By Dawn Thorpe Jarvis, M.S., R.D., L.D.N.
Garden of Life® Senior Director of Nutrition Science & Educational Content
At Garden of Life°, our journey into protein products began in 2001 with Goatein®, a goat’s milk whey protein. Today, we are proud to offer our customers top-selling brands, including RAW Protein, RAW Fit® and RAW Organic Meal in which the main source of protein in each of these is Organic Sprouted Brown Rice Protein, along with a dozen other organic sprouted proteins.
So, Why Organic Sprouted Brown Rice Protein?
In recent years, there has been a huge increased demand for clean, plant-based proteins amidst concerns about animal-sourced proteins. Unlike dairy products, Organic Sprouted Brown Rice Protein does not contain antibiotics, hormones and drugs routinely given to livestock. Additionally, this plant-based protein does not contain any lactose (milk sugar) and does not need to be pasteurized to destroy pathogens (commonly found in milk). Pasteurization utilizes high temperatures which denature proteins and kill off beneficial probiotics and enzymes.
Our Organic Sprouted Brown Rice Protein is considered RAW because it is carefully produced at low temperatures (below 115º F) to prevent heat damage to the proteins and to preserve probiotics and live enzymes. This also means that it is a highly digestible protein, as the living enzymes and probiotics naturally support healthy digestion.
Organic Sprouted Brown Rice Protein was also selected because it’s a high-quality protein containing all the essential amino acids in ideal proportions, including the highly prized branched chain amino acids (valine, leucine and iso-leucine) needed by the body to build and repair muscles and other tissues. This makes our organic brown rice protein comparable in protein quality to any animal protein. This is accomplished by using all three layers of the whole grain (the endosperm, germ and bran) as each layer has a unique profile of amino acids which complement each other to provide a complete profile. Organic Sprouted Brown Rice Protein is suitable for vegans and vegetarians, and is free of common food allergens such as dairy, soy and gluten.
However, the most important reason is that our Organic Sprouted Brown Rice Protein is dual certified, meaning that it’s both Certified USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified. (Check for the USDA Organic Seal and Non–GMO Project logo; very few products have them.) We believe dual certification is the ultimate standard for quality today, meaning no herbicides, pesticides or fungicides have been sprayed on these crops, which can never be grown from genetically engineered seeds. Rice, by nature, chelates minerals and other substances from the soil, including naturally occurring heavy metals. All of our proteins are rigorously tested to meet specifications. In 2014, we committed to reducing heavy metals in all of our rice protein products and worked diligently to test multiple sources and suppliers around the world. It’s taken us time to create enough supply for all of our products, but we’ve done it—and we’ve converted all of our organic rice protein products to this new, lower-metal, organic, non-GMO sprouted brown rice protein.
At Garden of life, we take the phrase CLEAN protein very seriously.