color of the Powder

Hi Friends,

Exposing Some Facts about Moringa Quality .........................    ................................................
How do you know the powder is good quality?
What color should the Moringa powder be?
How do I know if it has been irradiated?
Is there a problem with buying from India?

Over and over I get calls on this subject. 

I have not been able to answer those questions properly. Most of the product is not grown and processed in the United States. So I have been researching to give you answers to those questions.

Over the past year, I have contacted many sellers of Moringa Product. I asked for specific facts on how they pick, dry and process their Moringa leaf. I asked for pictures of their plantations. This has taken  a year or so. They often don't reply to questions quickly or at all. I have been researching the methods of drying and how it affects the nutrition of the leaves.

I am sad to say most would not respond back to me with this information. Only one sent me pictures. Several said it was not needed since their product went through customs. They did not have to prove the quality of their product to me.

I have had first hand experience with the problem of buying quality Moringa powder. I lost over $1500 on Moringa shipments two years ago. I have not bought Moringa powder personally to sell since then. So I speak from experience. I do not have money to personally visit India and see these people. I do not have the money to test all these samples at a lab. So I must look at how these companies grow, pick, and process their products. If they do have a legal organic certificate, that tells me something. Organic certifications are not all equal. It depends on the country that issues them and their standards. So their statement that they don't need to prove anything to me....does not fly....why?

I lost one shipment through fraud two years ago .....the company Tam Herbs was using a stolen organic certificate from another company. This was proven. He had gotten away with this for several years. It happened that the import people got two complaints, one from me and one from a German company at the same time. No other companies buying from this man had bothered to check out his organic certification until that point. How many thousands of people bought his products thinking they were organic certified

The Real Facts on the Testing of Product:

Another company sent me samples that were lab tested by the FDA and were proven to contain mouse parts and insect parts. These were samples from India with organic certifications. So the organic certification may mean nothing in some cases.

Not every package you buy has been tested. The FDA requires a test on a shipment of Moringa or herbs. Lets say there is 100 pounds in this shipment. They sample test it folks. 50 pounds of this shipment may be great. The other 50 pounds may be awful. They cannot test every pound of that shipment. So it comes down to the overall company practices, their procedures, their quality checks, and steps to have quality product.

After researching this and reading the emails received from growers recently in India, I have made the decision to discontinue selling or promoting any products from companies that will not give me precise information on their products and how they process and dry their Moringa leaf products.  

Companies must give me proof now before I will support their products on my website:  Any companies who will not show me proof, will not be supported by me. ...end of story.

They may be great companies but I want to see proof, not just their word. The overwhelming evidence suggests that is necessary after what I have learned.

So if you ask me about a company, I cannot give you an answer unless I know this vital information from the company itself. They may have a clean facility and process the Moringa leaf the right way but how am I or how are you to know that? 

 
Leaf Powder Color: Light Green or Dark Green?

Some of you will not agree with this blog and that is ok.  But facts are facts. I have recently consulted with  some experts on the subject including David Kennedy, an expert on leaves, their growth, nutrients, and how processing affects the nutritional value. His information and website is listed at the end of this article.

Moringa is a green leafy food.  It it known that you should eat dark, green leafy vegetables each day. It is not stated to eat light green leaves but DARK leafy green vegetables. That should give you a hint there.

Web MD states this," "Greens are the No. 1 food you can eat regularly to help improve your health," says Jill Nussinow, MS, RD, a culinary educator in Northern California and the author of The Veggie Queen. That's because leafy vegetables are brimming with fiber along with vitamins, minerals, and plant-based substances that may help protect you from heart disease, diabetes, and perhaps even cancer. Even so, Americans are not eating as many vegetables each day as dietary experts recommend."

What makes greens like Kale.... dark green? 
  
Chlorophyll which gives the green color to leaves. Most leafy green vegetables are green not another color because of their content of this substance. When your lettuce plant leaves turn yellow...that is a bad sign. It says I have a problem and I am sick.


What good is chlorophyll?

Chlorophyll benefits the body in a number of distinct and unique ways. It is known to be a green element that helps to cleanse the body of harmful toxins. It is also an active agent that the body uses to fight infection. A regular and recommended intake of chlorophyll keeps the circulatory and digestive systems much healthier. To further assert its significance, chlorophyll is included in many of the natural nutritional supplements because of its benefits to the body

When a plant leaf has problems it will turn less green or even yellow.   A Moringa leaf when brimming with vitamins is a dark green color. So healthy Moringa leaves are dark green folks. The more Chlorophyll they contain, the darker green they are. If the powder is brown, don't use it. Send it back. Light green powder does not mean it is healthier. That is a misconception out there.

Sun Drying:  There are many problems when Moringa leaves are sun dried. Chlorophyll is reduced in the process. Sun drying  destroys Vitamin A and Vitamin C levels.  Folic Acid, B1, B2 are among the nutrients lost by sun drying. That is just fact.

If it is not dried in a clean place safe from flies, gnats, bugs, and dust....you have contamination again by these elements.

Sun dried Moringa leaves will turn a lighter green....loss of chlorophyll which makes the product less nutritious....not more as some think.

Again, I will state, that lighter green colored Moringa powder is NOT better but less nutritious.

This is a fact according to David Kennedy who is an expert on the subject of drying herbs and vegetables and how drying affects the nutrient content of the food.  Sun drying causes a lighter colored powder product...a lighter green color...means less chlorophyll.....with loss of certain nutrients. This applies to many leaves you ea


Shade Drying:

Shade drying takes place over a week to 10 days.

Unless the shade drying area is in a clean, enclosed building, this process may subject the leaves to bugs, rodents, animals, dust, and disease.

Even in shade drying, there is enough sunlight to destroy some Vitamin A in the leaves.

The drying over days subjects the leaves to mold, mildew, bacteria, and salmonella.  Read about is on page 85 of his book.

Unless the shelves it is dried on are properly cleaned and disinfected, each shipment could contaminate the next batch of leaves.

Shade drying offers many problems and is not the healthiest way to dry herbs or Moringa leaves.


How Moringa and Herbs Should Be Dried:

In his book, he states drying should take place in a special solar oven, oven in a clean facility or house, or dehydrator under low temperatures ( less than 130 degrees) and over a short time of several hours not days. Excessive heat will also kill the nutrients in the powder. Page 84 in his book. I have read this elsewhere as well.

The cleanliness of the oven is extremely important for the quality of the product. How the oven is cleaned, by what method, is one important factor.

Chemicals to clean the oven can end up in the product.

Most of the India companies have told me they shade dry their product. This buildings often are open and dirty.


What's wrong with traditional processing methods in India? 

One prominent seller of Moringa products  wrote me and I quote this directly from his email," Leaves Powder – Leaves are selected and hand picked at maturity.  Then cleaning by manual (not by water) and shade drying for about 4 to 6 days."

Notice not cleaned by water. This means you manually take off the dirt seen, bugs, aphids, and other contamination with your hands. They process thousands and thousands of leaves every hour. How well can they do that?  That leaves all the contamination not seen, not able to eliminated by hand cleaning.   

Some companies wrote me they use chlorine bleach to disinfect the product, some use salt water, and some use the sacred Ganges river water with dead bodies floating in it. They feel the water is Holy and cleanses itself.  Yes, there are really dead bodies floating in the river. It is sick and polluted.


Most often in India, Moringa leaves are  picked by hand, cleaned by hand, and separated by hand.

Some of those hands are children's hands. Child labor folks.

 Hands can be dirty. Hands can be contaminated.  This is not safe food folks.

Cleaning by hand does not take mold, mildew, bacteria or samonella off  the leaves.

Hands that contain TB, Strep, Staph, and bacteria. On many of these plantations, there are not adequate restrooms, or the ability to wash their hands on  a regular basis. They do not have health permits from the health dept maintaining their health is free from TB, AIDS, or other diseases.

Workers are often poor, uneducated on health, and just trying to survive and not starve to death.  That Ganges river water polluted with bloated human bodies is the same water that may be irrigating the Moringa trees in India. You don't know!

The quality of a product depends on water quality, soil quality, weather conditons, when it is picked, how it is picked, how it is transported to the processing area, how it is processed, by what method, and how it is packaged for sale.

How does it pass customs?

Recently, I was told by an insider than almost all India herbs and Moringa leaves are gamma irradiated.  They do not disclose that I was told. They have to because of the contamination. I thought it was required to state that on the package, but it is not or it is hidden.  Many countries do require that to be stated on the package of food.

So most Indian spices, herbs, and Moringa leaves are irradiated to kill germs and bacteria. That also causes a loss of nutrients. That means the bugs are still in there but not dangerous to eat.  How is the quality of powder after that? Probably compromised nutritionally.


21st Century Leaves, by David Kennedy.
Leaf Vegetables in Nutrition and Sustainable Agriculture

This book is on many leafy vegetables including Moringa leaves. He does not sell or have any interests in Moringa leaves profit wise.  He is an expert on dark, green leafy vegetables, the growth, their nutrients, their processing, and helping others to be healthy.

You can download the book for free or buy the book below

http://leafforlife.org/twenty-first-century-greens/index.html

 "Who is Leaf For Life  and Why Are they Important?

Leaf for Life helps people improve their health by showing them ways to make better use of vegetables, especially leaf crops, in their diets. Since 1986 we have worked on nutrition projects here in the United States, and in Bolivia, Brazil, El Salvador, India, Mexico, and Nicaragua. We show children, parents, and health workers the relationship between diet and health, and offer simple and creative ways to encourage children to eat more dark green leafy vegetables. We link our work to the worldwide movement "5 a Day for Better Health." Much of our current work is focused in two locations where diet-related health problems are prevalent: near our base in Eastern Kentucky and in southern Mexico (with our sister organization Hoja para la Vida).


Our Web Site

Our web site (www.leafforlife.org) is a place to find information about leaf crops and about the people working with them. There is a leaf library, full of useful and hard-to-find information, including manuals in both English and Spanish. You'll find out which are the best leaves and how to grow or buy them, and how to prepare or preserve them. There is also plenty of information on how to make your garden a better source of the nutrition your body needs. Educators can find puzzles and games related to nutrition. We hope this web site will become an open forum that you can join by sharing useful experiences you've had working with vegetables and sending us ideas, recipes, and articles."

The above information is taken directly from their website. 

I am going to close for now.  Have a beautiful Sunday tomorrow.

Kate Freer, The Herbladyisin



Please support this blog by buying your Moringa products through my website at 









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