Another month, another superfood topic!  This time, let’s investigate amazing Goji berries, sometimes called ‘wolfberrys’ or ‘red diamonds’…… we’re so very excited about our brand new supplier! Our good friends from Wolf & Berry Orchard….. 


 


BROTHERS FROM ANOTHER MOTHER

 

Although Paul and I have been in a fair few countries, we didn’t have a strong pull for China until our new friends Yoshi and Leeanne invited us to travel with them to the family farm – hilariously we had actually become lifelong (we hope!) friends nearly a year and half before we even received our first shipment  – 'destiny' in our minds.

The idea that a truly sustainably organic farm existed in China was too too irresistable! Climate-friendly drip irrigation from pure mountain source water? Using solar power for drying? Spraying traditional chinese herbal mixtures instead of using pesticides? Employing workers at fair wages? THAT sounds exactly like the type of organization Power Super Foods can get behind! But in fact, the whole trip was so amazing that we literally cant wait to be invited back (hint, hint)

 

These berries have long been associated with Tibetan lore eg.Goji berries dropped into a well of a monk’s temple and they lived long & happily ever after. We always giggle when people talk about their Goji coming directly from Tibet, for 2 reasons:

a) unfortunately Tibet has not been an autonomous country since 1951 when it was ‘’annexed’’ by China and

b) there is no listing for Goji production as a commercial crop in the government agricultural reports of this region today.

However, the Tibetan Plateau does stretch 1000 km from North to South, and 2500km from West to East – roughly from the ‘’old’’ Tibet to Inner Mongolia, and they have been under cultivation there now for 700 years! 

 

"Tibet Karte Topograpisch" by Lencer - own work, used:
Generic Mapping Tools and SRTM30-files for relief.
Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:
Tibet_Karte_Topograpisch.png#/media/File:Tibet_Karte_Topograpisch.png

 

Driving to this incredible, massive farm near Yinchuan (conveniently also a major wine growing region of China lol) was a multi-hour drive through an empty landscape – only wind generators for miles and miles, and brilliant blue sunshine – the first sun we’d seen after Beijing actually, as we were inconveniently travelling in both the hottest and wettest months. The wonderful family hosting us was extraordinarily generous during their busiest season with both time and lasting life experiences, and we cant thank them enough for helping us fall in love with this fascinating country and it’s very friendly people -- and phenomenal food! 

 

 

 

 

I think for us the most uplifting part had to be seeing the caves where the previously desperately poor, predominately Muslim (a relative minority in China) workers and their families used to live before this operation began. They were offered a chance at both economic prosperity and improvement of living standards - housing, schools, and wages equating in one day’s work to what they previously eked out in a whole year. Their smiling faces and chatter to us while working seemed to say it all – and they didn’t even mind us ravaging whole bushes and gorging on the fresh, plump berries ourselves!

 

 

THE HILLS ARE ALIVE

When we were in the rebranding phase, we had decided to honour the cultures from which all these superfoods came and started looking at historical photos of traditional costumes, landscape and geography. Having trekked in Nepal, and travelled throughout India for months in the north east years back, we were well familiar with the symbolic features of the Tibetan culture eg. stupas, prayer flags, thangka paintings, and sand mandalas etc. My first effort to translate all the elements I saw in my mind’s eye to our artist resulted in what can only be described as a vision of ‘’flying nuns’’ crossed with an overly masculine and somewhat claustrophobia inducing intensity at the forefront…… lol. So back to the drawing board, bringing the beautiful traditional Tibetan colours of coral, turquoise and amber front and centre, and giving scale and airy mistiness to the majestic backdrop of the Himalayan mountain range.

  

 

This amazing superfruit was the second product we introduced after Maca and now the one we probably eat the most of, gram for gram! It has one of the oldest recorded histories of use of any superfood, apparently dating back in traditional Chinese medicine texts to nearly 2000 years ago. The bright red berries are antioxidant through carotenoid (eg. beta-carotene, like carrots & zeaxanthin) content which is why when squeezed, the juice actually appears more orange! In China last winter, eating a breakfast of fresh picked or juiced berries from the fields was an extraordinary experience! The flavour is much more tangy when fresh with an almost ‘’grassy’’ aftertaste than when dried, when I think they smell/taste more cherry-like. Other fantastic nutritional components include B Vitamins, 11 amino acids, and 22 minerals including zinc, iron, copper, calcium and selenium. Along with a high polysaccharide content - those fascinating energy-charged dietary components – Goji really becomes the ultimate in snackable fruit foods. Try our brand for yourself and taste the difference good planetary karma makes………

Yours in health,

Lisa Co-Founder