FAQ

Here are some questions we answer everyday from individuals and families across Canada. If you have a question that is not listed, please contact us and we will reply promptly.

Why is guar gum being used in Earth’s Choice Coconut milk products?

To improve texture, consistency and usability, a minuscule amount of organic guar gum is added to Earth's Choice coconut milk and coconut cream at less than 0.35%.

Is guar gum healthy to consume?

Yes, guar gum is healthy to consume.  Our guar gum is organic certified and is free of any additives or high processing techniques, keeping it a clean alternative to highly commercialized emulsifiers and thickening ingredients.

What is guar gum?

Guar gum is derived from the guar plant which is grown in parts of India and it is part of the bean family. The guar seeds are dehusked, milled and then screened to obtain the natural guar gum.

Why do you Fair Trade certify your coffee?

earth's choice™ stands for fairer conditions and better prices for our partners in developing countries who grow our products like coffee as well as cacao, banana, tea, fruits, etc. Fair Trade certification means more than guaranteed prices to protect producers when market prices fall.  It means a world of trade justice and global sustainable development, shifting farmers and workers from vulnerability to security and self sufficiency. Please visit Fairtrade Canada for more information.

Why should we eat sustainable seafood?

One of the greatest threats facing our oceans today is overfishing. Making a choice for sustainable seafood is a vote to support healthier oceans. Voting with our wallets sends a strong messages about what we as consumers value and what changes are needed for responsible management of marine resources.  Check out the earth's choice™ line of Ocean Wise certified, affordable and delicious seafood.

Who is Ocean Wise?

Ocean Wise is a Vancouver Aquarium conservation program created to educate and empower consumers about the issues around sustainable seafood.  Vist their website at www.oceanwise.ca.

How is seafood determined sustainable?

Sustainable seafood are species which are caught or farmed in a manner that ensures long-term health and stability of that species and the greater marine ecosystem.  Ocean Wise recommendations are based on 4 criteria:

  1. Abundant and resilient to fishing pressures
  2. Well managed fish stock with comprenhensive plan based on research
  3. Limited bycatch on non-target and non-marketable species
  4. Limit damage to marine habitat

Visit www.oceanwise.ca for more information.

Q: What are the organic certification standards of your coconut milk?

A: Our coconut milk (the groves where the coconuts are grown and the production facilities) meet organic standards set by the USDA National Organic Program and Australian Organic.

Q: Why is there guar gum in the earth's choice™ coconut milk and where is it sourced?

A: Guar gum is a plant from the pea family. By grinding its seeds to a fine powder, we use it to prevent the coconut milk from separating, which keeps the product smooth and creamy. Our organic guar gum comes from US and it is certified USDA Organic.

Q: How are earth's choice™ products packed?

A: Many of our products are packed in glass. Why? Glass can be recycled over and over again, via your own residential curb-side pickup programs, or through drop-off recycling facilities. Others are packed in tin. Our can lining meets the strictest worldwide standards set by the European Union (EU) regulations for BPA-containing liners at less than 0.05 ppm.

Q: Is the can lining used for your canned products BPA-free?

A: Food safety is of utmost importance to us at earth's choice™. We have certifcations from suppliers and can manufacturers that can linings are BPA-free and no BPA is intentionally added.

Q: Are there GMO risks in your ingredients and products?

A: There are no GMOs in food products or in the ingredients used for earth's choice™ products. We believe in and the support the highest food safety levels which is why we adhere to certified organic standards. No high-risk GMO or monitored crops used in our range of organic and natural products. Further, ingredients are safely derived from sources with no GMO risks.

Q: Do I pour out the oil on the top of the earth's choice™ peanut butter and does the peanut butter have to be refrigerated?

A: Don’t pour away those oils! Stir them back into peanut butter with a butter knife or spoon. They are naturally occurring peanut oils and keep the peanut butter from drying out so it stays smooth and creamy.  Our old-fashioned nut butters do not contain emulsifiers or hydrogenated oils. Just simple goodness. Your peanut butter is best refrigerated and it's easy to spread as well.

Q: Are your rice cakes manufactured in a facility with an Allergen Control Program in place, and are your products send for third party lab testing?

A: Yes. Our BC-based facility has documented HACCP-based Allergen Control Program in place and periodically sends finished products to be tested by SGS Canada for gluten analysis. The facilities are free of major allergens risk except for sesame.

Q: If I have an allergy to peanuts, is it safe for me to consume your sesame rice cakes?

A: Allergy to sesame is becoming more and more common. According to some studies, sesame allergies appear to be related to peanut and tree nut allergies. It is not recommended to consume sesame products if you have a known peanut allergy. Always consult your doctor.

Q: What is best way to store olive oil?

A: Unlike wine, olive oil does not get better with age! To maintain the optimal freshness and taste: keep bottles tightly sealed, away from light (hence our tinted bottle), and store in a dark, cool space such as a cupboard away from the stovetop. Following these ideal storage techniques will prevent oxidation that can cause a slightly pungent or rancid taste.

Q: How does your organic decaf coffee maintain its organic integrity?

A: Decaffeinated coffees are normally separated using an alcohol and chemical process, however our fair trade & organic decaf coffees employ the Swiss Water® Processed which allows the product to maintain its organic integrity.

Q: What is the Swiss Water decaffeination process?

A: The Swiss Water® Process soaks green (unroasted) beans in hot water to release the caffeine and coffee solids in each bean. The water is then passed through a carbon filter that traps and removes the caffeine, allowing the coffee solids to pass through and be collected for roasting. Unlike many other decaffeination processes, the Swiss Water Process does not use any chemicals, allowing our decaffeinated coffee to maintain its organic integrity.

Q: For earth's choice™ coffee, where do the beans come from for your blend varieties?

A: Coffee beans for our blends come from Central and South America. As each season and harvest changes year to year, taste profiles for each variety is reliant on the skills and expertise of our cuppers to select the best regional coffee beans to consistently achieve the desired flavour profiles.

Q: Can you describe the flavour characteristics between the earth's choice™ single origin coffees?

A: Colombian beans have a perfect balance of acidity and body culminating in a rich but smooth cup with hints of caramel and nuts in the finish while our Mexican has wonderful bright notes with a leaning towards higher acidity. This leaves a smooth cup, which partners well with chocolate and other rich deserts. It offers citrus notes and a light winey finish. Last but not least, Peruvian offers a heavier body with less acidity. It has a nice thick mouth feel, which makes for a wonderful compliment to many menu items.

Q: What does the Omnidegradable registered mark mean for the earth's choice™ coffee bag?

A: Omnidegradable means that the material used to produce the bag (3-layers of film) will biodegrade in a variety of conditions. For example, it will decompose in a commercial landfill (both aerobic and anaerobic) as well as a home compost, garden, river, lake, stream or ocean in 4-5 years which is 1/100th of the time it would take a standard foil coffee bag, significantly reducing the amount of waste in our landfills.

Q: Does the material used for your coffee bag compromise the air barrier performance required to keep coffee fresh?

No. There is no performance change compared to standard foil coffee bags. Our coffee remains fresh as off-gas from bean roasting forces out oxygen in the bag through a one-way valve after the bag is sealed. You can enjoy great tasting coffee and know that you are choosing to support a more sustainable coffee product from production to packaging.

Q: Can you explain, simply, the technology used and the process of how your coffee bag will biodegrade?

A: A patent pending blend of organic compounds is used in the production of film as well as other plastic containers. When microbes in a landfill, home compost, garden, river, lake, stream or ocean react with the organic compound, enzymes are produced which break long-chain molecules of the film into microscopic particulates. The coffee bag returns to its original elements of water, CO2 and small amounts of organic biomass, all beneficial to plant growth. Case Western University in Ohio studied the material for 5 years documenting the remnants were less toxic than the surrounding soil, had no heavy metals and were harmless to soil, dafnia, worms and barley crops.

Q: Has the material of the coffee bag been lab tested for biodegradability?

A: Yes. A lab simulated anaerobic site (dry, dark, very limited air) was created to test the exact bag material that was used for Earth’s Choice coffee bags. Percentage reduction weight, off-gas production of methane and CO2 were recorded over months to determine estimated biodegradation rate.

If you would like any more information, please connect with us through our contact us page.