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vera farms organic formula is different in three major ways from other organic formulas.
1. the ingredients themselves
we use an “ingredient first” model, instead of a “profit first” model. vera farms began with research and consulting with leading pediatricians and dietitians to determine the ideal macronutrients and micronutrients to fully support a toddlers growth and development. we found the best ingredients to meet these recommendations and made no compromises when putting them in our formula.
2. the quality of the ingredients
vera farms works direct with family owned california dairies that produce the highest quality truly grass-fed milk from which the milk powder and lactose are made from. our organic oils are never bleached or deodorized and no soy or palm oil is used. we include 25 essential vitamins and minerals.
other leading formulas use grain-fed milk from factory farms, bleached and deodorized soy or palm oil and less vitamins and minerals.
3. the form of the ingredients
we put our organic oils into a amber glass bottle to help protect them from oxidation. other companies blend their oils into the powder our vitamins are non-GMO and in highly bioavailable forms. we choose to include vitamin B-12, an essential vitamin for toddlers, in the form of methylcobalamin instead of cyanocobalamin form.
other leading formulas omit B-12 altogether.
refrigeration is not required for either the powder or the oil blend. The oil will turn temporarily solid if refrigerated so it is recommend to keep both in a cupboard out of directly sunlight.
EFA stands for essential fatty acids. EFAs are healthful fats that humans must consume in their diet and act in a number o important biological processes.
if the temperature is below 76 degrees the organic EFA (essential fatty acid) blend may become solid. to make the oil liquid gently warm the bottle either by placing it in a warm room or warm water. it will turn to a liquid in just a few minutes.
the production lot (allows tracing of the specific line, facility and date) of production and “best by” date (expiration date) are printed on the bottom of each carton. All of our products are third party tested.
there is no sound argument to be made for the addition of added sugar being healthful for growing toddlers. we understand sugar may be a part of the diet but we do not see a reason to add it to our formula. vera farms strongly believes that the foundations of healthy lifelong eating start at a young age and starting toddlers with products that decrease their sensitivity to sugar and increase the likely hood of want for sugar are not things we will support.
the USDA (united states department of agriculture) organic symbol does ensure there are no hormones, antibiotics or GMO’s used but it does not ensure pastured-based or grass-fed.
Unless the dairies are in parts of california or new zealand they are not able to be year-round grass-fed because of weather conditions prohibiting cows being on pasture for a number of months during the year and many are not on pasture even during the summer
vera farms sources organic milk from family dairies in california
other leading formulas use milk from factory farms in the mid-west
our dietitian is here to help
Why organic does not equal grass-fed?
in 2016 the USDA actually withdrew the program that would inspect and certify products grass-fed and the claim of grass (forage) fed is no longer used by the AMS (agricultural marketing service) .
what is truly grass-fed milk?
truly grass-fed milk means that the cows spend almost every single day of the year on pasture. Cows are like any other farm animal, if there is harsh weather they take shelter inside. this means that cows living in extreme climates can’t by definition be year round grass-fed. there is no grass to eat if there is snow or ice on the fields.
our farms are in northern california where nearly everyday the weather is suitable for the cows to graze on grass.
if the cows are inside for milking they receive grassed harvested from the same fields that they graze on.
what is bleaching?
in bleaching oil is treated with bleaching clays that adsorb the color pigments.
what is deodorization?
in deodorization oil put through steam distillation under high temperature and vacuum to evaporate all odor substances.
why is it important?
subjecting oils to high temperatures, pressures or solvents can create unstable oil molecules leading to rancid oils and free radicals .
what is bioavailability?
bioavailability refers to the extent and rate at which the vitamin or mineral is absorbed and has an effect. this is determined by the form of the vitamin or mineral as well as what else it is ingested with.
for example, vitamin A can be in the form of retinol or carotenoids, which vary greatly in terms of their action. vitamin A is also a fat soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K) and so it requires fat to be absorbed by the body.
why we don’t blend our oils into our powder formula?
blending oils into the powder exposes the oils to more oxygen because of the higher surface area as they are spread out throughout the powder. these factors can lead to oxidation and rancidity (spoilage) of the oils.
the oils we use are purposely not refined to the point that they could be blended into the powder.
remember, the more refined the ingredients are the more shelf stable they are. we choose to use less refined organic oils and protect them in amber glass from oxygen and light.
Lobo V, Patil A, Phatak A, Chandra N. Free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods: Impact on human health. Pharmacogn Rev. 2010;4:118–126. doi: 10.4103/0973-7847.70902. [PMC free article][PubMed] [Cross Ref]