The Importance of “Country of Origin” In Superfoods

April 03, 2017

The Importance of “Country of Origin” In Superfoods

From the beginning of our research into superfood powders, we started looking at country of origin and how it factored into not just the organic wheatgrass powder we carry, but also spirulina, chlorella and many of the other superfood supplements we planned to release in the coming months. 

We found a few interesting pieces of information which really helped us to make informed decisions during the process of selecting the best quality superfoods from farms that were doing it right.

Now some would think that getting all superfoods from the United States would be the wisest and safest move but some interesting facts come up that lead to this not being true in all cases. More on that later…

American Wheatgrass

Finding Great Wheatgrass in The Great U.S. of A.

Our wheatgrass is grown here in the U.S. and it is some of the best we have found, being from a farm that is both certified organic and boasting a badge from the Non-GMO Project of which I am a long time personal fan.

I’ve personally participated in the March Against Monsanto and have a firm belief that the fact that GMO labelling has not passed the legislature is a violation of our rights as consumers to know what we’re putting into our bodies and our families’ bodies. 

The good news is that you really can find great quality wheatgrass growing in the U.S., exposed to the open air and tons of sunlight.

The one thing you do want to watch out for in a wheatgrass is "crops" grown indoors, particularly in trays, without access to full sun. Artificial and reduced lighting deprives you of one of the best power players within wheatgrass – chlorophyll. It is that “liquid sunshine” that can help to detoxify, speed up healing, improve gut health and digestion and bind to carcinogens to help fight cancer.

Country of Origin

A Discussion on Countries & A Case for Foreign Algae

It is interesting to note that there could be found no available organic sources of spirulina or chlorella stateside.

Countries to avoid or, at the least, to be wary of, include China and Japan.


This is of specific importance with algae such as spirulina and chlorella, as they act as sponges, absorbing any toxins, bacteria or heavy metals they might be exposed to.

In an article written by Natural News, who did meticulous heavy metals testing of 17 sources of chlorella from 4 different countries, it was found that China’s chlorella was by far the most contaminated of all the samples.

Further, China’s “organic” chlorella in this test proved far more contaminated than even the non-organic from any of the other countries.

This is because USDA organic certification (1) does not require the testing of heavy metals and (2) does not require the testing of the final result but rather the certification of a growing process.

This put us entirely off of approaching China for any sourcing of our supplements, even as one supplier informed us that they have “all the top pages on Amazon as sellers” which demonstrated to me that this inferior powder is distributed widely within the market.

We vowed never to compromise quality or to in any way increase profit at the expense of our customers or our values.


As for Japan, which has tended toward good, high-quality standards in commerce in many regards, the issue is one of history and circumstance.

In 2011, a meltdown occurred in a nuclear power plant in Fukushima and thus, radiation contamination is a risk in the country, specifically for algae such as spirulina and chlorella.


Taiwan however, is both far enough away from the Fukushima and has been found to be the cleanest source of chlorella and spirulina. It is a far superior source. Something some might credit in part to the isolation from pollution or runoff.

Organic spirulina and chlorella actually can be found in Taiwan and has been found to be the cleanest source on the planet.

United States 

When interviewing companies here, we were told by several that certified organic did not exist. Truth be told, it didn’t exist in the U.S. but did, in fact, exist abroad – a fact presumably withheld from us by eager sales representatives.

The closest we came was to find a company that in all other regards seemed to fit the bill. However, the company, which was out in sunny California, used Chilean Nitrate in its process. Chilean Nitrate has been banned by organic standards and can increase risks for cancer.

This was a deal-breaker and was the reason we turned at once back to Taiwan for our algae superfoods.

Benefits in Distant Lands

One final note on countries is this. Not all superfoods are even grown here in the United States, a few examples being baobab – wonderful for energy, immunity and healthy, glowing skin – which is found primarily in Africa, Madagascar and Australia, and maca root, found in the high plateaus of the Andes in Peru, which is great for sexual function (meow!) and increased endurance.

Another is the acai berry, found native to Central and South America and extremely rich in antioxidants.

These and other superfoods will not be grown locally and we wouldn’t want them to be. We make it our job to know the best countries and conditions in which our superfoods are grown, harvested and processes to remain clean, pure and nutrient-dense.


It is our mission to help to bring you and your family the best things on Earth for your optimal health and happiness.

To us, that means finding the best sources and best quality from all over the planet, never compromising.

The first questions we ask are about country of origin and processes. After that, we do our own testing to verify that what we are being told is true.

We believe it is important to know where your food and superfood comes from. I imagine you do too.

Chelsea Cohen
Founder, Nurtured by Nature

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