Frequently Asked Questions
- Are your products organic? What does organic certification mean?
Organic systems work in harmony with nature, keeping harmful chemicals out of our land, water and air, creating a healthy environment rich in wildlife, woodlands and nutrients. Certification is the best way to ensure that a company works in tandem with the natural environment.
The vast majority of Loving Earth products are Australian Certified Organic (ACO). This means that our foods and processing facility have been tested to the highest standards to achieve ACO certification; we comply with national and international standards for organic farming and processing. We currently have two products that are not certified organic by ACO:
1) Gubinge from the Kimberley region. We are looking to get this certified by ACO as wildharvested, however the Nyul Nyul community need to get their land rights through the legal system before this can happen - a lengthy process.
2) Vanilla Bean Powder from Indonesia. The powder is ground using beans sourced from a number of organic growers on various Indonesian islands. The multiple origins of the beans therefore makes the certification process quite complex. However, you can be assured that organic farming methods and standards have been carefully maintained and adhered to throughout the growing and processing of our Vanilla Powder.
ACO certification applies to such aspects of food production as:
SOIL FERTILITY - soil is managed through crop rotations and the use of green manure crops, compost and natural mineral products to maintain natural soil fertility. Artificial fertilisers are prohibited.
PEST & DISEASE CONTROL - plant health is maintained through careful planning, suitable crop rotations and mechanical and natural methods of pest and weed control. Artificial pesticides and herbicides are prohibited.
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are strictly prohibited at every stage of production. A GMO is a plant or animal whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. GMOs are not allowed on the same production unit, even if a producer is not seeking certification of that area.
The ACO standards also do not permit irradiation and fumigation. So as long as a product has a legitimate Australian organic certification you can rest assured that it has not been irradiated or fumigated. If it has been imported already packaged with a foreign organic certification there is a chance it could have been treated on import. However, with ACO they make sure that products that bear their logo have not been irradiated or fumigated on import.
Please click on the following link to see a copy of our certificate.
- My Vanilla Beans look mouldy - are they still safe to consume?
Sometimes the vanillin in the beans (vanillin is the principle flavour component of the bean) comes to the surface of the bean and crystallises, forming a white substance. This is perfectly safe to consume and in fact is considered to be an indicator of the high vanillin content.
If the white stuff on the bean is more ‘fuzzy’ than ‘crystalline’, it is possibly mould. We take great care during the handling and packaging of the beans and store them in ideal conditions - the mould however takes hold at the source (probably in the fields or during cultivation) and it can take months before it appears.
The good news is that it isn’t harmful and does not affect the flavour of the beans. Simply wipe off the mould with a cloth and leave the beans in the sun to dry for a day or so (you can also use a drying rack or leave them near a sunny window). The sunlight will kill the mould and absorb any excess moisture. You can also dip the cloth in vodka before wiping the beans to kill the mould.
- If the Buckinis packaging were compostable - wouldn’t it decompose and not keep the product fresh?
The packaging we use for the Buckinis is compostable, however, it only starts decomposing once it is in an environment that contains heat, oxygen, moisture and microorganisms (a composting environment).
- How do I recombine the oil in my Coconut Paste?
Warm gently, by placing jar inside a larger bowl of warm-hot water. Then use a spoon to stir.
- Why does my Coconut Paste have two colours, or a white layer on top, and why does the top taste like coconut oil?
The difference between the Coconut Butter and the Coconut Oil is actually the fiber content. Coconut Butter is the pureed meat of mature coconuts. It is roughly 64% oil, but it also had the fiber from the meat in it. It is solid at room temperature, a creamy white/beige color and when warmed up is thick and creamy and smooth.
Coconut Oil on the other hand has no fiber. The oil has been separated from the meat of the coconut. It is solid at room temperature and translucent. If you see it solid it will look like it has florets or snowflakes in it. When warmed up is becomes liquid and completely clear. It can be used for higher temperature cooking such as sautéing, or frying.
- How should I store my Coconut Butter/Oil?
Coconut butter usually turns to liquid form when temperatures exceed 26 degrees. This is perfectly normal and does not affect the integrity of the butter. Coconut butter does not need to be refrigerated as long as you store it in a cool, dark, dry place.
- There is a lot of controversy surrounding agave – what is Loving Earth’s stance on the issue?
There is some bad press surrounding agave these days but that is specifically referring to agave syrup made from the pulp of the Blue Weber variety of the cactus and the processes used to make it.
We use the Wild Maguey species which is an entirely different variety, with an entirely different methodology used to produce it. We use only the nectar and not the actual plant itself. Our Agave Syrup is processed at below 40ºC using a vacuum evaporator and Certified Organic vegan enzyme as a catalyst to concentrate the natural sugars into a stable form.
Agave syrup does contain a significant amount of fructose (71.5% in the case of our syrup). We also supply other sweeteners such as Yacon Syrup and Coconut Nectar which may be suitable should you have any specific sensitivities or requirements. It is important to see for yourself how your body responds and what may or may not suit you.
Read this article for more information on alternative sweeteners - Loving Earth Blog.
- What are the therapeutic properties and dosages of maca?
Common consensus on the therapeutic properties of maca suggest that there are a number of varied benefits. Please refer to our website page for an overview of the many benefits of maca.
It is advisable to start off with smaller quantities (half-to-one teaspoon per day) to let your stomach adjust. As your body may require, you can build up to one-to-five teaspoons a day.
- What is the difference between Cacao Beans, Nibs, Butter, Liquor and Powder?
Raw cacao beans which have their skins removed and are then crushed into lots of little pieces are called ‘nibs’. Nibs which are ground into a fine paste become ‘cacao liquor’. When the liquor is pressed in a special machine, it’s separated into fat and powder. The fat from within the liquor is the ‘cacao butter’ and the remainder is milled into ‘cacao powder’.
You can read all about the process here - Loving Earth Blog.
- Which has the most antioxidants - cacao or maqui?
Loving Earth’s raw Maqui Powder is considered to be the fruit with the highest antioxidant content in the world, topping the ORAC score charts with 319,265 uMol TE per 100g.
Our raw Cacao Powder has an ORAC score of 98,000.
- What’s the difference between ‘wild crafted’ and organic?
Wild crafted plants are not cultivated or grown commercially, they are harvested in their natural habitat. The plants grow naturally and are picked for consumption, but care is taken that it’s done in a sustainable manner with the least environmental impact. You can read about the Nyul Nyul people and their wild crafted plants here.
Organic produce comes from plants and trees that are farmed or cultivated without the use of harmful chemicals or genetic modification.