You may have heard us say a few times, “In a world full of pesticides, GMOs and synthetic ingredients, we believe in going the opposite direction. This direction has led us closer to nature, closer to the earth and closer to our true state.”
You may be saying, “That all sounds great but what does it actually mean in reality?” We love that question and are here to address it.
Estimated read time: 5 minutes
There are three core principals that we abide by when choosing ingredients for our products:
Closer to nature may be more beneficial for your health.
Evidence suggests that consuming natural or whole ingredients, those closer to the earth, is more beneficial to our health and wellness than their processed counterparts. While synthetic ingredients are clearly abundant in products across the globe, we feel strong enough to build a business model around natural ingredients rather than those created in a lab.
Less is more.
At True State, we are constantly seeking the fewest ingredients possible in any product to provide the intended result. This allows us to deliver the highest value per dollar in our products. We don’t believe that you should pay exorbitant prices for items intended to support your health.
Your health is more important than our profits.We evaluate ingredients and make common-sense decisions about what to use with the belief that your health should be prioritized over all else. If there is any doubt in the least about the safety or effectiveness of an ingredient, we simply choose not to use it. Just because it may be used by another company in a similar product or would reduce the cost of production, that doesn’t necessarily justify its use in our products.
The Case for Nature
While it may seem intuitive to some that getting closer to nature in our products and food is better than processed or synthetic options, it’s not always easy to know how you should evaluate whether a product meets that criteria. In our opinion, you should ask if that product is the closest you can get to the farm, field, garden, stream or wherever the core ingredients are found. Any ingredient that moves you farther away from the source should be questioned as to whether it’s absolutely necessary. If so, whether that’s for flavor, shelf-life or safety, is it the most natural option available to accomplish that goal? And although many companies have constructed completely valid arguments around the use of synthetic ingredients for the purpose of food safety or increased shelf life, we’ve come to the conclusion through extensive research that our business model should be built purely around naturally-derived products.
Fewer Ingredients for a Reason
The benefit of “whole” foods and one ingredient products is something we take very seriously. In instances where a product must include more than one ingredient, we ask ourselves, “Is that additional ingredient necessary?” and “Why is that ingredient necessary?” There are two reasons for this that go back to our core criteria, putting your health first and providing the most value for your dollar.
Consider a fresh tomato, nutrient-dense by nature. You’re unlikely to find a way to overindulge and eat so many fresh tomatoes that you do harm to your body. But when you turn that tomato into ketchup, name brands add high fructose corn syrup and salt for flavoring and vinegar as a preserving agent. Now you’ve gone from 5mg of sodium and 16 calories in a whole tomato to 160mg of sodium and 20 calories in just 1 tbsp of ketchup! The 1.1g of dietary fiber and 9mg of calcium are totally eliminated in the ketchup. The act of adding ingredients (aka processing) has taken an extremely healthy item and replaced its nutrition with sugar and salt simply so that you will purchase more of it. If certain ingredients used to improve flavor or preserve an item have a negative consequence to your health, don’t expect to see them in our products.
The addition of ingredients and processing can also result in an increase in price to you as the consumer, again something that we want to avoid whenever possible. For instance, our protein powder has one ingredient – hemp protein powder. Rather than blending it with flavorings that make it taste like a milkshake or an ice cream sundae, we spent our time identifying a source for plant-based protein without any harsh taste or smell. That allowed us to minimize our ingredient list and give you, as the consumer, the opportunity to blend it or mix it into any recipe you choose. The result: more plant-based, bio-available protein for your dollar.
Safety First (Natural Doesn’t Always Mean Safe)
It’s difficult to fully express the level of importance we put on your health and safety, especially when it comes to products that you consume. Suffice it to say that every ingredient in a True State product is thoroughly vetted before it can even be considered for inclusion. That also goes for all-natural and plant-based ingredients. Synthetic ingredients tend to get the most attention, but natural ingredients also require a level of investigation and diligence to ensure they aren’t potentially harmful depending on how they are used or consumed.
Many of us think that because something is plant-based or all-natural that is must be good for our bodies. While that’s an acceptable decision making process in many cases, it isn’t 100% perfect.
Saponin: A Case Study
Saponin is a prime example of a natural ingredient that we, at True State, deemed potentially harmful and elected not to include within our products.
Saponins can be used to enhance both the effectiveness of cleaning/disinfection processes. They are considered natural detergents and are used as additives in washing powders, and additives for liquid/powder cleaning.
Saponin is used as an emulsifying agent (sometimes called a surfactant) in tinctures by a variety of corporations in the United States. The purpose of using the ingredient is to break down oils so that they decrease in molecular size and thus, become more bio-available and water-soluble at the same time.
Not only is it touted as being a helpful ingredient, but an affordable one as well. Saponin has become a go-to ingredient for big-brands looking to reduce production costs, though we haven’t seen those costs necessarily passed along to the consumer through retail pricing.Saponins can be used to enhance both the effectiveness of cleaning/disinfection processes. They are considered natural detergents and are used as additives in washing powders, and additives for liquid/powder cleaning.
Additionally, saponins have a bitter taste and some are mildly toxic to the human body (sapotoxins). Our research into competitive companies that use saponin in their tinctures found that none have listed the original source of the ingredient. The result is a lack of transparency that leaves consumers without a clear understanding of what’s in the product they are consuming.
After assessing the available data, and not feeling fully confident in the safety of saponin for human consumption, we elected to use sunflower lecithin – non-GMO and GRAS (generally regarded as safe by the FDA) – instead. Even though sunflower lecithin is slightly more expensive than saponin and increases our cost of production, we continue to maintain a price-point on our tinctures for the end-consumer that’s lower per gram of CBD in each bottle.
More information regarding saponin:
“Saponins can be used to enhance both the effectiveness of cleaning/disinfection processes. They are considered natural detergents and are used as additives in washing powders, and additives for liquid/powder cleaning. The addition of a small amount of a saponin to an aqueous environment provides a product that is an effective water clarifier and solid surface cleanser. These compositions may be used to clean metals, metal‐plated surfaces, ceramics, wood, glass, etc. The use of natural plant products as detergents could provide cheaper, safer and more consumer‐acceptable alternatives to synthetic compounds.” Read more.
“Most saponins, which readily dissolve in water, are poisonous to fish. Therefore, in ethnobotany, they are primarily known for their use by indigenous people in obtaining aquatic food sources. Since prehistoric times, cultures throughout the world have used fish-killing plants, mostly those containing saponins, for fishing. Humans generally do not suffer severe poisoning from saponins. Our cholesterin inactivates them so that only our mucus membranes are affected. Because of this, saponins have been used in sneezing powders, emetics, and cough syrups to facilitate expectoration. Most saponins are also diuretic. In humans, this effect disappears within a week following the neutralizing action of cholesterin.” Read more.
Regardless of whether you are purchasing a True State product or going to the grocery store to pick up food for lunch, your health is important to us. Our hope is that sharing these core principals of getting closer to nature, limiting ingredients, not overpaying for quality and avoiding products with potentially harmful components can be of some benefit as you make decisions about what to purchase and consume in your daily life.