In my Nutrition Response Testing practice, I may use multiple supplement lines at any given time to support the cellular healing of the body, though 90% of the time I rely on a company called Standard Process.
I rely on Standard Process because the formulations are 100% whole foods based. Synthetic supplements get in the way of our body’s ability to absorb and assimilate them. Though they do have some benefit, it’s because they force a change on the body versus the body sponging up what’s natural to it, which is straight up Real Food.
Standard Process was founded in the early 1940’s by a genius dentist named Dr. Royal Lee. The man was an a true entrepreneur, inventing equipment for his practice and later, whole foods formulations to heal the trouble he was seeing as our industrialized diets introduced more and more refined sugar and flour.
Over the weekend I had the privilege of being invited to the Standard Process farm in Palmyra, Wisconsin with several other practitioners to tour the farm and manufacturing plant first hand. We aren’t allowed to bring cameras into the plant though we were given full reign at the farm and I can’t wait to share the tour with you virtually.
Now, I was vigorously taking notes as the Farm Operations Manager toured us around the farm, so I will only share here what I believe I was able to accurately capture (and some of them aren’t even full sentences, but I jotted down whatever juicy goodness I could!).
Above is the Standard Process shop, where they fix any of the 183 pieces of pristinely clean equipment as needed right there on site.
The farm house above is where the Farm Operations Manager has her office, where you can read full sized displays of what takes place on the farm, and tour the greenhouse attached to the house on the left. One of my favorite moments was seeing all of the old packaging of supplements from back in the day (below).
One of the large buildings on site contains a 150 foot long dryer press, which is basically a giant dehydrator. Here is a glimpse of that marvelous machine. It is capable of pushing 3.2 million pounds of food through per year and can be specifically set for the right temperature for the right crop. It takes two hours to get a crop through the dryer. It also takes two shifts of seven people to run it, which slowed their production AND greatly boosted quality at the same time. With it being a multimillion dollar investment, they found it to be completely worth it.
Here in their fields they don’t grow any wheat at all, minus what the birds drop on their fields!
Standard Process has two greenhouses, the one we toured contained brussel sprout, celery and parsley transplants.
They grow 54,000 starts at a time. The brussel sprouts they were planting while we toured were one week old with a nice little root ball attached already. There were also parsley and celery starts in this greenhouse. In here they water from the bottom to keep disease off the leaves. They need to add a little fresh water every day though they use the same water over and over again. Once these are planted they will switch to kale. I thought this was fascinating: To plant 54,000 seeds it took 4 people only 8 hours!
They take a soil sample from every acre so they could literally tell you what the micro/macronutrient base of the soil is. And they track such minute details that each supplement bottle can be traced back to the person who planted it, the soil composition of the field it was in and which field it came from.
These brussel sprouts are ready for planting, but before they do that they get hardened for two weeks out on a trailer in the field.
We were being toured via wagon ride which made it a fun and easy way to see the farm:
Standard Process uses cover crops as green manure and till it right into the soil….we saw many fields covered with vetch and oats until they are ready for crop planting, though they also use kidney bean as a cover crop. They grow 35 crops right here on this farm! They rotate the crops every year and won’t put the same family of crops in the same spot for five years and have not lost a crop to disease in 15 years. What they yield is five and a half tons of food per acre, so they are doing something right as they consistently out bushel the national average. They believe in feeding the micro biome of the soil to keep it healthy and it reaps the reward over and over again.
As a side note, they are certified organic and in lots of their products are organ meats such as spleen, liver and pancreas. When they can they source from organic animals though there are only 220,000 head of organic cattle in the United States, so they also have to pull from non-organic animals. In doing the math, they continue to strive for organic whenever possible though find the amount of toxins that are found in the organs of these non-organic animals, for the amount that is included in the supplement, is nearly negligible.
They are finding younger families are buying more organic now, with 18-35 year olds making up the bulk of the market.
In order for them to maintain their certified organic status, their fields are required to be 30 feet away from the fields of their non-organic neighbor farms, though they put 130 feet in between.
They leave woods around the edges of their fields and plant bluebird houses to attract beneficial bugs. What they found funny is that they have very few bluebirds and plant of beautiful tree swallows who are around to eat the bugs.
They also only harvest out to 85% of the field, allowing 15% space for the bees in the ground to do their important work without begin bothered.
Today they were turning compost, which comes from the waste of the press—nothing goes without a use around this farm. They turn the compost daily during the season and let it pile up and winter during the subzero months. They keep the temperature above 140 degrees and under 180 degrees to have the compost be a prebiotic, which helps the structure of the soil with the good bugs. Again, they believe if you feed the soil properly, stand back and let it do its work.
This compost was so warm and silky and smelled so good and earthy. The DNR has a lot of respect for what Standard Process is doing. Standard Process has been organic since 1929 and is regulated by organizations such as OSHA and the FDA, to name a couple. They became certified organic in 2001 by USDA standards. It takes them 15 hours extra work per week to prove they are certified organic!
This belly (7 months pregnant!) and these boots were excited to walk around in this organic soil.
Standard Process has 300 employees and within that are 5 PHD’s who did a seven year trial for kale alone to nail down the best growing variety for their region. For example, this year they will have 12 acres of kale alone. They buy their seeds from Frank Morton of Wild Garden Seeds.
Look at the precision with which these brussels sprouts are planted! Each field has a green bio curtain to absorb rain as the farm is so flat. In the last five years they have experienced the hottest, coldest and wettest seasons ever with eight years ago being the 100 Year Flood where people were actually windsurfing on their fields they held so much water!
They don’t water too much so as not to grow lazy plants, they want to see a nice deep root growth.
We got into a conversation about conventional versus organic steers due to a question from a practitioner and I thought this important to share: a conventional steer takes 19 months to finish (and is finished on corn to hurry the process) versus organic steers who take 30 months to finish because they are on grass the whole time. Only California has more organics than Wisconsin, though Wisconsin is number one in the country with poultry and eggs.
This photo might be my favorite. This is how they get precision row planting for those brussels sprouts! Leroy, standing, is 74 years old and walks behind this planter as it moves a half mile per hour to ensure proper planting.
As a company culture Standard Process takes great care of their employees. There is a Vita Kids Learning Center (childcare) right across the parking lot. Within the manufacturing plant is a wellness center with chiropractic, acupuncture and massage. Every employee has access to this and most of it is free with a massage costing just a couple dollars as it’s subsidized via the company.
Each employee is allowed $450 per month in supplements if they participate in the wellness program with a chiropractor. There is a fitness facility on site and their program is tiered here so if they do the basics they get $250/year in cash on up to $1,000/year in cash per employee just for taking great care of themselves. There are daily fitness classes and trainers on site. I loved the relaxation room with a gravity chair for anyone who needs some quiet time or for new moms to grab their wee one from across the parking for some rest and relaxation.
So THIS is why I use whole foods supplements in my practice. Because the benefit goes far deeper than beneficial cellular healing for myself and my clients.