Our Powders Are as Much About Taste as Nutrition
The first of the three core principles that underlie all we do is increasing the vegetable diversity in your diet to include all the colors, growth habits and parts of the plant. This strategy assures that you will avail yourself of all the many disease-preventing nutrients that plants have to offer.
The second is the sourcing of our produce from beyond-organic suppliers. Plants are products of their immediate environments. They produce more nutrients and more of these-disease fighting phytonutrients depending on the conditions in which they live. If they are grown in soil treated with glyphosate, the production of disease-fighting alkaloids is blocked. If they are fed excessive nitrogen as part of a conventional agriculture strategy, they produce exuberant growth, but the leaves, fruits and roots are actually nutrient deficient. We source our produce either from wild foragers (ramps and cholla buds), certified biodynamic growers (our beets and, coming this summer, most of the greens) and beyond-organic small farmers (the rest of our produce).
The third main principle of Dr. Cowan’s Garden is taste: Our products are meant to enhance the culinary value of your meals. I started this project after a visit to a San Francisco restaurant that was using their own concentrated vegetable powders to create some of the most flavorful dishes I had ever eaten. Then, when our friend Sally Fallon Morell ate a pumpkin pie I had made with some of my homemade pumpkin powder and said it was one of the best pumpkin pies she had ever eaten, I knew we were on to something. If our customers are anything like me when it comes to food, and I suspect they are, no matter how much someone tells me something is “good for you,” if it tastes bad, I don’t eat it. We knew we had to make the most flavorful vegetable powders for this project to be a success.
Our strategy for maintaining and even improving the flavors of our powders is that we process our vegetables in the same way that a good home cook prepares vegetables. Savvy home cooks don’t serve their children raw kale, nor do they serve them over-cooked leeks. Each vegetable demands its unique processing technique to not only bring out its nutrients but also its flavor. This customizing is what we have mastered. Then, and also uniquely, we preserve the freshness of our powders in deep-purple Miron jars. Powders in Miron jars maintain their smell and taste months longer than any other packaging strategy we have run across.
The result of this effort is that our customers don’t have years-old jars of unused vegetable powders clogging up the corners of their cupboards. Rather, they use each jar usually within a month or two and send us the most gratifying feedback. As always, your comments and feedback keep us going and inspire us to continually improve our products.
Tom Cowan, M.D.
About a dozen years ago I heard a farmer present the results of his work on his decades-old biodynamic farm in Australia. He showed slides of the massive pit they had dug in which they laid dozens of cow horns filled with manure, which were used to “enliven” the fields. He shared how they made the biodynamic preparations that are at the heart of the biodynamic process. These preps stimulated calcium uptake by the plants, as well as root and fruit development, and others strengthened the plants against various diseases. But the main thing that stuck with me were the slides he showed of an insect on his farm that had been declared extinct a decade earlier.
One of the first things one learns when switching to a traditional diet is that eating an authentic, traditional diet involves a lot more thought and preparation than one is typically used to. My guess is that most people decide what they are going to eat for their next meal either right before mealtime, or, at most, when they shop the day before. Not so when one eats a traditional diet.