Exploring the dynamic world of organic supplements — for a diet, health or performance boost, or wholesale for your business — is exciting because there are more options than ever. But increased options and competing marketing claims can also be a challenge.
Here are some quick tips that will help you navigate your way through the products, labels and ingredients to ensure the retail or wholesale organic supplements you are looking for, are the ones that end up in the cupboard at home, on the health food store shelf, or on the plate in your café.
As the largest organic food product store in Australia and trusted organic wholesaler, Terra Madre has an impressive range of products to choose from. Visit us or call to learn about our philosophy of sourcing exceptional, organic ingredients, foods and supplements.
What are organic supplements?
Though we know that we should get as many of our macronutrients (proteins, fats, and carbohydrates) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) as possible from organic whole foods we eat, supplementing is sometimes necessary for good health.
Supplements cover a range of items in Australia such as protein powders and other sports nutrition products, vitamins, minerals and other goods that may improve nutrition and performance.
Protein supplements come in both organic and non-organic varieties so always check the label for the organic logo (discussed below). Organic protein supplements may be derived from animal or plant sources and some of the popular ones include:
- Hemp protein powder
- Brown rice protein powder
- Pea protein powder
- Whey or casein protein powder
Protein powders are consumed in smoothies, shakes, salads, food products (like protein or energy balls), and not only provide the benefit of protein, but also (depending on which supplement) can deliver a whole host of other nutrients especially if they are plant based.
How are organic supplements different to conventional protein powder?
Conventional animal-sourced protein supplements (like non-organic whey or casein protein) now have solid competition with an ever-increasing array of organic plant based supplements, that appeal to consumers beyond health and nutrition and are sought for environmental, ethical and spiritual reasons as well.
‘Organic supplements’ including protein powders, are made from natural resources (in contrast to synthetic) and provide nutrients in their most natural form, free from GMO, pesticides, toxins, preservatives, antibiotics or growth hormones given to livestock.
It is possible to purchase organic animal sourced protein supplements (such as organic whey). But depending on your nutritional and performance needs, it’s now often possible to find organic plant-based options, that get the clean tick for your body and the green tick for the planet — in terms of sustainable sourcing.
What kind of ingredients you can often expect in these powders?
Popular plant-based protein supplements such as: hemp, soy, pea, brown rice, or peanut and will have a list of ingredients, a nutrition panel and sometimes an amino acid profile on the label. A minimal ingredients list is ideal.
For example for organic hemp protein, the ingredient list is often one ingredient i.e. organic hemp protein (preservative-free and non-GMO). However some organic protein powders will also contain natural flavours, natural sweeteners or natural colour like beetroot - which may or may not be desirable.
The list of amino acids will usually be broken down into Essential and Non-Essential. If possible, check the amount of the amino acid present to ensure you are getting the correct amount and combinations.
What should you not have in your protein powder?
If you are looking for healthy, clean and pure protein powder products that are without any unwanted ingredients or surprises, you need to check the label carefully. Below is a list of ingredients you may wish to avoid in a protein powder especially if you have specific allergies or intolerances:
- Casein + WPC
- Dextrins/ Maltodextrin
- Artificial Sweeteners
- Skim Milk powders/milk solids
- Soy protein
- Vegetable oils and fats
- Thickeners and gums
- Added fibres
What to look for on the packaging
Further to the ingredients and nutrition panel, organic certification by ACO Certification Ltd is indicated by the Australian Certified Organic logo (known as the “bud”). ACO is the Australian organic industry’s leading logo and a reliable way to tell that the product you are purchasing is indeed organic.
Supplements are regulated by the TGA in Australia (which is similar to the FDA in the United States). Any product that is regulated by the TGA will have an ‘AUST’ number on the label. The product packaging identifies if a product is registered (AUST-R) or listed by the TGA (AUST-L), which tells you if it has been proven safe and effective or simply safe.
Finding high quality organic wholesale supplements (protein or otherwise) that that not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk – whether it be organic certification, free from unwanted ingredients or produced with full traceability using best practice organic farming methods - is worth the extra effort (and at times cost) not only for your body for sustaining our precious environment.