Nowadays, a lot of companies claim that their products are premium quality and have only natural ingredients. But do you know that there is no legal definition of natural as it relates to consumer goods? According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), products with genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) or highly processed high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and even products that use pesticides in their production processes may be labeled as natural, so even product labeling isn’t always enough. Shocking, right?
It’s kinda scary to blindly trust that the supplements and foods you purchase and consume truly are what they say they are, and do what they claim they do.
So, how can you trust the products you buy and the companies that sell them?
You can trust a company that is dedicated and committed to sourcing the very best ingredients for their products and is a respected advocate and pioneer in the natural products industry.
NOW® Foods Immersion Event
I was very excited to attend the NOW®Foods Immersion event in Chicago, IL a couple of weeks ago. I got invited along with some other FitFluential Ambassadors to tour NOW®’s plant, meet their management and see the behind the scenes of what their production process looks like (from their ingredients to their assembly lines, to testing labs and storage facilities). During my visit, I got to see not only how and where their products are produced but also ask questions, try their products and of course get to know the people behind the company better. It was a great experience and I am very thankful for this opportunity. Of course, I am also very excited to share with YOU, my readers, my honest opinion and everything I learned. The event was eye-opening for me and made me realize that sometimes reading labels alone is not enough.
If you aren’t familiar with NOW®, they are a natural food products company with an amazing catalog of over 1,400 high-quality natural and affordable products including supplements, food and health & beauty products (think skin care, lotions and essential oils, etc) and pet supplements. I knew that this event will be an amazing experience and I was eager to learn more.
NOW® Foods are very generous and are offering one of my readers to try some of their products. They are the same products that I received and you can see a picture below. I am sure you will love them! Don’t forget to ENTER THE GIVEAWAY to win the NOW® products valued at over $350.
During our four course dinner at Glen Prairie which was delicious by the way (bang bang shrimp, wedge salad, almond crusted salmon and gluten-free brownie) the CEO, Jim Emme, introduced us to the family owned company and their culture. I loved hearing about their company mission and values. How they strive to make their employees happy, and their customers satisfied, without trying to follow every new trend is in the current food, supplement, and marketing world.
During our dinner Jim asked us to answer one question at the end of the immersion event: “Do you trust NOW®?“
Their mission is so inspiring – to offer health food and nutritional supplements of the highest quality at prices that are fair and affordable to all their customers. They truly want to empower people to lead healthier lives and even though they have grown considerably over the past four decades and are now one of the top-selling brands in health food stores, they have maintained an honest and trustworthy family owned business, while still providing the highest quality natural products at the best possible price.
The next day, we started with a RIPPED workout in the resort recreation building. It was a fun experience and I am glad I survived the class. : ) Afterwards, we were provided with a Mango Chili Cashew Butter smoothie made with one of NOW® Foods protein powders. It was delicious and exactly what I needed after the workout to fuel my body with energy for the rest of the morning.
Next up on the agenda was a DIY NOW® Solutions Demo which was led by Tina Tews. Tina talked about the science behind NOW®’s formulas and essential oils. What stood out to me was that NOW® uses the same organic ingredients to create their essential oils as the more expensive essential oils companies but the prices of NOW®’s products are a fraction of what larger companies charge. When NOW®’s founder was once asked why are NOW® products priced so low, and he answered: “The question isn’t why are NOW® products priced so low, but rather, why are our competitors’ products priced so high?” He had a good point, didn’t he?
After enjoying a breakfast buffet at Eaglewood’s Resort restaurant, we headed to the NOW® Foods plant for our tour of the facility. Of course, we had to take a picture with our orange/red lab coats, hair nets, and goggles. We don’t get to wear this flattering attire every day. 🙂
It was truly amazing to see everything that goes into making supplement products and I think it gave us all a whole new appreciation for the company. I could see with my own eyes, the very thing they told us… that the quality, safety and efficacy of the products are their top priorities.
After the plant tour we headed to the NOW® Foods corporate office where we had an amazing healthy lunch catered by Whole Foods while we listened to Chris Petropoulos talk about sports nutrition and the research behind diet and performance in athletes. Yes, NOW® Foods offers an impressive sports nutrition line!
After that, we met with the NOW® Foods Chef Suzy Singh at the Culinary Innovation Center who impressed us all. She was season 2 Finalist on Fox’s “MasterChef”. She told us more about the Ellyndale line of food products, their new products they just launched and a little bit about what they’ve been cooking up in the kitchen. We also had a Q Cups Sampling Bar and we created our own salad cups by adding some toppings to the Q Cups. If you love quinoa, you should try the Q Cups. It’s simply quinoa in a cup that is ready to eat in 5 minutes after adding boiling water. Think lunch on the go – so convenient and quick. They have different flavors Q cups – Savory Garlic & Mushroom, Southwestern BBQ, and Organic Quinoa.
We also did some oil tasting which was pretty fun. Some of my favorite flavors were the macadamia nut oil and the butter infused coconut oil. I could see myself eating that coconut oil by the spoonful, it was so good, and not too heavy at all. We were also the first ones to try their new products Ellyndale® Nutty Infusions™ Roasted Cashew Butter and Ginger Wasabi Cashew Flavor. They were delicious and can’t wait to make some salad dressings with them or use as a glaze for fish.
I also enjoyed a cup of Hibiscus tea. Chef Suzy even showed me how she does the tea taste testing when she creates the tea products. Ah, it was so relaxing and calming. I can see why she called the tea taste testing a ritual. 🙂
How Is NOW® Different?
- NOW’s Quality Control and Quality Assurance programs are really what sets them apart and make them a trusted natural products manufacturer. NOW® goes above and beyond what is required by the regulations in the supplements industry to ensure it brings pure and effective natural products to market. During our tour of the plant, we saw the rigorous work that goes into the production process – they perform several rounds of analysis – tests of the raw ingredients that go into their products, as well as analysis during the production and after production. Also, because of the precision and quality control that goes into the production of their products, they have a very low recall rate – I believe it was less than 0.1%. We got to see the labs where their highly educated staff perform tests and run analyses. They test for heavy metals & other substances and make sure all products are safe from adulteration, contamination, and ingredient substitution. During the process, they reject a lot of ingredients that don’t meet their quality standards.
- Now® Foods has a strict Non-GMO Assurance Process that includes stringent quality standards, documentation, and testing. They are committed to selecting the very best natural ingredients for their products.
- The NOW® factory includes a 40 million dollar laboratory, where they not only test and quality control their products, but a team of scientist is constantly doing research and working on creating new products, as well as looking for improvements of their current product line.
Muscle Massage Oil Recipe
Got Nutrition Questions?
If you have questions about nutrition or any product questions, you can reach out to their nutritionist or connect with them online. Visit www.NOWFoods.com for more information on NOW®, to find products at local retailers, and to sign up for a free monthly e-newsletter offering wellness tips, recipes and chances to win NOW® products.Connect with NOW® on:
— FitFluential (@FitFluential) May 11, 2017
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by NOW Foods but all opinions are my own.