Chris Packer, a Young Living farm manager, with Gary Young checking the worm grow beds to see the growth rate; the finished worm castings are mixed with compost for fertilizer and foliage feed for the plants grown on the Young Living farms, the plants that produce essential oils for us. This is just one sustainable and organic practice that makes Young Living a top quality organic operation.
Why something like worm beds and other practices are important to know is because over our lifetime what we do today greatly determines our health in the future, which can save money in health care costs. First, we need to know the nuts and bolts, what has changed, what’s being done, and what we can do about it. Here are some examples that can help us make better choices in selecting which company(s) produce foods and products that we can feel good about buying. Let’s start with something Dr. Mercola writes to bring things into perspective:
Dr. Mercola writes;
“[one example] is Stonyfield Farm yogurt, which abandoned its organic farm in New Hampshire long ago and now gets its milk in powdered form. Yes, you read that correctly:
Powdered milk exported from 9,000 miles away in New Zealand.
You can bet your bottom dollar making powder out of milk is one of the worst things you can to do to it after pasteurization. Nearly all of the biologic value of the milk is removed.
Once that happens, “organic” Stonyfield Farm yogurt sitting on your grocery store shelf is not much more of a health food than a can of soda. It is so far removed from the real deal, it is a pathetic tragedy.
Consumers pay huge amounts for what should be a health food, but are getting ripped off in a major way. The best yogurt is obtained from grass-fed cows that are NOT fed any grains (unlike the feedlot cows used by Horizon and Aurora). This will optimize the fatty acid balance and improve its CLA content. Then, avoid adding sugar to flavor it like Stonyfield does.
You will want to consume the milk in its raw form and certainly not put in a powder. Raw grass-fed milk [butter, cheeses and meats, like we find at US Wellness Meats] is the true health food that will move your body to vibrant health, not the factory-farmed “organic” crap that Stonyfield is selling.
Additionally, the major corporations like Wal-Mart, Dean Foods, General Mills, Unilever, Mars, Kraft and Kellogg have jumped in to reap some of the fat margins that are present in organic foods. You can bet they will keep the prices high and lower the quality and take the extra profit for their bottom line. In the meantime, you are getting ripped off again.
The organic label has become virtually meaningless as a sign of quality. Your only solution is to seek out LOCAL suppliers of healthy food where you can actually get to know the people who are growing your food.”
An Account of Knowing; Your Farmer and Their Practices, in the words of Gary Young
June 24, 2011
When the distributors came to the Young Living farm for the Master Leaders Retreat [the YL farm in Ecuador], they had the fabulous opportunity to learn what it takes to produce a No. 1 pure essential oil. As they began picking the ylang ylang flowers, they were taught how to see the difference and to select only the extra fine flowers for Young Living’s superior quality oil.
Distributors learned why Young Living’s standard cannot be matched as they helped separate the extra fine flowers from the lesser quality flowers that would normally be distilled and sold as No. 2 quality oil to perfume houses and oil brokers for the commercial and aromatherapy markets. No. 2 flowers are flowers that have over-matured and have started to oxidize, causing them to have a sour smell. Other growers and brokers cut the distilled No. 2 essential oil with synthetic molecules to make the oil smell sweet for the market.
Even though the distributors understood and smelled the difference in the quality of the flowers, the oxidizing smell was still appealing to many. From this experience the distributors began to see that my mission is more than just producing any essential oil. Obviously, only a company growing its own plants, producing its own oils, and working closely with contract growers can truthfully claim the quality of its essential oils.
June 25, 2011
“Ylang Ylang is not only a wonderful fragrance oil but an extremely therapeutic oil as well. Ylang Ylang contains aldehyde ketones, which are very fragrant; phenol and phenol ethers, which are receptor site cleansers; and 33 to 38% sesquiterpenes, which modulate the pituitary and increase oxygen uptake. However, there are other compounds such as indole that mature when the flower is ready to pick. Indole is very interesting in the fact that it works as the plant’s signaling device. Instead of prostaglandins, plants have jasmonate, and instead of steroid hormones, they have brassinsteroids. Indole and brassinalide resemble seratonin and estradiol and signal the estrodiol receptors; this signaling is one of the reasons Ylang Ylang is considered an aphrodisiac. Because of the calming effect of esters and aldehydes and the seratonin signaling effect, Ylang Ylang is extremely good for high blood pressure and preventing tachycardia. Try putting 2 to 4 drops of Ylang Ylang with your Scarlessence [essential oil].”
These compounds would not be present in the distilled essential oil if tremendous care wasn’t taken during every step of the process Gary speaks of here. Yet, there are many essential oil companies that do not take the great care that Young Living Essential Oils has taken and they can obtain the ‘certified organic’ label; this is because in the organic regulations one does NOT have to smell the flowers, look at the flowers, pick them in a certain way at the right time of day, handle them in a certain manner, nor distill them using a specific temperature and length of time to ensure that all of the natural components remain in tact. The current organic regulations are not concerned with those very important facts and practices!
June 26, 2011
“There is more to producing a quality essential oil than just putting the oil in a bottle. I’m amazed at how these used car salesmen claim their oils are the best when they buy them from a broker who does not even know how to grow, cultivate, properly harvest, know the distilling procedures, or have the equipment or knowledge to analyze the oil to ensure that it [essential oil] contains the right compounds at the right percentages.”
Many do not realize that when a 100% pure superior organic essential oil is missing compounds that they are in fact missing most of the healthy benefits of that essential oil too. The educated consumer will not be swayed by labeling that reads; 100% Pure, Organic, All-natural, and will never be fooled by a “Certified Organic Label”, more on Seed to Seal.
Today, the informed consumer knows that they must have a relationship with the growers and farmers of the foods and products they buy as this is the only way we know what we’re getting. The informed consumer also knows the right questions to ask and what kinds of answers they should be getting in order to determine if the food or product they’re buying is in fact ‘beyond organic.’
‘Beyond organic’ today represents practicing growing and farming methods that make the certified organic standards and regulations look like nothing more than kids play. Beyond organic represents many things; growing truly organic in the old ways, sustainability practices, low impact, letting animals grow in their natural environments eating native forage and maintaining the pastures for their grazing (like what is done at US Wellness Meats), and using harvesting and processing practices that keep nutrients and compounds in tact (like Young Living does).
There is absolutely no way that a 15ml bottle of Lavender essential oil can be sold in a store for $10. That is unless they have not practiced any of the beyond organic practices and/or unless they have diluted the essential oil with cheap carrier oils or other ingredients, and sometimes companies don’t even use any real essential oil instead a chemical that smells (to the untrained nose) like Lavender is used. To sell a 15ml bottle of Lavender oil for $10 the company would be losing money (unless the product is adulterated) and would be out of business in short order.
Marc Schreuder: Young Living Goes Beyond Organic Standards!
“The Young Living therapeutic-grade standard goes beyond organic in purity, scope, and potency. Young Living applauds the ever-growing demand for goods prepared using organic, sustainable, and “green” growing practices. We have long championed cutting-edge natural, organic and low-impact farming and manufacturing methods (i.e. returning distilled compost and bio-activity to our fields). These methods are essential in our efforts to produce pure essential oils free from contaminants often introduced by chemical pesticides, fertilizers, etc. On the other hand, we have found that ‘certified organic’ does not guarantee that a plant and the oil it produces will be totally free from problems nor that it will meet our standards. It’s the sad state of the world that even the best organic farms can be contaminated by toxins, like heavy metals, already in the soil and those still being introduced by polluted air and water.”
“In our experience, what ensures 100 percent purity is our own comprehensive, rigorous, and expert analysis of the finished oil. We would prefer to skip these costly measures and trust a governmental agency to guarantee purity, but it wouldn’t be prudent to leave something so important in less experienced hands.”
“Furthermore, for Young Living’s therapeutic-grade standard freedom from toxins, heavy metals, and chemicals is just the beginning. Equally important is an oil’s optimal therapeutic profile of beneficial phytochemicals, antioxidants, and other constituents. Our focus on activity and results is what guarantees our customers the bio-activity, potency, and living energy whereon we have built our unrivaled reputation. Sometimes we utilize herbs that are “certified organic,” but as often as not we must include herbs that do not and cannot fit in the current scope of this standard. Sometimes the best herbs are cultivated in climates and countries where organic certification is still decades away, such as frankincense. Sometimes the best herbs aren’t farmed but achieve their optimal potency growing in the wild for example Palo Santo. The Young Living therapeutic-grade standard embraces all of these opportunities which is why we remain convinced that we go beyond all existing world standards—including organic.”
3 Examples of Sustainability and Ecological Responsibility
- Lip Balm: Young Living lip balms are infused with refreshing essential oils and made from natural beeswax instead of the petroleum-based wax found in other leading lip balm products.
- Thieves Household Cleaner: As innovations in natural plant and mineral-based household solutions are made, Young Living reassess ingredients to ensure that we’re using the most current natural products for optimal efficacy and environmental sustainability. A few years ago the opportunity arose to revamp Thieves® Household Cleaner (using & testimonials) into a more sustainable, ecologically friendly, and effective product today. All of the ingredients that make up this new formulation are ecologically friendly, come from sustainable sources, have biodegradable properties, and none of them are petroleum-based. Not only that, every one of these ingredients received a ‘green’ rating from the Environmental Working Group website—www.ewg.org—meaning that they are “good for me, good for the planet, and good for the community.”
- Recyclable: All packaging of Young Living products remains recyclable!
Environmentally Sustainable Examples at the Young Living Farms
- Gary Young, “The frankincense harvest must be sustainable. More than three cuts may prevent the Frankincense tree from producing seed as some trees are cut up to 10 times by the local harvesters during the harvest season [this practice jeopardizes future harvesting of frankincense].”
- Gary Young, “At Young Living, we strive to provide the best products with the least environmental impact. As innovations in natural plant and mineral-based household solutions are made, we reassess ingredients to ensure that we’re using the most current natural products for optimal efficacy and environmental sustainability.”
- Sustainable Growing Practices: Sustainable growing practices are of utmost importance to Gary Young, he resolves that nature be left in better shape than when a harvest began. For instance, that is why he insists on replanting the harvested area with optimal spacing between trees [Fir trees after the harvest] to protect against forest fires and ground erosion.
- Lavender Signature Series: Another example of sustainability, this line features a collection of all-natural personal care products infused with Young Living’s therapeutic-grade Lavender essential oil. This eco-friendly line ensures that every ingredient used comes from sustainable sources.
Further Clarification of “Beyond Organic Standards”
The most important thing you can do is be informed about what you’re purchasing. The organic certification was introduced as a guideline to prevent the food industry from making unsubstantiated claims; it was never intended as an endorsement. Here are a few things to remember the next time you shop for food or products:
- “Organic” is a certification that you’re paying for. But by going to your local farmers’ market you could be getting produce that is likely grown in accordance with USDA-FDA regulations or even grown in ‘beyond’ organic standards. In this case the consumer isn’t paying the extra money that the farmer had to pay to obtain the costly ‘certified organic’ label or cover the cost of transportation.
- “Organic” and “healthy” are not interchangeable terms.
- Many small farmers cannot afford the organic certification, but that doesn’t mean their produce isn’t grown in accordance with USDA regulations. Young Living oils like wintergreen, frankincense, and balsam fir are sourced by small operations that do meet USDA organic requirements, but simply can’t afford to get the certification.
- There are no FDA regulations on terms like “all-natural,” so do your research and know what you’re getting.
Organic practices are wonderful, but just because something is labeled “organic” doesn’t mean you’re getting a healthier product. Instead of just grabbing something because the label says “organic” or “all-natural,” be educated as to what is best for you. Know where your food is coming from, and if you can’t get it at a local farmers’ market, turn to a company you can trust.
Young Living goes to great lengths to ensure their essential oils are sourced from only the purest farms that employ sustainable growing practices and are free of environmental pollutants—you can trust in that.
Companies have become very skilled at delivering misleading information, which is why the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has regulations that prevent products from claiming to be organic unless they meet certain criteria. However, despite the best intentions of the USDA and the FDA, many consumers remain uninformed as to what is actually in their foods. After all, who wouldn’t be surprised to learn that products labeled “organic” are not necessarily healthier than conventional foods, and that not even 100 percent organic food is safe from marketing manipulation? Or, that just because an ingredient isn’t natural or organic doesn’t make it bad for you?
My Opinion on ‘Certified Organic’ Labeling
“I’ve been buying ‘organic’ produce, meats, poultry, and products for nearly 35 years now. I was extremely disappointed when in the 1990s the USDA and FDA took over the regulation of standards determining what was required to gain approval, the certified label. Since this take-over I have seen nothing but a lowering of the standards. Today, I find the standards for certification far lower than my expectations of who and what can be certified; I do not consider powdered milk of any kind or cattle raised in feedlots to be certified organic worthy. As such, I no longer look for a ‘certified organic’ label; but rather form a relationship with those who I buy from. To be perfectly honest, I am more likely to trust a smaller company or farm who spends time with me explaining how they go beyond organic standards — the certified organic labeling in my mind these days is absolutely worthless due to the lax standards and abuse of terms that once actually meant something.” ~ Evelyn Vincent
Tips on How to Read Organic Labels (Note: this article states “Organic livestock must have access to the outdoors and cannot be given antibiotics or growth hormones” – according to organic regulations – cattle can and do meet the requirement of being raised outdoors in feedlots, so I recommend only buying meats that are grass-raised and live outdoors; the only way you will know they are beyond organic is to contact the farmer if they do not advertise this important fact. I trust and know that US Wellness Meats meets my strict standards for what I believe is sustainable and organic. I also trust and know that Young Living meets and exceeds organic requirements too.
Young Living Essential Oils Distributor #476766
"There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly." ~ R. Buckminster Fuller