An Eight-Step Process to Produce the World’s Most
Nutritious, Honest & Sustainable Greens
We want you take pride in the greens you use. As you know, end users are often savvy and want to know more about the process and standards involved. We don’t want to see you caught off guard by questions such as:
“Do 100% organic farmers grow your greens?” “Do your farmers also grow animal feed for the meat industry?” “Have your farmers ever grown crops using poisons to kill weeds and bugs?” “Do your farmers only grow 100% organic and GMO free?” “Have your farmers participated in the wanton waste, contamination and destruction of precious natural water resources?” Do your farmers depend on natural rainfall or do they irrigate with ground water?” “Do your farmers practice dual farming where they grow both organic and poison-based crops?”
For most green ingredients truthful answers to these kinds of questions can lead to loss of sales and a negative image for the brand. That’s why we want to make sure you know about Pines, the original green super food company. We want you to know that we are the only grower that believes in earth-friendly values. Your customers deserve to know the truth about the farmers who grow the greens for your products.
Pines support for organic goes back more than 40 years to our founding. We have never used toxic chemical poisons on any of our fields. Further, we still farm some of the same fields used by Charles Schnabel. Popular wheatgrass authors called Schnabel “the father of wheatgrass.” His research dates back nearly 100 years.
Schnabel’s work North of Lawrence, Kansas, led to a body of research on greens that later started the current craze for green super foods. Charles Schnabel grew and dried the cereal grass for the research at the location Pines uses today. We still use one of his laboratories. In fact, soon after we started Pines more than 40 years ago, we served on a committee that wrote the organic standards for Kansas. Those standards, written in 1982, served as one of the models for the final standards in the National Organic Program of 1990.
Step One: The Only 100% Certified Organic Grower of Green Ingredients
More than 100 people, who shared a belief in organic farming, started Pines in 1976. They wanted Pines to be a means to create more organic farms in Kansas. They also wanted Pines to support environmental causes. As a result, we oppose “dual farming” where a farmer grows both organic crops and crops grown with toxic poisons from Monsanto and other poison companies.
In fact, Pines is the only grower of greens in Kansas that is 100% organic. We are the only grower who does not practice dual farming. That means, unlike the other grower in Kansas, we have never and will never use poisons on any of the fields we tend. Further, we built our new state-of-the-art dryers in 2010 and 2011 for human food. Everything we grow and dry is 100% Certified Organic.
Unlike the other grower of whole food green powders in Kansas, we have never used and will never use our facilities to support the industrialized meat industry. We built our dryers for organic human food, not pesticide-based animal feed. Although we have vegan stockholders and employees, we are the only vegan-friendly grower in Kansas and Colorado for more important reasons. We simply do not believe in the cruelty of the confined-animal meat industry and never have.
That means you can honestly tell your customers that 100% organic farmers grew your greens. You can also say that they came from facilities never used to feed confined animals. You can confidently say we do not practice dual farming. Pines doesn’t use deceptive smoke and mirrors. We are what we say we are! When you use Pines’ green ingredients, you can put both “Certified Organic” and “vegan” on the label, and no one can challenge it!
Step Two: The Only Grower with All Products 100% Non-GMO Project Verified
Pines is also the only grower of greens with all products Non-GMO Project Verified, including our alfalfa. Cereal grasses can easily obtain verification because, so far, GMO cereal grass does not exist. Alfalfa, however, is an “at-risk” crop.
Growers of alfalfa for the meat industry favor GMO Alfalfa. It allows them to spray poison to kill weeds without killing the alfalfa. GMO alfalfa, now in the biosphere, has made it an “at risk” crop. Non-GMO alfalfa now requires extensive genetic testing to ensure pollen from GMO alfalfa did not contaminate it.
Pines organic alfalfa was the first to pass all Non-GMO Project tests and was the first alfalfa verified as non-GMO by them. It is still the only whole food alfalfa leaf powder for humans that is Non-GMO Project Verified.
That makes Pines the only supplier of green ingredients with all products both Certified Organic and Non-GMO Project verified. We can submit all paperwork so you and your customers can put both logos on labels. We also test each 1,000 kg. batch of cereal grass, alfalfa and kale for gluten so we can help you develop FDA gluten free products. In addition to “Certified Organic,” “Non-GMO Verified” and “vegan,” you will be able to put “Gluten Free” on the label. That’s because we have extensive laboratory data on each batch and documentation from all certifying agencies, including Kosher.
Step Three: The Only Sustainable Grower that Does Not Destroy the Ogallala Aquifer
As a company founded on respect for the planet, our team strongly opposes the waste, depletion and contamination of the Ogallala Aquifer. That “fossil water” took tens of thousands of years to accumulate. Now, farmers using poisons to grow crops, has contaminated it. The other Kansas grower of greens is among those who have abused this limited resource. For more than 70 years they have pumped irrigation water from the Ogallala to grow pesticide-based alfalfa. Most of the water evaporated and wasn’t even used by the plants. They pumped millions of gallons, wasting precious water from a very-limited fresh water source.
In recent years, this same family now grows “organic” greens for the natural foods marketplace using the same contaminated and nearly depleted fossil water. That family along with other farmers in that dry region of Kansas have nearly depleted that finite water resource. Such unenlightened farming has also contaminated it with poisons used to grow animal feed and GMO corn for ethanol.
Pines is proud to be the ONLY grower of whole food wheatgrass, barley grass, oat grass, rye grass, kale and alfalfa powders in Kansas that grows all its crops without irrigation. That’s because we grow those crops in appropriate regions that receive plenty of rainfall.
One cannot imagine a less sustainable farming method than growing thirsty crops in an inappropriate area like the semi-arid regions of Kansas. Wasting, depleting and contaminating the irreplaceable water of the Ogallala Aquifer represents farming practices that are the exact opposite of the sustainable farming values that Pines has supported for more than 40 years.
Step Four: The Only Grower Using Modern Machines to Harvest Green Ingredients
Early on, we used the old style harvesting machines as a part of our process. They were first developed by an animal feed processor in 1948. In 2010, we switched over to the modern harvester design by Heston Corporation. Heston bought the original design from the animal feed processor and modified it to make it appropriate for food grade products.
Our modern machines have a storage tank that can be cleaned & sterilized. It represents a much more sanitary version than the original design from 1948. Unlike the animal feed design, Heston’s new harvest machine prevents the problem of products contaminated with dust and grease. That is a major problem for animal feed producers using the old style machines to harvest greens for humans. Heavily-greased chains make direct contact with the food when unloading those old animal feed harvesting machines.
We now have four of these modern machines. Using them results in one of the reasons for an extremely clean product free of dirt and petrochemical toxins. All our fields are within a short distance of our dehydrators. That means the process all occurs at the same location. We dry our cereal grasses and alfalfa, make them into pellets, put them into super sacks and then into nearby freezers very quickly after harvest.
Step Five: The Only Grower with Modern Facilities Built for Organic Human Food
Before building our new, modern facilities in 2010, we relied on another greens grower for some of our cereal grass and alfalfa. Many companies still use this grower. Although most of the products we received met our quality standards, we felt we needed to have complete control. We wanted to provide the most nutrient-dense greens on the market.
So we invested $4 million in 2010 and 2011 for our own new state-of-the-art, computer-controlled drying facilities. Shown above and to the right is one of them. These modern dryers use the triple pass drum drying concept developed by Charles Schnabel in the 1930s but with great improvements. By using modern equipment and controls, we use much lower temperatures than any other producer. That results in a much better product than even Schnabel’s dryers.
The quality is particularly better than the animal feed dryers in other parts of Kansas and Colorado used by our competition. They built those dehydrators many decades ago for pesticide-based alfalfa for the confined-animal, meat industry, not for organic human food.
Step Six: Our Pellet Mill is a Food Grade Stainless Steel Built for Human Food
We have used pelleting as an important part of our process for more than 40 years. It reduces the greens’ exposure to oxygen and light. That helps protect their nutritional value. The tightly compressed pellets prevent oxidation that would occur if the milled leaf remained as a powder for a long period. Pellets also concentrate nutrition and improve storage and handling. We bag the pellets in 1000 kg super sacks, and store them in freezers for maximum freshness.
Step Seven: Our Modern Lab was Used for the Original Research in the 1930s
Although we have long since replaced Dr. Schnabel’s lab equipment, we still use his lab as a part of our process. We also work with independent labs to provide additional analysis. Pines tests each 1,000 kg. lot at the time of harvest and again before we ship the ingredients to you.
We can provide any kind of lab data you require. We pride ourselves on our low plate counts. Our greens have never had the high mold and plate counts that characterize some cereal grass and alfalfa ingredients. In more than 40 years, we have never found a pathogen in any of our products, but we continue to screen every 1,000 kg. batch just to make sure.
A Pines’ lab technician works in Schnabel’s lab in top picture. The bottom picture shows the plaque outside the door to the lab.
Step Eight: Our State-of-the-Art Milling Process is Unequaled in the Green Ingredient Market
We mill our pelleted greens to a particle size that prevents the rapid oxidation that occurs when greens are milled too fine. Although we are willing to mill to a super fine particle size and have the equipment to do it, we see no purpose in milling greens too fine. Our standard process provides excellent mixing, suspension and assimilation.
When growers mill greens too fine, they more quickly lose color and food value. This picture shows samples of some green foods with the greens milled too fine. Such over milling causes color and nutrition loss.The surface area of finely milled greens can be 500% or greater than conventional milling. That larger surface area increases the speed of oxidation and color loss by an equal factor.
Yet, we will be glad to mill to your specs. After the milling process, we will also package to your specs. That packing includes 1,000 kg super sacks, 66.7 kg drums, 25 kg lined boxes or 20 kg lined bags. Our state-of-the-art milling is adjacent to one of our dryers and operates at low temperatures. That preserves the quality of the final product. It also results in a texture, and bright green color that is often missing with products from dual farmers, from dryers built for animal feed and/or from too fine of milling.