FAQ’s

Tell me about Chantal

In 1978, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, a group of families with a dream of healthier food formed a food co-operative to buy Organic and Natural Wholefoods. At that time one of the families had a daughter named Chantal and the group decided to name their co-op after her, and so Chantal Organics was born. The name forms a permanent reminder that Organics and Wholefoods are caring for our environment now and for future generations.

From these humble beginnings we have grown into a National business, committed to bringing certified organic foods to people across the world. We will source product from NZ first and overseas when we need too.

Our company is Family owned, Family run, with a strong New Zealand focus. We make spreads like Peanut Butter and Jam, we mill a wide range of Grains into flour from NZ Wheat to Bolivian Quinoa, we make Muesli and even farm vegetables. We are proudly Kiwi, Proudly Organic and Proudly made in the Hawkes Bay.

What is Organic?

Organic agriculture is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony.

The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) state that “Agriculture is one of humankind’s most basic activities because all people need to nourish themselves daily. History, culture and community values are embedded in agriculture. The Principles apply to agriculture in the broadest sense, including the way people tend soils, water, plants and animals in order to produce, prepare and distribute food and other goods. They concern the way people interact with living landscapes, relate to one another and shape the legacy of future generations.”

IFOAM define Organic agriculture is based on four principles; the principle of health, the principle of ecology, the principle of  fairness and the principle of care.

Principle of health

Organic Agriculture should sustain and enhance the health of soil, plant, animal, human and planet as one and indivisible.

This principle points out that the health of individuals and communities cannot be separated from the health of ecosystems – healthy soils produce healthy crops that foster the health of animals and people.

Health is the wholeness and integrity of living systems. It is not simply the absence of illness, but the maintenance of physical, mental, social and ecological well-being. Immunity, resilience and regeneration are key characteristics of health. The role of organic agriculture, whether in farming, processing, distribution, or consumption, is to sustain and enhance the health of ecosystems and organisms from the smallest in the
soil to human beings. In particular, organic agriculture is intended to produce high quality, nutritious food that contributes to preventive health care and well-being. In view of this it should avoid the use of fertilizers, pesticides, animal drugs and food additives that may have adverse health effects.

Principle of ecology

Organic Agriculture should be based on living ecological systems and cycles, work with them, emulate them and help sustain them.

This principle roots organic agriculture within living ecological systems. It states that production is to be based on ecological processes, and recycling. Nourishment and well-being are achieved through the ecology of the specific production environment. For example, in the case of crops this is the living soil; for animals it is the farm ecosystem; for fish and marine organisms, the aquatic environment.

Organic farming, pastoral and wild harvest systems should fit the cycles and ecological balances in nature. These cycles are universal but their operation is site-specific. Organic management must be adapted to local conditions, ecology, culture and scale. Inputs should be reduced by reuse, recycling and efficient management of materials and energy in order to maintain and improve environmental quality and conserve resources.

Organic agriculture should attain ecological balance through the design of farming systems, establishment of habitats and maintenance of genetic and agricultural diversity. Those who produce, process, trade, or consume organic products should protect and benefit the common environment
including landscapes, climate, habitats, biodiversity, air and water.

Principle of fairness

Organic Agriculture should build on relationships that ensure fairness with regard to the common environment and life opportunities
Fairness is characterized by equity, respect, justice and stewardship of the shared world, both among people and in their relations to other living beings.

This principle emphasizes that those involved in organic agriculture should conduct human relationships in a manner that ensures fairness at all levels and to all parties – farmers, workers, processors, distributors, traders and consumers. Organic agriculture should provide everyone involved with a good quality of life, and contribute to food sovereignty and reduction of poverty. It aims to produce a sufficient supply of good quality food and other products.

This principle insists that animals should be provided with the conditions and opportunities of life that accord with their physiology, natural behavior and well-being. Natural and environmental resources that are used for production and consumption should be managed in a way that is socially and ecologically just and should be held in trust for future generations. Fairness requires systems of production, distribution and trade that are open and equitable and account for real environmental and social costs.

Principle of care

Organic Agriculture should be managed in a precautionary and responsible manner to protect the health and well-being of current and future generations and the environment. Organic agriculture is a living and dynamic system that responds to internal and external demands and conditions. Practitioners of organic agriculture can enhance efficiency and increase productivity, but this should not be at the risk of jeopardizing health and well-being. Consequently, new technologies need to be assessed and existing methods reviewed.

Given the incomplete understanding of ecosystems and agriculture, care must be taken.

This principle states that precaution and responsibility are the key concerns in management, development and technology choices in organic agriculture. Science is necessary to ensure that organic agriculture is healthy, safe and ecologically sound. However, scientific knowledge alone
is not sufficient. Practical experience, accumulated wisdom and traditional and indigenous knowledge offer valid solutions, tested by time. Organic agriculture should prevent significant risks by adopting appropriate technologies and rejecting unpredictable ones, such as genetic engineering.
Decisions should reflect the values and needs of all who might be affected, through transparent and participatory processes.

What is Organic Certification?

“Certified Organic” means the item has been grown according to strict uniform standards that are verified by independent state or private organizations. Certification includes inspections of farm fields and processing facilities, detailed record keeping, and periodic testing of soil and water to ensure that growers and handlers are meeting the standards which have been set.

Is Organic food better for you?

There is mounting evidence showing that organic food is better for you. However due to lack of real research grants given from Government or research agencies and the complexity of such a study (as there are hundreds of variables), it is hard to give a comprehensive statement saying Organic is outright better for you.

We can say that organic foods and products are spared the application of toxic and persistent insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers. Many “approved” pesticides were registered long before extensive research linked these chemicals to cancer and other diseases. In the long run, organic farming techniques provide a safer, more sustainable environment for everyone.

Where can I buy Chantal Organic products?

We are proud to supply Organic Stores, Supermarkets and Specialty stores in every city and regional centres around New Zealand including:

  • Chantal Organics
  • Commonsense Organics
  • IE Produce
  • East West Organics
  • Liberty Market
  • Naturally Organic
  • Huckleberry Farms
  • Piko Wholefoods
  • Moore Wilsons
  • New World / Pak-N-Save
  • Fresh Choice, 4-Square, Super Value
  • FARRO FRESH / NOSH
  • Specialty stores and Co-ops
  • We even supply Stewart Island and Chatham Island!

If it is not there… ask for us by name!

Coconut Oil: Virgin vs Regular?

In short, Virgin is RAW and flavoursome, Regular coconut oil has been refined with the flavour removed and is a good high temperature cooking oil.

Want to get more technical?

Virgin Coconut Oil is extracted from the white coconut flesh at a controlled temperature of near 40oC.

Regular Coconut Oil is made using copra by passing through a hammer mill, then expelling the oil, filtering, and refined using diatomaceous earth. It is then heated again under a vacuum and finally dried and filtered again before it is deodorized by passing through a series of heat ex-changers and under maximum vacuum to siphon the odor.

Peanut Butter?

We make our entire peanut butter range, both Traditional and Whole peanut butter, right here in the Hawkes Bay. We take organic raw redskin peanuts and gently roast them before stone grinding into a nutritious creamy wonder food that is Chantal peanut butter. Only a pinch of NZ sea salt is added to bring out even more flavour and by batch roasting it right here we offer the freshest, tastiest, organic certified nut butter for all to enjoy.

Our Whole peanut butter range is made using the whole redskin peanut. By using all of the peanut we offer more fibre and minerals normally lost in butters that use blanched or skinless nuts.

For those wanting a more traditional peanut butter our standard range uses the same raw redskin peanuts that are batch roasted then gently brushed to remove the skin before being stone ground into a creamy powerhouse of nutrition and flavour.

Peanut Facts

Peanuts are not actually nuts! They are more like peas – part of the Legume family.
-Peanuts and peanut butter are naturally cholesterol-free
-There are approximately 635 peanuts in one 400g jar of our peanut butter
-Peanuts and peanut butter are protein powerhouses – providing 7.6 g of protein per serving
-Peanuts account for two-thirds of all snack nuts consumed in the USA.
-Two peanut farmers have been elected president of the USA – Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter.
-Our peanuts are Redskin peanuts, we make both Whole and Traditional Peanut butter here in the Hawkes Bay fresh – a new batch most weeks.

Bad Peanuts?

Peanuts are actually legumes and have soft, porous shells unlike nuts (which have hard shells). These porous shells actually allow contaminants (fertilizers, pesticides and molds) to permeate and reach the peanut itself. Like all nuts, due to the high fat content of peanuts, they act as little sponges and soak those pesticides right up.

Here’s some interesting facts on Chemicals used for Non-Organic faming:

– Insecticide products commonly used on peanut include phorate, chlorpyrifos, aldicarb, methomyl, esfenvalerate, cyhalothrin, and carbaryl (11,12).

-Most pesticides used on peanuts are not highly toxic to wildlife. However, these pesticides can affect wildlife indirectly by reducing their food and cover. Populations of wild birds are reduced when herbicides and insecticides are intensively used. These pesticides can destroy brood cover and reduce insect and plant foods, lowering the survival rate of wild bird chicks.

-About one-third of the total operating costs are invested in pesticides and spraying/scouting

I might stick to Organic!

Apple Cider Vinegar

WHAT IS APPLE CIDER VINEGAR?

ACV is a traditional product made from freshly crushed apples (preferably organic) that are left to mature naturally without heat. This fermentation process results in a cloudy vinegar, containing a natural sediment. A natural ACV is not refined or processed in any way; nothing is added or taken out.  When choosing an ACV, look for these on the label: Organic, raw or unpasteurized, contains “the mother” and unfiltered.

‘THE MOTHER’ is a visible sediment, with a cobweb like appearance, that floats in the vinegar. It is a natural substance produced during the fermentation process, which is a collection of living nutrients, enzymes and beneficial bacteria; making it the most beneficial part of ACV. Since some of the mother lies at the bottom of the bottle, it’s best to shake the bottle well before use. Because  it is important to consume this sediment, it is important that the ACV is unfiltered.

RAW AND UNPASTEURIZED – As ACV is a live food, filled with living nutrients and benefits, it is essential that it is raw and unpasteurized. The pasteurization process uses heat to kill any “undesirable” micro-organisms; however it also destroys many nutrients, enzymes and ‘the mother’. It is deemed as unnecessary process as ACV contains anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties which protects and preserves it.

ORGANIC – Choosing an organic ACV ensures a safe, high quality product. Apples are known as being highly sprayed with pesticides and chemicals which affects the quality of the final product.

THE POWERFUL THERAPEUTIC BENEFITS

ACV is a live food offering numerous health benefits. The secret of these crushed apples lies in the fermentation process, making it a cultured food, offering all the benefits listed below:

  1. Aids in numerous digestion conditions: Relieves gas and bloating; the prebiotics ease diarrhoea; the pectin from the apples ease stomach cramps; Helps to prevent indigestion.  To help with any of these,  mix 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of warm or hot water and sip it slowly a half hour before meals.
  2. Gives fast relief for heartburn. Drink general tonic at first sign of heartburn.
  3. Helps ease and prevent night time leg cramps. Simply mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with honey, to taste, before going to bed and sip slowly. Add this to your night time routine for continuing results.
  4. Increases energy levels. ACV is excellent for beating exhaustion. It contains amino acids which counteract the build-up of lactic acid after exercise or any intense physical activity. Filled with electrolytes, it also helps to eliminate that tired feeling.
  5. Promotes alkalinity- despite its acidic taste, it helps maintain an alkaline pH balance in the body. Contains significant amounts of pectin, potassium, calcium, and ash, all offering alkaline properties.
  6. Aids in prevention or elimination of bladder and urinary tract infections.
  7. Aids in weight loss.  Drink before meals to feel fuller and eat less. It also helps break down fats so it can be used for energy instead of being stored. Due to its acetic acid content, it lowers glucose levels, which is helpful for diabetics
  8. Alleviates Allergies:  Helps to reduce the effect of allergies on your body, mostly by reducing mucous and sinus congestion.
  9. Strengthens the immune system. Therefore, reducing and alleviating symptoms of sinus infections, sore throats, headaches and the flu.
  10. Clears Acne, dermatitis, warts and other skin problems: Soak a cotton pad in diluted ACV (one part ACV, 3 parts water) and apply it to your face as an astringent. Dab on blemishes to dry out and heal them. For warts, soak a cotton ball in diluted ACV and place on the wart with a plaster overnight. Continue until completely healed.
  11. Eases arthritis, stiff joints and gout: Consistent use of ACV can help to decrease joint pain and gout by reducing inflammation; it has been shown that the malic acid in the vinegar is able to dissolve the uric acid crystals within the joint and assist in flushing them from the body.
  12. Lower blood pressure and cholesterol: An amazing quality of ACV is its ability to aid in lowering blood pressure and triglycerides, the bad cholesterol. Drink a general tonic daily.
  13. Other uses:  Hair care (Balances pH, making hair smoother and healthier. Alleviates dandruff, clears greasy build-up, and soothes itchy and irritated scalp. Mix a tablespoon of ACV in a glass of water and pour through hair. Rinse well, smell will dissipate as hair dries); Sunburn Relief (Neutralises the burn. Dilute in water and pat on red skin. Or add a cupful to your bath); Deodorant (Simply rub in your underarms to absorb and minimise body odours); Non-toxic cleaning spray absorbs odours and has anti-bacterial properties. (Mix 1 part ACV and 1 part water in a spray bottle. Use on hard surfaces such as floors, bathroom tiles, cabinets, countertops, etc).

Rice Syrup; how is it made, why is it better?

Chantal Rice Syrup (also known as Rice Malt Syrup) is a natural sweetner made from 100% organic certified brown rice. The process uses milled rice flour, cold water and an enzyme to break down the starch call alpha amylase (which is also found in our saliva and digestive tract). This “slurry” is filter pressed (to remove all rice solubles from mixture) then concentrated under vacuum to create rice syrup and packed.  This process does not use barley (as some other rice syrups do) or any other grain so is gluten free, GMO free, Kosher and Certified Organic.

Brown rice syrup has a low glycaemic value, which means it does not cause a sugar rush or a sudden spike in blood sugar after consuming it. This is because the sugar profile (ours in particular) in this syrup is:

34% Dextrose
39% Maltose 
33% Higher Sugars 

The dextrose is a simple sugar and is immediately absorbed and metabolized, maltose takes from an hour to an hour and a half, and Higher Sugars take 2-3 hours to be metabolized and energy released. This results in constant supply of energy spread over a long time rather than a sudden rush.

Enjoy!

What is Raw and why is it important?

Raw food usually means uncooked foods, or more specifically, foods in their natural state – nothing more, nothing less. Technically most people consider 48oC as the critical temperature, anything more and the integrity and nutritional profile of the food is destroyed.

Raw fruit and vegetables deliver far higher levels of nutrients to our body than cooked food. In fact, many nutritionists believe raw food contains a third more vitamins and minerals, enzymes than cooked food. This is because boiling water absorbs vitamins B and C and breaks down enzymes during cooking.

What does “Natural” mean?

Our natural brand is for products that do not meet our certified organic criteria. These include our cereals which although have certified organic ingredients may have less than 95% certified.

Are any organic products heat treated?

No, but they may have been heated to be created – such as a Toasted Grainola or Regular Coconut Oil.

Are all our products GE Free?

That’s our aim, however we can’t guarantee that. Why?

The GE industry and USDA want us to believe commercial scale GE free food is impossible, as they’ve thoroughly (and intentionally) polluted the food supply. Due to this high volume of GM seed sold to farmers the threat of cross pollination with other crops becomes a very real possibility. But we are committed to Organic and GE free! Our suppliers provide documentation covering their GE Free policy and some do random testing, and so we believe that all the ingredients in all our products are GE Free.

It is hard to be totally free and to get there various farming practices are employed by organic farmers and certifying bodies to ensure that this transfer of GM material is negated. These include having buffer zones and large land areas to ensure no contamination, however the only real solution is ban GM. To this end we need to tell the government our views and ban GM crops in NZ.

Additionally seed saving and supporting groups that seed save like Koanga Gardens is a must.

Fresh Produce – is it local and other questions

Our aim is to have the widest range of all organic produce possible delivered to your door with the least amount of food miles possible. To that end we started our own farm growing fresh produce less than 10km from our warehouse. Most of our produce comes from the Hawke’s Bay, but things like kiwifruit are mostly grown in the Bay of Plenty and Canterbury is uniquely suited to growing organic winter carrots. We buy in Bananas from overseas and occasionally supplement things like onions seasonally.

Are organic yields lower?

Based on 154 growing seasons’ worth of data on various crops, organic crops yielded 95% of crops grown under conventional, high-input conditions (Liebhardt, B. “Get the facts straight: organic agriculture yields are good,” OFRF Information Bulletin #10, Summer 2001.).  This was by using organic farming methods developed and refined by years of grower experience, independent of the billions of dollars of support provided the agrichemical industries through Governments and research grant systems. If Governments would increase the small proportion of its research funds currently directed toward optimizing organic farming practices, organic has the potential to produce yields fully matching or surpassing those of conventional crops. Growers who go through the 3-year transition period from conventional to organic management usually experience an initial decrease in yields, until soil microbes are re-established and nutrient cycling is in place, at which point yields return to previous levels.

How do organic farmers fertilize crops and control pests, diseases, and weeds?
Organic farmers build healthy soils by nourishing the living component of the soil, the microbial inhabitants that release, transform, and transfer nutrients. Soil organic matter contributes to good soil structure and water-holding capacity. Organic farmers feed soil biota and build soil structure and water-holding capacity. Organic farmers build soil organic matter with cover crops, compost, and biologically based soil amendments. These produce healthy plants that are better able to resist disease and insect predation. Organic farmers’ primary strategy in controlling pests and diseases is prevention through good plant nutrition and management. Organic farmers use cover crops and sophisticated crop rotations to manage the field ecology, effectively disrupting habitat for weeds, insects, and disease organisms. Weeds are controlled through crop rotation, mechanical tillage, and hand-weeding, as well as through cover crops, mulches, flame weeding, and other management methods. Organic farmers rely on a diverse population of soil organisms, beneficial insects, and birds to keep pests in check. When pest populations get out of balance, growers implement a variety of strategies such as the use of insect predators, mating disruption, traps and barriers.

Have we visited all our NZ growers?

Yes, as part of our organic management and food safety plan is we audit all our suppliers – and all our produce suppliers not under organic accreditation must sign a declaration that their products are grown to organic principals and free from chemicals pesticides and GMO.

Have we visited all our International suppliers?

No – But all international suppliers must meet certain criteria including Organic Certification (that is recognised by IFOAM and/or AsureQuality), HaCCPs, and Food safety protocols. Also all products must adhere to NZMPI regulations include biosecurity and NZFSA requirements. All suppliers are audited on an annual basis an products are audited per import.

Do you sell online?

No. Chantal Organics do not have an online sales site yet. You can buy boxes of fresh fruit and veg from Vegebox.co.nz

Do you have BPA in your cans?

Our tomato and bean products from Italy do contain very small level of BPA within their linings. This level is 6 times lower than the European standard and shows that you would have to eat 100 cans per day to reach the max level recognised as safe by the European Union. We do keep ourselves up to date with the international and organic standards regarding this and other packaging materials to ensure our products are safe and ethical. We are also working with our suppliers to remove BPA from our linings.

What’s your Environmental Ethic?

We use glass – recyclable, reuseable, safe

Lids

Labels made from wood from renewable plantations – dyes

Recycle all waste from our operations

Are your Oats from NZ?

New Zealand has very limited Oat growing areas and can if we there is adverse weather we lose our harvest and also Kiwi’s really like the flavour of the Australian oats, so we currently bring you Australian Oats.