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All About Moringa

Moringa Oleifera is a tree native to the Himalayas that has been cultivated for thousands of years. Its cultivation has spread worldwide from India and Africa to South and North America.

Moringa Tree

The moringa tree leaves are one of the world’s most nutrient-rich foods. They contain ninety-two distinct nutrients and all nine essential amino acids — including methionine and cysteine — compounds rarely found in plants. It has a higher nutrient density than other green vegetables. Moringa leaves can be consumed fresh, dried, or powdered. It’s a great way to add some green vegetable nutrition to your diet.

Moringa contains

  • All nine essential amino acids: Phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, and histidine

  • Twelve of the thirteen essential vitamins: A, C, E, K1, thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), biotin (B7), folate (B9), & cobalamin (B12). 

  • Ten of the fifteen essential minerals: Potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, copper, iodine, and selenium

Moringa Nutrition

Because of its low water requirements and fast-growing cycle — moringa can be harvested only four months after planting, and every forty-five days after that — moringa is ideally suited to combat malnutrition in drought-prone areas. With higher yields per acre than corn, rice, and wheat, as well as deep roots that help stabilize and enrich soils, moringa is most deserving of its moniker, the giving tree. 

When done right, moringa can be a powerful tool in the fight to improve food security, soil fertility, and livelihoods everywhere it grows.


If you have read anything I have written in the past, you know ethical issues are so important to me, and that, of course, extends to moringa. Unfortunately, the growing, processing, and harvesting of a lot of moringa is anything but ethical. There are several significant ethical issues with moringa, two of them being of particular importance.


The first is fair wages and pay. Unfortunately, many small farmers are taken advantage of and paid next to nothing for their crops while companies resell them for big profits. We want farmers and laborers to be paid fairly so they can live a life of dignity.


The second is excessive pesticide use. Often, moringa is grown with significant amounts of dangerous pesticides that leach into the groundwater of poor villages and expose the farm workers to extremely high levels of them as companies take advantage of a lack of regulations and enforcement in those countries. These can lead to drinking water containing unsafe levels of pesticides. Moringa can and should be farmed without the use of synthetic pesticides. 


Good moringa should be sustainably farmed using regenerative agriculture practices and heirloom seeds. This ensures the highest quality moringa that improves the soil and the environment. It also means the people growing it and water supplies are protected from excess runoff and pesticides. Building soil health also helps to improve the local water table, which is especially important as a lot of moringa is grown in dry climates.


As with other supplements, a significant number of quality control and testing procedures need to be done to ensure that moringa is safe and properly made. 


The first is heavy metals. Many moringa supplements contain high levels of heavy metals such as lead and cadmium. This is because moringa pulls significant levels of minerals from deep down in the soil, and sometimes large amounts of heavy metals are part of it. So, ensuring that any moringa powder you take has been appropriately tested for heavy metal content is essential. 


The second is bacterial and fungal contamination. Much moringa is grown in less than optimal conditions, and contamination with bacteria, such as E. coli, salmonella, and coliform, often from human or animal waste, is a big problem. We have seen a lot of test results on moringa products that contained coliform bacteria, and the companies have continued to sell the product. Moringa powder should not contain coliform or other harmful bacteria. 


The third big quality control issue is adulteration. Many moringa products are adulterated with cheaper ingredients, such as other plants like M. stenopetala, M. hildebrandtii, or M. drouhardii. It’s essential to know the source of your moringa. It can be nearly impossible to know where most moringa comes from because most companies buy moringa from middlemen who mix moringa powder from various suppliers. Instead, you want moringa from companies that partner directly with the farms and do not buy from middlemen. This direct trade relationship is also much better for the farmers as they are paid more for their hard work, and no middlemen take a cut.


The fourth issue is color. We purchased a lot of moringa products while working on this project, and most of them were simply the wrong color. Good moringa powder should be light and fluffy with a vibrant green color. This is one of the most significant markers of high-quality moringa. It means it was harvested, dried, and processed correctly. Nearly all of the moringa we bought was brownish and dull, the hallmarks of old or poorly processed moringa.

what does the color of Moringa powder mean?

Moringa powder should look like the one on the left. The more vibrant green the moringa powder is, the better and more beneficial it is. Low-quality moringa is often dull, pale, or brownish—typically due to poor harvesting and cultivation techniques or high-heat sterilization.


We did not sell moringa for a long time because we could not find one that met all of our ethical and quality standards. After a long search and lots of lousy moringa, we finally found a brand that:

  • Uses heirloom seed moringa

  • Is grown with regenerative agriculture

  • Works directly with  farmer coops to pay them a fair price

  • Is slavery-free

  • Is grown without the use of harmful pesticides

  • Is not sterilized, irradiated, and fumigated

  • Gives back to the community by helping to improve the nutritional status of local children. All too often, products are made that extract value from the local community without giving anything back. It should not be that way.

  • Tests each batch for heavy metals, bacterial contamination, and pesticide residues

  • Is a light, fluffy powder that is a vibrant green color


We are very excited to partner with Nutu. Nutu produces what we found to be the most amazing farm-to-bottle whole-food moringa supplements. They work directly (no middlemen) with women-led cooperatives in West Africa to bring you this incredible moringa. They are working with the farmers to build a sustainable and fair value chain. They help the farmers apply the regenerative principles of permaculture and sustainable agro-forestry.

Wangari Maathai reforestation work

Wangari Maathai is a Kenyan environmentalist who began a movement to reforest her country. The Green Belt Movement also aimed at organizing women in rural Kenya to plant trees, combat deforestation, restore their main sources of fuel for cooking, generate income, and stop soil erosion. With over 51 million trees planted and over 30,000 women being trained, Wangari Maathai became the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize. Nutu is helping to honor and expand on her incredible work.


Nutu produces moringa that:

  • Is grown with synthetic pesticides

  • Tested to be free of harmful levels of healthy metals, like lead and cadmium

  • Contains no harmful bacteria

  • Is not sterilized

  • Is not irradiated

  • Is not fumigated

  • Is not irradiated


Their moringa leaves are hand-harvested from their stems just after dawn, then washed and dried immediately in sterile facilities, protected from the effects of moisture, sunlight, and oxygen.

Nutu Moringa Values

Nutu works with Forest and Life, a social movement that fights deforestation in Africa. The effects of deforestation, which has been rampant throughout Africa, have been devastating. They include not only water scarcity, malnutrition, and the decimation of local economies but also a profound reduction in biodiversity. The cultivation of moringa oleifera, a fast-growing tree that thrives in precisely those drought-prone regions where the sting of malnutrition is felt most, has been instrumental in the reforestation of Africa, all the while providing a powerful source of nutrition to the people of the region and invigorating local economies.  Over the last ten years, Forest & Life has planted hundreds of acres of moringa trees across Africa, nourishing the population, creating jobs, and restoring biodiversity to the landscape. It’s an incredible organization!

Nutu Moringa lunch program

Pictured above are participants in the Nuta school lunch program. These talented/lovely/kind-hearted women come several times each week to local schools, where they cook and distribute food to students. A few big scoops of Nuta moringa powder are added to the pot to ensure that the students, many of whom would otherwise go undernourished, get plenty of nutrition!


Nutu Moringa school lunch program kids

Here are some of those happy kids who get nourishment from the program!


Moringa is an incredible plant. When done right, it can nourish you, improve the environment, and uplift the lives of so many people. It’s time for you to enjoy the fantastic benefits it offers!



   

               Use code moringa to save 10% at checkout!

     

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