Restoring Deeper Connections
Transparency. Connectivity. Community.
Just like the food on your plate, you want to know exactly where the supplements that you recommend to your patients come from. You believe in working with companies that source ingredients with integrity to deliver the best vitamins and minerals possible, to provide the nutrition that people need to fill in the inevitable gaps in their diet.
Ideally, a supplement company should make it easy for you, by keeping a conversation about sourcing in the forefront. Whole food supplements offer a unique opportunity to obtain the answers to these sourcing questions because of the connection to real food. If a company is truly starting with whole foods, they are demonstrating this commitment. Is the food delivered directly to their back door, and who grew it? A deeper connection means providing you the opportunity to be connected directly to the farm and farmer who grew the foods in your supplement. What sustainable and organic practices do they utilize? You should know exactly what foods are included in the supplement. For example, does the multivitamin contain oranges? If so, where are those oranges grown? These are the kinds of questions you should be able to get answers to.
A deeper connection fundamentally includes more than simply knowing the sourcing of whole foods. It involves gaining an in-depth view into exactly how a supplement is crafted, with a focus on the unique process. For an interested practitioner, ideally, an on-site visit should be offered whenever possible, or a virtual tour via live cameras takes transparency to the next level.
A key element of any whole food supplement process is the method utilized to dehydrate the fresh whole foods. It’s crucial that fresh foods are not exposed to damaging heat, and therefore that the levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are retained. There are many different drying methods available, and commonly practiced methods, such as spray drying and freeze drying, can be damaging to whole foods.
Last, but not least, you should feel connected to the quality assurance process so that there are no doubts about the purity and potency of the supplements you recommend. How are the products tested, and at what stages of the process are they tested?
This may sound like a lot of work to get the information you need to help your patients. Yet it’s incumbent on a supplement company to earn your trust, and not make it too complicated to access the answers to your questions. You’ve gained the trust of the patients you work with every day. It’s vital that every supplement or botanical recommendation you make builds on that trust.
Erin Stokes, ND is the Medical Director at INNATE Response.
Erin’s personal mission is to empower people with the inspiration and tools to change their lives. She received her Naturopathic Doctor degree from Bastyr University in 2001. Shortly afterwards she began to pursue her passion for educating others by teaching Western Pathology and Psychology of Healing at Southwest Acupuncture College in Boulder, Colorado.
Erin combines her experience as a Naturopathic Doctor with an extensive background in the natural retail industry. Most recently she worked as a Lead Practitioner at Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy for 6.5 years. The focus of Erin’s Naturopathic practice in Boulder, Colorado is on healthy Moms. She believes, “When Moms are healthy, the world can be healthy.”