What They Don’t Tell You…

We’ve been taught not to ask too many questions in the healthcare world. Trust the professionals. They know what they’re doing, and it’s all good if we just follow the plan and do what we’re told. In many cases the professionals do have a lot of knowledge, and skill that we can benefit from! But what about the smaller choices that aren’t as obvious as surgery, or chemo therapy, or whether or not someone needs a prescription drug for an anaphylactic reaction? What about the choice to eat or not to eat a certain way, to live or not to live a certain lifestyle… and more specifically, whether or not to use a certain product?

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I used to think it was strange {even a little embarrassing} that my mom would ask sooooo many questions when consulting a healthcare professional. But now I find myself asking those same questions, digging deeper, searching for answers that no one really wants to give. The world doesn’t offer free advice when it comes to knowing the truth about healthcare. Many times they’re so busy making money… hoping that the FDA won’t raise those standards and make them admit more of the truth on their product labels.

According to Young Living Q@A (Young Living is a very well known essential oil company) on Facebook, “The FDA views essential oils in a general way, believing that all essential oils are pretty much the same. They require that Essential Oils contain 5% pure ingredients in order to earn the label: “100% Therapeutic Grade.”

Is this concerning, or shocking, or what?!

The healthcare industry (as a whole) has been guilty in more ways than one, of deceptively twisting their way through things you and I would never stand for, if we only understood what was going on behind closed doors. They’ve learned how to make something appear perfect, superior, the very best… and very often at the expense of our health.

imagesCAA4NPMS Try counting the number of “All Natural” labels on the food products in one aisle of the grocery store. Have you noticed that corn syrup and ice cream are all natural products, along with a huge variety of “junk food”? Maybe this is because the USDA has no legal definition for the world natural. And yet a lot of people think they’re getting something “superior” when they see this on a food label. 

Let me be careful to say that there are situations where this may be very unintentional on the part of a company or healthcare advisor. In many cases, websites just don’t lay out all the important facts in their product descriptions, and customers don’t know (or care) to ask! But it doesn’t change the reality that a huge majority of healthcare companies offer, even advertise as excellent, products that are not in our best interest – and even result in negative long term health affects.

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Take for instance a little chat I had with this company about their Grapseed oil. A company I’ve actually purchased quite a few ingredients from, especially earlier on when I was starting out from scratch and needed great prices for my experimentation projects…

Here is this lovely product description on Grapeseed Oil. “Produced by cold-pressing grape seeds, it contains vitamins, minerals, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and antioxidants…” and the list goes on. Sounds wonderful! Yes, but I had a few unanswered questions.

My chat with the friendly customer service rep. went something like this~

(I am not using the name of the lady I spoke with, or including the entirety of our actual chat.)

Me: … can you tell me if any chemicals are used in the extraction process of your Grapeseed Oil? I see that it says cold-pressed; could you just verify that there is not a heat process used in the extraction process of this oil?

K: The Grapeseed oil is obtained through pressing and grinding fruit or seeds with the use of heavy granite millstones or modern stainless steel presses, which are found in large commercial operations. Although pressing and grinding produces heat through friction, the temperature must not rise above 120°F (49°C) for any oil to be considered cold pressed. Cold pressed oils are produced at even lower temperatures. No chemicals should be used with the grape seed oil.

Me: So is this oil unrefined?

K: No, it is refined. It has to be refined to remove all the impurities the natural oil has. Refined can mean bleached, deodorized, or filtered. There are natural ways to do this. The difference is that our Avocado Oil (At one point I asked her about Avocado Oil as well) does not have Hexane used in the extraction process. Our Grapeseed Oil does actually use Hexane in the extraction process.

NOTE: There are chemical used in the extraction process of the Grapeseed Oil. Both the Grapeseed and Avocado oils are refined. And according to K, the term “refined” can be good – it refers to any combination of bleaching, deodorizing, and/or filtering, which she says may or may not be done naturally.

Me: How is it possible that Hexane is used in the extraction of a cold-pressed Grapeseed oil, if cold-pressing cannot exceed 120 degrees? It seems to me that there would need to be a higher temperature to remove the solvent in the end? I have found quite a few resources that confirm that Hexane is a toxic chemical that can only be removed through a very high heat process in the end.

KHexane is a solvent which is used in any process like cold process, expeller pressed. Using hexane and other chemical solvents allows a company to recover about 99% of the oil from the parent material. You may check this article for more information.

So I went on to read this article that she referred me to, which says:

“Solvent or Chemical extraction methods are by far the most popular oil rendering method of today.  Often a chemical called hexane is used in this process, which is known as a toxic substanceOther chemicals often used are heptane, octane, or pentane, all four of which are types of naptha or petroleum distillates.   This chemical method has found it’s popularity by how inexpensive and time efficient it is.  Using hexane and other chemical solvents allows a company to recover about 99% of the oil from the parent material.  In order to rid the oil of hexane, it is heated to very high temperatures, thus destroying most or all of the beneficial constituents naturally occurring with in the oilNot only are the natural beneficial properties of the individual oil destroyed but trace amounts of the chemical are allowable within the food grade oil.”

Oh my…

I am not sure why K gave me this article, that seemingly contradicts several pieces of information that she gave me, concerning how their company extracts their Grapeseed oil. What happens to the Hexane solvent after the cold pressing? Could it be that there’s a lot more than “trace amounts” of chemical left in my oil? And why did K say that all cold-pressed and expeller-pressed oils require Hexane in their extraction process? This, I know is not true. In order for something to qualify as cold-pressed it cannot exceed a pretty low temperature, as K mentioned. But the Hexane solvent cannot be removed from any oil in the end, without a very high heat process.

K also mentioned that their Vitamin E is synthetic, when I asked about it. Tocopheryl Acetate is not exactly “Pure Vitamin E Oil” as described on their website product description. But take a look at all the 5 star ratings they’ve received on this product. Do people even know that what they’re getting is not the “real stuff” that it sounds like they’re getting? And since they seem to be getting the positive effect they’re looking for when they use this product, does that make it a good product to be using? I would have to differ here.

Surprisingly, there are a LOT of incredible 5-star reviews on this web site – for all of their products! I’m one of very few who didn’t! Now, whether this is because of inadequate (or misleading) information on their site, or because their customers are making who-knows-what in the kitchen and really don’t mind an inferior quality… or really just don’t care what goes on and in… I honestly don’t know. For me (and I would like to suggest this is true for a huge majority of their customers!), it was total lack of understanding. For quite a while I was using this company’s “quality” ingredients, all the while deceived into thinking that I had the “good” stuff!

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My intention in writing this post, is not to make a company or a person look bad. But this is something we need to think about as we live life. Companies advertise their products so wonderfully, very often at the expense of their customers. Salespeople are trained (or not trained) to tell you specific things, all the while hoping that you won’t search too deep or “know your stuff” … hoping that you’ll be a happy long-term customer with great reviews for their products.

I know how frustrating it is to not know. To hope and pray that I can trust a company – that their product or ingredient is “up to standard” with what I automatically assume in my mind after I read a product description. And I also know what it feels like to read a great list of “promises” on someone’s site (pure, all natural, no chemical additives, organic, no synthetic fragrances… the list goes on) and to think that I am getting something pure and great, and chemical-free.

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To use or not to use a certain product. It is a choice that each of us gets to make. I’m not telling you how to make that choice, or what to ask, or what to do. But it’s your right to know. It’s your right to get what you think you are paying for – and what you think you are putting on your body or in your body. And yes, it will affect your long term health, and the health of others. It doesn’t really matter if it seems to have good benefits. Hey, drugs appear to work! People continue to buy them. The products in the store – soap, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, lotion, hair products, dishwashing detergent, laundry soap… you name it. These chemical products work great! At least for a while. But sooner or later you’ll only need a stronger, greater quantity of chemical to keep those same results. And inside… well, there are definitely health results taking place. You just don’t always pin-point it back to the 100 things you use today that are toxic.

People will sometimes give incomplete, even untruthful information. Companies will often cut corners and offer low quality products that they then advertise as superior. Information will likely be incomplete. Answers will not usually be freely offered up. Valuable information is frequently undisclosed. These are facts of life.

RiskNotTakingRisksCartoon

Now, the question is, do you know what you want? It’s lessons like this that get me thinking about what MY standards are for quality. What I make isn’t just for ME. It’s for my family members and friends. It’s for educated people who “know their stuff” as well as for those who are learning, or maybe even have no clue as to what makes something “good” versus “bad”. It’s MY job to know what I’m putting in my products. And it’s MY job to make sure my products are excellent – or as least as good or better as I’m going to make them appear in my web descriptions and blog posts… 🙂

Whether my customers know the difference or not.

What am I advertising? What am I passionate about? What message am I trying to communicate, and what needs am I called to meet in the people around me? With this and more in mind, what is right? What standard of quality do I need to achieve and follow through with, in order to fulfill this?

It pays to ask questions. It pays to find good quality, trustworthy sources for your products or ingredients. It pays to look things up and find answers, and compare different sources of information against each other.

Do you know what you are getting? Are you getting what you think you are paying for… what you think you are putting on or in? The truth matters. What people tell you (or don’t tell you) matters. And it’s your right to know. But most of the time, you are going to have to ask.

So how do you know what to look for? What terms matter? What should you avoid or look for on the labels or product descriptions? In a world where it’s practically impossible to get a “perfect” product, what matters most? I’ll be writing more on this soon!

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3 thoughts on “What They Don’t Tell You…

    • @Swheatie23
      Thanks for asking! I purchase from several essential oil wholesale companies that sell organic & wildcrafted {whether certified or in standard} oils. You will find a small selection of those oils available in my shop, in smaller sizes and without the minimum wholesale order requirements.

      http://www.thecountrymuffin.com/collections/frontpage

      I also highly recommend Heritage Essential Oils {their oils are not certified organic but are very high quality and I trust and respect the family who runs the company}.

      http://heritageessentialoils.com

      And Organic Infusions is a great source as well. This is a wholesale company that offers smaller sizes and has no minimum order requirement. All of their products are organic or wildcrafted {or beyond in standards}. I am very happy with what I’ve tried from this company as well!

      http://www.organicinfusionswholesale.com/essential-oils/

      Like

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