Posts tagged Made in the USA

Company/Product Review: Dastony – 100% Organic, Raw, Stone Ground Nut and Seed Butters

Dastony – 100% Organic, Raw & Stone Ground Nut and Seed Butters in business since 2011

Here is what Anna, Windy City Organics Sales and Brand Outreach, emailed me about the company:
About 3 years ago we launched Dastony….
4 years ago we developed a healthy, pure, raw version of Nutella and coined it Rawtella….we used stone grinders to get this ultra silky consistency. The owner fell in love with the stone grinding process and decided to launch a bunch of nut butters as well using super high quality ingredients. We started with just almond, cashew, coconut and sesame and have just kept adding more and more. We now have 11 flavors all together including the 4 sprouted varieties.

Here is some information from their website:

About Dastony

The inspiration for Dastony came from a desire to share what we feel is the healthiest and by the far the smoothest nut and seed butters. We are a family owned company with uncompromising standards of purity, taste, and integrity. Our values are in place due to our deep understanding of the benefits that can be achieved through quality ingredients, and when it comes to taste, well, we work tirelessly in this respect. Our integrity is unwavering and our loyal customers and fans would testify to this. To read more go to: http://dastony.com/about-dastony.html

Why Stone Ground?
We’ve all witnessed the browning of an apple. When the fruit is cut or bruised browning occurs because living cells are damaged and begin to oxidize. Now imagine the process used during the production of a typical nut butter – mastication with heavy duty metal blades. This process literally shreds, tears and cuts repeatedly until the desired texture is achieved. Any living enzymes, viable nutrients, and ‘life’ would certainly dwindle.

RAW and LIVING are principles we at Dastony are truly passionate about. Like with anything living, the energy and vital compounds found in nuts and seeds are very delicate. Our method of stone grinding is the best way to preserve and cherish this life force. Large, flawless granite wheels slowly turn ‘grinding’ the food until it is silky smooth. Temperatures well below 118 degrees are continuously maintained – another gauge for the preservation of raw and living.

From their Facebook Page:
Curious what the stone grinding process looks like? Check out the premier of our behind the scenes video to see those grinders in action! http://youtu.be/yQP8276I1Lc

My Review:

I have found some great products to review, simply from doing a search on Amazon. Before I decide if I even will consider the product, I read the reviews on Amazon and then search on the company site to see that it complies with my own personal high standards for myself, as well as for the public who are reading my posts and also watching my videos. Instead of buying the product, I contacted the company to see if they are willing to send me product(s) for an unbiased review. I want to thank Anna for her willingness to send me a few of the great nut and seed butters that Dastony sells.

I was so anxious to try out the butters and could not wait till the package arrived at my door. It was well worth the wait and then some. I do not think that I will ever want to eat any other nut or seed butters ever again! Once you taste the best artisan-made products (regardless of the cost), it is very difficult to eat another brand. It is the same as if you are a farmer or work at a farmers market (I do work for an organic produce farmer who has the highest quality, tastiest and unique greens and other produce – if you are interested in knowing more about him and if you live in San Diego, you can buy his produce at various markets or through his CSA – go to http://www.sagemountainfarm.com) and eat the freshest food, it is not the same to “buy” your produce, even at a health food store. Dastony uses an “old world” method for processing and offer unique products to their customers. It is worth every penny you will spend to buy them! I was also happy to find out from Anna that the facility handles only their raw tree nuts and seeds and does not process soy or dairy. Also the nuts and seeds are truly raw, as they source out the best products, especially now that raw almonds that are grown in USA are pasteurized.

I received two of their 8 oz butters: Sprouted Pumpkin Seed and Sprouted Sunflower Seed Butter (plastic containers are never used, all of the products come in glass jars). They also offer Sprouted Almond and Sprouted Sesame Seed Butter (Tahini). The difference with sprouted nuts and seeds, it that the germination allows it to be digested more easily in your body and it is considered “living food.” In order to do this, the seeds/nuts are first soaked, at least overnight and they allowed to germinate or even begin to sprout, where you see a “shoot” coming out of one end of the seed/nut. Afterwards, the seeds/nuts are dehydrated at low temperature below 118 degrees to remain raw and enzyme-rich.

The process that Dastony uses to make the butters is explained above and called “stone-ground” and was used in ancient times to make olive oil. It creates the smoothest, creamiest nut and seed butters I have ever tasted. The flavor is like nothing I have ever had before and I am sure if I did a side-by-side taste test with other companies who make nut and seed butters, they would not “hold a candle” to these products! Of course, not many are using this “old world” process as they do not want to take the time or make the effort to offer the best product to the public. They simply want the “machine” to crank out more products, so they can make more money and then, as the expression goes, “you get what you pay for.” This holds true, for sure with Dastony! The prices they charge for what you get is really “cheap” relative to the quality. I ask, please, Dastony, do not mark up the price because I think it is too low, because you still want it to be relatively affordable to the consumers and I do not want to get negative comments from people who say it is my fault that the price went up.

The other products I received (not sprouted) are a 1 oz sample jar of: Almond Butter, Cashew Butter and Coconut Butter. The cashew and coconut butters are also certified kosher by Earth Kosher. They do not sell this size to the public, but are offered in 8 and 16 oz sizes. Besides the varieties I sampled, they also offer:
Brazil Nut, Hempseed, Sesame Seed (Tahini) and Hazelnut Butters. Each butter has its own unique flavor profile, and the 3 mentioned here, to me, have a sweeter flavor and I really enjoy using them to spread on a cracker, add to a soup, smoothie, to make a nut/seed milk, sauce, dressing, dessert, etc. They are such versatile products. The possibilities are endless and is as infinite as the mind can think of! I also like to dip my yummy tri-color carrots or celery into the nut/seed butters. Sone like to split a date in half and spread some butters in there. Please note that double-dipping is not recommended and here is why: Our mouths are the dirtiest places around and if the mix of germs and bacteria present in our mouth get into a jar it can cause mold and rot. This holds true with any food in your fridge!

I know that in the future, I will be purchasing my nut and seed butters from Dastony and enjoying the love and care that goes into each of their products.

Disclaimer: I was not sponsored to write this, but I did receive a sample of the product(s). These are strictly my opinions. I only review products that I, myself would use and purchase.

I am also including some photos from the product packaging that tells you more about the product and the benefits mentioned.

Check out my video review, as well where I taste these great products: http://www.youtube.com/TheRawsomeVeganGal

To find out more about this company, their products and where to purchase, go to: http://www.dastony.com

Dastony Nut and Seed Butters -100% Raw, Organic and Stone Ground

Dastony Nut and Seed Butters -100% Raw, Organic and Stone Ground

Dastony Seed and Nuts Butters - 100% Raw, Organic & Stoneground

Dastony Seed and Nuts Butters – 100% Raw, Organic & Stoneground

More detailed information on the jar of Pumpkin Seed Butter about the process of stone-grinding

More detailed information on the jar of Pumpkin Seed Butter about the process of stone-grinding

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Company Review: S.W. Basics of Brooklyn – Truly All-Natural Sustainable Skincare, Part 2

S.W. Basics of Brooklyn – Truly All-Natural Sustainable Skincare, Part 2 in business since 2009 under the name “Sprout Wellness” and the current brand name since November 2012

For part 1 of my review of this company and products click on this link:
https://rawsomegal.wordpress.com/2013/05/21/company-review-s-w-basics-of-brooklyn-all-natural-sustainable-skincare/

I was thrilled to hear from MacKenzie, the media gal, a couple of months ago via this blog to do another product review and also offer you an exclusive sale that expires on Wednesday night 11/20/2013, so make sure to read this post to the bottom of the page.

This company has taken a strong stance in what ingredients they use in their products and refuse to ever use any synthetic chemicals, toxic fragrances or cheap fillers. If you eat the best organic foods, you ought to most definitely do the same for your skin! The skin absorbs whatever you put on it immediately with no barrier directly/express into the bloodstream. Then if the body recognizes it as an “invader” or foreign substance, that is when the immune system kicks in, in an accelerated fashion and the “army” of antibodies has to come in to destroy what it does not like.

There is no logical explanation to keep taxing the immune system and is better to keep it calm and balanced/equilibrium. The immune system ought to be reserved for when it is absolutely necessary, why add “fuel to the fire!” It is like when you see a sign that says, “Danger! Do not enter! Minefield!” Are you going to be a “hotshot” and think that I know how to get around them and will be ok? Why put yourself in harm’s way for no reason, when you have already been warned of the likelihood to be injured? Now, you ought to understand what I mean!

Make it your New Year’s Resolution to change what you put on your skin and do the research to find the best and cleanest products. Since I have had the opportunity to reviews products and companies with high integrity and purity, you can feel confident that I am not out to sell you “a bill of goods.” I would not ever even consider reviewing a product before I research it and make sure it meets my incessant hardcore standards. This company. S.W. Basics of Brooklyn is without a doubt, one of those companies!

Here are the products I review for this post.

Eco Cotton Rounds

What an awesome idea for a product! There are enough cotton balls and rounds being sold, even though there are certified organic ones, too, they still get disposed of in the trash (they are no compostable or biodegradable ones that I am aware of). This company found a mother-daughter team that made these organic, unbleached reusable cotton rounds. They are nice and thick and very absorbent. I use it to apply toner and can also be for applying cleanser, makeup remover, etc. After use, put them in the washing machine in the little laundry bag that comes with the product. Now you will save time and money (because you do not have to drive to the store and keep buying new cotton balls/rounds) and also do something wonderful for the environment (less being disposed into the landfill). They also feel very soft against the skin (maybe next, the company will think about some other new product(s) using that same organic cotton, like a hand towel or wash cloth because it is such great quality and the best natural material).

Cream

Before I try any product on my skin, I always like to smell it. First, I read the contents, of course and with this company, there is no doubt about the purity of the ingredients (I would say that if S.W. Basic of Brooklyn, sent me a new product that had no label on it to try out before it goes to market I would not need to ask what is in it because I see their track record with all their products, so far – that is a bold statement to make and I will stand by it and take the dare/challenge, if the company want me to prove that they are truly natural by doing a “blind” product testing, I’m game! I will also record a video while doing it and try to figure out what are the ingredients – don’t forget everything is not more then 5 ingredients, so chances are I may figure some/all of them out).

This cream smelled very yummy, like coconut butter. It has only 3 ingredients: shea butter, coconut oil and olive oil. Since it does not use any water it can penetrate deep into the skin and stays there without evaporating. The shea butter is wild harvested from a Fair Trade women’s cooperative in Ghana.

When I applied it to my face, it was very thick, rich and concentrated, so I did not need to use much. These ingredients are very pure and do not clog your pores, like other commercially prepared products that “claim” they are natural and put it on their label (What a joke! Usually they have a list of ingredients a mile long and you can not pronounce them and maybe there is a drop of something that is quasi-natural because it actually is chemically derived).

Body Oil scented with lemongrass essential oil

I mentioned above that I like to smell products (one of my 5 senses, I like to use) and I also am very visual (using my sense of sight). I say this about the body oil because when I looked at the bottle it has such a beautiful vibrant and lively color. It is a deep rich yellow with a slight greenish undertone. Before I even opened the bottle, I felt nourished simply by the sight of it. Then when I took a whiff of it, the aroma was invigorating. It is also aromatherapeutic (free added bonus!) when you inhale the natural essential oils through your nasal passages.

I know they have a few different versions of the body oil that are scented and they must have known telepathically (ok, maybe I am “pushing the envelope” here, so play along and humor me!) that the scent of lemongrass takes me to an other world. A world that is filled with clean oxygen-rich air, sunshine, happiness, peace, serenity, rolling hills/mountains with fresh natural spring water free-flowing, fragrant flowers and herbs growing wild, tall grasses that I can run through and an abundance of organic wild berries that I can pick and eat to my hearts delight (I hope you enjoyed this visual escape/experience/journey I took you on simply from smelling this product).

Now, lets get back to the product. This body oil is great when you come out of the shower and best to put on your skin when it is still wet to lock in the moisture. It is made with sesame oil, grapeseed oil and avocado oil (also scented versions with either clove, peppermint or lemongrass). I loved how light it is going on, absorbed into my skin and made it feel soft and smooth.

Thanks to Adina, Adam and MacKenzie for the opportunity to do another review and I hope to do more in near future!

Please check out their website http://www.swbasicsofbk.com for more information about all the skincare products and their fantastic story. You can also Scroll down this page and on right-hand side you will find the link there, under the column titled Blogroll.

The company is offering an exclusive sale on their website to my blog viewers so don’t delay, especially if you have some holiday gifts in mind. Anything you buy from this company is a good investment for the health of you skin and your body (as the skin is the largest organ and whatever we put on the surface gets absorbed into the body immediately!). The code below is for 15% off products and will be good for ONLY 3 days, until Wednesday, November 20th 2013 at 11:59pm EST on the button.

Code: RAWSOME15

I also did a video review on my YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/TheRawsomeVeganGal
Subscribe to my youtube channel if you have a Gmail, Google+, Picasa, YouTube, Orkut or Google Chrome account and then you can also leave a comment and like my videos.

Disclaimer: I was not sponsored to write this, but I did receive a sample of the product(s). These are strictly my opinions. I only review products that I, myself would use and purchase.

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Company Review: Nourish – Organic Food for Healthy Skin – Organic Body Butter

Company Review: Nourish – Organic Food for Healthy Skin – Organic Body Butter in business since 2003

I have known about this company from the Expo West in Anaheim, CA and they recently reformulated their products and are now the first USDA 100 percent certified organic bath and body collection on the market. I recently tried their Almond Vanilla Organic Body Butter. When I opened the container (packaging is made from recycled content) it smelled “yummy,” as I LOVE vanilla. It almost smelled good enough to eat, since the ingredients are so pure, but please don’t do that! (Disclaimer: neither I, nor the company or any of their associates will be liable or have any responsibility for any adverse affects that may occur if you decide to do so). I use the body butter right after I get out of the shower and my skin is still wet, as it absorbs better on damp skin. My skin felt soft and silky afterwards and I loved the scents from the essential oils (I could actually open up the container and smell it all day for the aromatherapeutic benefits).

I am one who does my research before trying out/using any products. I don’t just grab the first thing I see on the store shelf, or opt for what is on sale (either because I don’t want to spend more money or figure that it doesn’t matter) because you will get what you pay for. Most importantly, not all products that say “natural” on their product, actually are. Don’t take this lightly! Contact the company if you are not sure and want more information. You have the right to know what goes into the products you are using.

Another important thing to remember, is that the skin is the largest organ of the body. What you put on it, is absorbed right into the bloodstream. If you are so careful about what you put in your mouth (i.e. food), is what goes on your skin any less important? Seek out only the best, even if it costs a little more (better to spend less on other things that don’t affect your health and you can do without such as more shoes, more clothes, electronics, etc).

There is so much “garbage,” when it comes to products being sold and the companies have famous spokespeople promoting them, so you think it has to be ok to use. Well, think again! Don’t rely on some “pretty face” who is only trying to make more money for themselves and the company. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients or there are things listed in a general sense like “natural fragrance” or “natural color” or the list of ingredients in a mile long (this isn’t always correct because some companies, like Nourish, list the common name in parenthesis, as well as, the botanical name) likely the product is best kept on the store shelf where you saw it and NOT in your shopping cart.

I am happy to see/say that there are more companies out on the market (some sold in stores and some only online) that have gotten it right and realize the importance of “feeding” your skin the proper nutrients that will benefit you and also not have a negative impact on the planet.

This information is taken from http://www.nourishorganic.com regarding the organic body butter:

Ultra-hydrating for even the driest skin
Minimizes signs of aging with antioxidant-rich ingredients
Clinically proven to hydrate and nourish skin
Melts onto skin with a pure, delightful scent

The ultimate moisturizer, this light and creamy blend of whipped shea butter, concentrated coconut and olive oils and antioxidant-rich Vitamin E smoothes on easily, absorbs quickly and leaves even the driest skin soft and supple.

All the skin care products in the Nourish line:
No parabens. No phthalates. No sulfates, petrochemicals, synthetic dyes or silicones. No propylene glycol, mineral oils, synthetic dyes, triclosan, EDTA or aluminum. And absolutely no artificial fragrances or preservatives. Period.

For more information on all the products this company sells you can go to their website http://www.nourishorganic.com

Disclaimer: I was not sponsored to write this, but I did receive a sample of the product(s). These are strictly my opinions. I only review products that I, myself would use and purchase.

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Company Review – Fresh Wave: Natural Odor Eliminator

Fresh Wave – Natural Odor Eliminator in business since 1990

There are a lot of companies claiming to eliminate odors, but merely ‘mask’ them. They also may be using harsh toxic chemicals and perfumes in their products. Those of you who are using the ‘Tree’ that you hang in your car, I do not recommend you ever use it. It is made with chemicals and unlike a spray, the toxic scent is continually coming out and you are constantly breathing it in, especially if you keep you windows shut, then no air is circulating and it envelops you continually. It may not show up as a problem in your body initially, but long-term it is likely to affect your health. Also the plug-in air fresheners (like the brand Glade) continually release the chemicals in the air so you are always breathing it in. The goal is to use a product that will not have any negative affects on you (if you have chemical sensitivities, asthma or other lung issues, are pregnant, a young child or a senior then you are likely to have adverse reactions to ‘conventional’ products). Be wary and proactive in your choices because it isn’t only affecting you, but also the environment.

If you are a hard-core label reader, like I am, then make sure you read the ingredients and heed my advise.
1- if you can’t pronounce an ingredient, Don’t Buy It!
2- if you don’t know what the ingredient is, Don’t Buy it!
3- if there are too many ingredients, it is likely to not be ‘natural,’ Don’t Buy It! (there are some exceptions, for example the company, 100% Pure, that I reviewed in a previous blog post, has numerous ingredients in their pruducts that are all botanicals and you have heard of the ingredients such as aloe vera juice, jojoba oil, shea butter, etc)

When I was interested in reviewing some products from this company, Fresh Wave, I first wanted to know what ingredients are in it. I read through there website online and the contents are all natural – water and natural extracts of lime, pine needle, aniseed, clove and cedarwood. There is NOTHING from that list that is even remotely toxic to the body. You may not like the scent of things like pine needle, but it will not cause you harm. I know for me, I had to get used of the smell initially and now I like it. To me it smells very fresh and natural while absorbing/eliminating the odors such as in automobiles, bathrooms, diaper pails, musty basements, pets, etc.

The two products I tested are the spray and the crystal gel. The Fresh Wave Spray comes in 2oz travel size, for the home in 8oz and also a 32oz refill container. This spray will rapidly target and eliminate the odors and is non-aerosol (environmentally friendly). You can spray it in the air and also use in your running shoes, on car seats, upholstery, etc. Sometimes I have my door open and I smell an odor from the neighbors apartment coming in to my place, so I grab the spray and with a few mists the odor is completely gone.

The Fresh Wave Crystal Gel also comes in various sizes and a large refill container. It works differently then the spray as it continuously neutralizes the odor. The smell is more suttle then the spray that quickly releases it into the air. You remove the lid, discard the inner seal and replace the cover. It will work around the clock as the airflow activates the unscented odor control gel for the entire room. The Crystal Gel is great for pet areas, boats, attics, etc and lasts 30-90 days depending on ambient (surrounding) air flow. Then you can refill/replace the container when it gets low. I am using this product in my bathroom so it is continually working for me, even when I am not in there and always smells fresh and clean.

There are other products in the Fresh Wave line, including Carpet Shake, Vacuum Pearls, Pearl Packs, Soy Candles, Pet Shampoo, Fresh Wash, etc. They are all made in the USA and safe for humans, pets and the environment. You can read more about all the odor eliminating products on their website and purchase it online or find out what stores in your area carry their products. I have included a link on the right-hand side of the page by scrolling down to the column titled Blogroll.

Disclaimer: I was not sponsored to write this, but I did receive a sample of the product(s). These are strictly my opinions. I only review products that I, myself would use and purchase.

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