Every year during the first weekend in March, the Natural Products Expo West is held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA . For the third year in a row, I attended the conference, which took place from March 7-9. The Expo West is packed with exhibitors displaying all types of natural products from organic foods to natural cleaning supplies and cosmetics to supplements and much more. As my blog is all about real food, I focused at the Expo mostly on the businesses related to food. This is article is the first in a series on my favorite exhibitors.
People often ask me what’s the big thing in the natural food world these days. If there’s anything that we’re seeing more of, I’d say it’s sprouted grains, legumes, and nuts. The Expo West was filled with them. While many new businesses are launching sprouted products, the preparation of sprouting beans goes back centuries. Weston A. Price members like myself know this very well as Sally Fallon talks about this in her book Nourishing Traditions. Sally explains how sprouted seeds can be traced back to the Chinese when they discovered that vitamin C was missing in the nongerminated seeds for their mung bans. Sprouting also increases vitamin B and carotene, as well as neutralizes phytic acid, breaks down complex sugars, and produces many enzymes that aid digestion.
While so many of these sprouted grain companies are relatively new, To Your Health Sprouted Flour has been selling sprouted grains since 2008. Like myself, founder Peggy Sutton also learned about sprouted grains from reading Nourishing Traditions. To Your Health is my go-to company for buying sprouted flour as well as sprouted oats. They offer over 30 different types of grains, including many heirloom varieties, such spelt, Kamut, and amaranth, and also may gluten free types. Since its start, they have been a great leader in sprouted grains, offering a diverse selection and letting people know why sprouting is important. Peggy’s husband and To Your Health chief operation officer/general sales manager Jeff Sutton is pictured above with me.
As I mentioned above, one of the ancient grains that To Your Health offers is Kamut. Kamut is actually a brand name. They make the heritage grain of khorasan wheat, which can be traced back to ancient Egypt. Kamut provides the grains to various other companies to make products such as flours, pastas, breads, and much more. Kamut president and founder Robert Quinn is pictured above with me as I hold up To Your Health’s sprouted Kamut.
In addition to sprouted grains, sprouted legumes are just as important. Tru Roots offers sprouted brown rice, quinoa, green lentils, chia seeds, and they go back to other origin of sprouting with their sprouted mung beans. Tru Roots also has a line of pastas made out of ancient grains.
The last of my favorite sprouted grains exhibitors is Planet Rice, which sells sprouted brown rice. Brown rice is a much healthier alternative to white rice as it’s higher in vitamins B and E. While sprouted brown rice may be a new concept to most people, Planet Rice has been making it since 1924.