Maca - the dark side of superfoods

I try to do my bit to be a conscious consumer. I buy organic. I recycle. I choose fair trade, but here's the thing: Business brokers are making a fortune in third world countries like Peru, India and Africa where many superfoods are grown.
The market for superfoods is growing. And so is the potential for exploitation.
Just because it says 'organic', does not mean it is ethical. Many of these brokers are supplying us with our favourite organic brands with bulk product as we speak. Just this week I learned that one such broker company is buying maca direct from Peruvian farmers for only $7 a kilo! Maca is sold for nearly $100 per kilo. The farmer will not see a cent of this profit. 
The farmer is the most important part of the supply chain and often the most undercut. This saddens me. 
THE GOOD NEWS
Ethical products, sourced by companies worth trusting, exist. These companies work to benefit small-scale farmers and workers.
MACA
I am a huge fan of the superfood maca. I use it daily to stay well. Why? Maca wraps my endocrine system with love and support. In Peru maca is known as the "food of the God’s" and has been used by the Inca for centuries. It is a root vegetable commonly consumed to promote energy, vitality, virility, hormone balance, and fertility. It is also a Peruvian natural remedy to combat stress and fatigue. In studies maca supplementation has been shown to increase hormone production and vitality in both men and women when consumed daily over the duration of a month or more.
Maca is naturally processed to remove hard to digest starches and then gelatinised to improve absorption, creating an easy to drink, nutrient rich powder. Traditionally it is consumed as a tea, often with milk and honey or sugar. However, it can also be added to smoothies, cereals, yoghurts, juices or even soups and stews to give your meal a powerful nutrient boost. 
THE ONLY MACA I BUY
Like you, I try my best to make mindful choices as a consumer. 
I am inspired by true, ethical products and passionate suppliers with an authentic code of conduct. These products and businesses give me hope. Finding this in a product is rare. 
For years now I've been sourcing my maca from a large organic company, thinking it was ethical. 
In what seemed like a divinely timed moment I met the owners of Seleno Health, Dr. Corin Storkey and Sally Huapaya in April 2017. 
They supply New Zealand with 100% organic and fair choice certified maca root which grows in the highlands of Peru above 3800m, where bright sunshine, rain and nutrient rich soil transform it into a powerful superfood.
Corin and Sally have a story that is moving and inspirational. I knew within moments of sharing time and space with them that they work form the heart and that I discovered maca I can trust. 
MORE THAN FAIR MACA
Seleno Health's maca is a Fair Choice product. They value their supplier and have built a relationship based on trust, transparency, and responsibility. Giving back is what they believe true ethical production is.
A Fair Choice product is one that is economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. When you buy products with the fair choice mark, you support the farmers and workers as they work to improve their lives and their communities. The standards include protection of workers’ rights and the environment, payment of the Fair Choice minimum price and an additional Fair Choice Premium to invest in business or community projects. Fair Choice works through trade rather than aid to benefit small-scale farmers and workers, who are amongst the most marginalised groups globally. When you purchase a Fair Choice product you are helping grow and protect underprivileged workers in developing countries and you give back to those who work so hard to produce your maca. In essence Seleno Health is selling the farmer's maca direct from his farm to your table. 
"There is a love, history and culture that has gone into the production of everything we eat and to know that story is to be part of it. Our goal is to share with the world, the story behind the generations of farmers and families who produce our amazing product and to have that legacy live on for future generations to enjoy." Dr Corin Storkey. 
If you are in New Zealand, you will find Seleno Health Fair Choice Maca online or at your local health store. I invite you to support this brand.
The future of superfoods can be kind and just. You can make a difference. Every time you spend your money you vote. You can support the farmer who grows your food. Vote Fair Choice.
  
In love and service always.
Irma. 
*I have not been endorsed by Seleno Health to write this post.