Source & Process
Essential Living Foods is one of the oldest and largest importers of goji berries in the US, with over a decade of experience interfacing with suppliers, farmers, and certifiers in China. Not only are these goji berries certified Organic, unlike many gojis in the US, they comes direct from the source and undergo extensive lab testing for purity.
One of the only certified organic gojis available
Our berries are grown exclusively in the mineral-rich soil of a pristine Chinese valley, whose alluvial soils have been nourished by millennia of spring floods from the Yellow River. Farming is an ancient traditional lifestyle here, and multiple generations of families come together cooperatively to tend and harvest exquisite goji berries (and share in the profits of this growing industry). Our farming partners take pride in producing an exceptionally high-quality product. Timing of the harvest is important, as nutrient and flavor profiles will be off if picked too early or left on the bush too long. Entire villages come together to accelerate the harvest process, where each delicate berry is picked by hand.
The berries are collected in buckets and plastic bins, covered to prevent contamination or solar "burns," and trucked a short distance to a western-standard HACCP/GMP facility where they are washed in a water bath before undergoing controlled dehydration at RAW temperatures (under 105°F) to achieve the right balance of dehydration without losing their chewy texture.
Keeping it Clean
While many of the traditional goji farms in China lay the berries out on mats in the fields to sun-dry, this can lead to a variety of problems with contamination from mold, rot, and waste from passing birds and animals. Our berries are hand-picked at the peak of ripeness and quickly moved to a pristine, certified organic facility where they are washed and dried at RAW temperatures.