Raw Integrity > transparency and trust

Thank you Vanessa for opening this door calling for integrity and truth in the raw food world. We are no where as big as the Organic movement and I do not know if we ever will be. There is no need to wait for government regulatory bodies to tell us what we can do or not do.
We all have a choice ... and that is to be truthful, and in our bigger story I cannot think of anything more important. That is precisely your call here. Why do we need an enforcement outside ourselves to speak the truth. I hear about all the wonderful experiences people have around raw food and if we can all get real and put truth before money I am sure our experience will improve.
You are doing it Vanessa and no regulation is making you. Everyone has the same choice.
While I agree it is very commendable that Essential Living Foods has come out and told their customers that in the past 6 years they were selling heated cacao as raw is a big step in the right direction as well as example to others , my Company Earth Family Food has never sold cacao butter or powder as raw until 2009 when we began to offer Big Tree Farms truly RAW organic cacao powder and butter. As far as I know, it just did not exist until 2009 in powder or butter form yet every retail, wholesale and importer in the US sold raw cacao butter and powder.
For some reason for the last 8 years I have been around raw food the raw story about powder and butter was spun so often by so many that I think even the people selling it, manufacturing products and using raw powder/butter at home all began to believe the spin..... just another version of the Emperor has no clothes ...
I have heard hundreds of raw foodist extol the virtues of the amazing raw chocolate they were making *( with heated ingredients)
We can't retract the experiences... which means to me, that people had great experiences with cooked cacao ..
it has been great for hundreds of years .. and still is, it is just not RAW ...

the reports I am hearing back on Big Tree Farms ( Bali ) raw cacao powder and butter is AMAZING .. people are having a whole other level of experience... unique, unknown ..
Major thanks to BTF's team for bringing to market the first truly authentic cacao butter and powder and bringing integrity and truth to our Raw Food movement. They have quietly been working on this for years, now perfected for all of us to enjoy and appreciate the wonderful journey of Raw Cacao.
Thanks Vanessa for being willing to be in truth and promote truth .... the truth shall set us free.
... and your chocolate is wonderful, innovative and real .. thanks for choosing the truth/love and best raw ingredients rather than the road to fast profits too many choose to follow
Much thanks and appreciation to Gnosis fine example and fine chocolate

Eric Botner

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEric

Thank you so much Eric! I am so grateful for your kind words, your work, and for posting!

Completely agreed - it would be wonderful if we can continue to grow with integrity and never need a regulating agent!!!

However... as we saw with the case of ELF - even importers with the best of decisions may unknowingly make an honest mistake, as would seem to be the case with Kip, if the manufacturers abroad are not honest in telling them the processing temperature!

I spoke with a new source of "raw" cacao who stated that they just did not know the processing temperature, even though they have a partner on site. How is this possible? Because it's unregulated.

I never could have created a company called "gnosis" if I didn't believe in a consciousness that breaks all rules and regulations! But I also believe that, when dealing with soooo many people in the supply chain, we can stimulate that consciousness by holding everyone to their word.

How many raw chocolate companies - upon hearing of the ELF situation - did not announce that their chocolate is not raw?
Zero. If it were the same situation with organic goji berries that were found to have pesticide residue, there would hopefully be a recall. But there is no one holding companies to transparency...

And so, people are reading packaging sitting on shelves being misled. As a writer of product labels, I know how it feels to put my heart and soul out on my labels! And, by holding our community to honesty, everyone can come to feel the joy and freedom in truth.

I agree, the truth shall set you free - and it's a process that takes guts :) Thanks for all your hard work, Eric!!!

January 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVanessa


Many thanks for taking the time to express your feelings on the raw cacao issue. It's great that a manufacturer of raw chocolate products is voicing virtue and asking for transparency and honesty in the supply chain. As we know, the chain is only as strong as it's weakest link and when the supply chain of any commodity, produced and marketed good is compromised, the entire industry chain and claims can falter; and unfortunately, the raw food industry has experienced this with the "raw" Ecuadorian cacao powder and butter.

We learn from our mistakes. We move on with the knowledge and wisdom to act as Saint George and slay the dragon of falsehoods. If not, the dragon will creep up again and breathe it's fire once again.

Thank you again Vanessa for taking the stance you are, for publicly speaking out on the issue of integrity in ingredient claims and for being a leader, not only in the raw food industry, but industry at large. Food is food, whether cooked or raw. We all need to know what we are eating.


January 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFrederick Schilling


It sounds like you have a wonderful product and I look forward to trying it, however I seriously question if your product is truly raw.

All cocoa powder I know of is made from either roasted cocoa beans because the beans do not travel and cannot be processed into powder unless they are roasted. The roasting process raises the temperature to 365 degrees and destroys the majority of the bioflavonoids including the catechins and epicatechins in unroasted chocolate. Have you asked your supplier if the cocoa you are buying is made from roasted and/or fermented cocoa beans?

To my knowledge there is only one method of processing cacao beans that keeps the cacao butter virgin and unheated (that is where the good stuff is) and that process is owned by a huge Belgian chocolate sourcer and primary processing chocolate company that supplies cocoa powder and cocoa bricks to over 200 chocolate companies. That process is patented by them and requires some extremely expensive machinery to process the truly raw cacao beans.

Stating that a product is organic is also an interesting subject. The big food companies have successfully nullified the "organic" label and the best you can do is qualify as "USDA 100% Organic". It is my understanding that without that official label a product is allowed to have a percentage of "non-organic" content and still be labeled "100% organic". Organic is truly a slippery slope and the term is now very loose.

I am interested in your answer to these questions. Keep up the good work!

April 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterM. Ellins

M. Ellins - did you miss the part of the article that said she went to the farms and personally participated in every aspect of the process to verify that each step was raw?

August 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTC