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Interview: Zach Adelman and Navitas Naturals discuss maca, cacao, Incan berries and goji berries

Monday, November 20, 2006
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: superfoods, cacao, maca

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Mike: Hi, everyone. Let me introduce Zach Adelman from Navitas Naturals Company. Navitas Naturals offers maca powder, cacao powder, golden power Incan berries and Goji berries, which are all some of the best superfoods available in the world today. Zach Adelman with Navitas Naturals is going to give you an introduction to some of these products.

Zach Adelman: Hello everyone. We've got an excellent group of products here, and we'll start with the goji berry -- which is one of the hottest products here today at the show. The goji berry is a very nutritious dried berry that grows up in Tibet and Mongolia. We like to call ours an authentic Tibetan berry. It is the mother strain, called the Lycium Eleganus, and it's very nutritious and very high in vitamin C, beta-carotene and trace minerals -- over 20 trace minerals, in fact. It also contains a full broad spectrum of amino acids, including all eight essential amino acids. It's very tasty, delicious and juicy -- it tastes quite a bit like a cherry, cranberry and raisin all mixed together.

To complement this product, we also work directly with our partner company in Peru that produces our maca and our cacao products. We offer several forms of cacao, starting with the very popular nib -- and that's where we take the cacao bean, remove the shell and grind it into a nib for ease of consumption. We also sell the very nutritious and potent raw powder, as well as the whole bean. Cacao is a very rich source of magnesium as well as being the base of all chocolate products -- and we know how everybody likes to eat chocolate. Well, this is a very nutritious form.

Mike: I have a question for you, Zach. Is this heat-processed or irradiated in any way?

Adelman: Not at all. It's an organically produced product and it's all processed at low temperatures. It's never allowed to go above 110 degrees Fahrenheit through the drying process.

Mike: How do you make sure that there isn't mold or fungus in the cacao?

Adelman: Every time we get a shipment from Peru -- our partners in Peru -- we send it off to a food lab. They test for microorganisms: Mold, E. coli, and all these kinds of things. Actually, the cacao products generally are very susceptible to microorganisms when you harvest the beans -- they're covered in this pulp, you see. The important thing is to get it from the harvesting into the drying stage as fast as possible. This keeps the fermentation level down as well as helps to keep the microorganism count very low -- and it comes in surprisingly low.

Mike: What do you do to honor the farmers who are growing this cacao? Do you have any fair trade recognition?

Adelman: We're actually going through fair trade certification right now. Our partner company in Peru is led by an agricultural engineer that was trained in England -- he's Peruvian -- and he's become instrumental in going around to these agricultural families in all the different regions of Peru and helping them convert their lands into organic farms so they can produce cacao, maca and other products for us. But, they own their own land, and we pay them a fair wage. Some companies will go in there and buy the land from people and then control the people more. We're into educating them and helping them develop the products and providing an economic source for them.

Mike: And making sure that they have ownership in the final product?

Adelman: Absolutely. We spend time down in Peru. We go inspect the facilities and the farms once a year, and we go to a lot of places where the maca, which is our flagship product, grows. Our maca powder is grown up at about 14,000 feet, but you have to go up over an 18,000-foot pass to get there. It's quite an adventure. Not many people actually do this trip, and they're beautiful people up there. They could have excellent farms and excellent conditions for growing the product on surprisingly barren land with very harsh conditions. It's one of the hardiest plants in the world.

Mike: Oh, wow. Now with all your travels down there, do you speak Quechua?

Adelman: I don't speak Quechua, and my Spanish could be a whole lot better, actually. I'm fortunate that my wife and one of my business partners are fluent in Spanish -- so that helps.

Mike: Outstanding. Now, you also have Incan berries, I see.

Adelman: I do have an Incan berry. This is a new product that we're just introducing here at the show. The Incan berry is another nutritious fruit. It's very rich in bioflavonoids, very rich in vitamin C, high in pectin, and for a fruit, it has a surprisingly high protein count. It's got an exquisite, exotic flavor to it, and it starts off tasting like a raisin and then the seeds that are contained in the berries start to explode when you're crunching on it. It gives you this very tangy, sweet-and-sour kind of flavor. It's a very unique taste.

Mike: I love these berries, by the way. I put them in cookies that I make. You know -- whole grain cookies with no sweeteners -- just the Incan berries.

Adelman: Awesome.

Mike: Well, Zach, where can people find these products and order them?

Adelman: We're starting to get more and more retailers on board. We are a very small, specialized company and we're trying to provide these products at a fair price. The hardest challenge for us is to get them into retail channels, because once you have to get into distributorship, these products become very expensive. Our goal is to find these great products, but ultimately make them affordable to people. So we're being patient in taking our time to get them into the retail channels -- and being direct as much as possible.

Mike: What about online?

Adelman: Online, you can find our e-commerce site at www.MacaWeb.com.

Mike: All right, Zach, thank you so much for sharing your story with us.

Adelman: Thank you, Mike. I appreciate it.

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About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on Amazon.com) and a globally recognized scientific researcher in clean foods. He serves as the founding editor of NaturalNews.com and the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation. Adams is also highly proficient in running liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and mass spectrometry time-of-flight analytical instrumentation.

Adams is a person of color whose ancestors include Africans and Native American Indians. He's also of Native American heritage, which he credits as inspiring his "Health Ranger" passion for protecting life and nature against the destruction caused by chemicals, heavy metals and other forms of pollution.

Adams is the founder and publisher of the open source science journal Natural Science Journal, the author of numerous peer-reviewed science papers published by the journal, and the author of the world's first book that published ICP-MS heavy metals analysis results for foods, dietary supplements, pet food, spices and fast food. The book is entitled Food Forensics and is published by BenBella Books.

In his laboratory research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products.

In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Through the non-profit CWC, Adams also launched Nutrition Rescue, a program that donates essential vitamins to people in need. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released over a dozen popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.

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