What’s in a name?
When it comes to natural health products, it can be hard to tell— and sometimes it can take a little digging to find out exactly how natural they are.
According to a 2010 Ipsos-Reid survey, some 73% of Canadians regularly take natural health products, like vitamins, minerals, herbal products, or homeopathic medicines.
But unlike the food and drink that makes up the rest of our diet, there is little information available about where these supplements come from or how these herbs are grown.
It’s important to know that any natural health supplements we take align with our values and concerns as a consumer—as well as being safe and effective. That’s why in Canada, there are some laws governing the health supplements on the shelves.
HOW ARE NATURAL HEALTH SUPPLEMENTS REGULATED – AND WHAT’S MISSING?
Under Canada’s Natural Health Products Regulations, all makers, importers, packagers and labelers of natural health supplements must be licensed.
There are two licences needed: a site licence and a product licence.
To get a product licence, makers have to show their product is safe and effective, by providing clinical trial data or references to published studies, for example.
Health Canada then assesses the natural health supplement and if it deems it to be safe, effective and of high quality, it will issue a product licence.
Of course, there are also rules about natural health supplement labels, which must show the Natural Product Number or Homeopathic Medicine Number issued by Health Canada. The labels must also include a complete list of medicinal and non-medicinal ingredients, recommended dosage and any relevant warnings associated with the product.
In Canada, the only natural health supplements that can be legally sold are those that have been licensed and approved by Health Canada. In fact you can find all these licensed products on Health Canada’s Licensed Natural Health Products Database.
Your Wasabi Farms has a GMP processing facility to dry its wasabi but no longer has a site licence. We are producer of raw material (wasabi powder)
THAT SEEMS THOROUGH – SO WHAT’S MISSING?
Well, it might have escaped your notice, but these regulations are only concerned with the manufacturing of the supplement after the source ingredients have already been grown.
When it comes to farming, the makers of natural health supplements follow the same rules as any other grower—and their methods don’t need to be natural, despite the name.
At Wowsabi however we believe that what goes into our products is vital to what you get out of them, even when it comes to something as complex as wasabi.
DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY
At Wowsabi, we do things differently. That’s why we want to help consumers understand how we grow our real wasabi, so you can make informed decisions about your diet.
To begin with, we’ve been through Health Canada’s full licensing process and we’re the first 100% Canadian grown and produced wasabi natural health product. But much more than that, back on our family farm, we’ve spent years developing a dedicated greenhouse in which we cultivate real, sustainably grown, non-GMO wasabi.
You see, even though humans have cultivated wasabi for thousands of years it’s a notoriously difficult crop to grow commercially. At our farm in Abbotsford, BC we have
Spent the last five years developing an innovative and sustainable method to cultivate wasabi year-round in our greenhouses.
Fuelled by biomass and irrigated with collected city water, our greenhouse aims to create optimal conditions for wasabi—and preserve all its health benefits. We also use organic methods to control pests and diseases. Principles of Good Agricultural Practices are also followed to minimize risks of microbial, chemical and physical contamination during the primary production and harvesting of fresh wasabi. In this way, we can monitor and control the variables like heat, humidity, CO2 levels, shade, pH, nutrients and pests so essential to cultivating wasabi.
But it’s not just about the processes. We also believe in the dignity, worth, and fair treatment of all our employees, who are so crucial to helping us bring our real wasabi to you. We work with people who believe in building long-term relationships and we strongly believe in giving back to the community where we live and work.
Come harvest time, our family and employees work together to harvest the real, sustainably-grown wasabi from our greenhouse—but our work doesn’t end there.
In our dedicated processing facility, freshly harvested wasabi stems and leaves are dried under low temperature to produce fine powders. We then have this real wasabi powder made into easily consumable capsules, which contain no dairy, soy, gluten, preservatives, additives or fillers – just wasabi.
This specially developed processing technique is custom-designed to retain the phytochemical integrity of wasabi, or to use Layman’s terms, the biology that gives wasabi its characteristic flavour and unique health properties.
It’s just one of the ways in which we go above and beyond to put the customers first, and provide you with the highest quality greenhouse-grown wasabi products in Canada.
For us, that means sharing our growing process, our production methods— and the love with which we farm our real wasabi— so you know what’s really going on down on the farm.