Hail Merry Raw Statement:
Thanks to movies like Food Inc. and Forks Over Knives, and the double-digit growth of the gluten-free market due to an epidemic increase in chronic and autoimmune diseases like celiac and type-2 diabetes, the public has awoken to the health benefits of raw foods. Consumers are looking for quality transportable products that are affordable, taste good, and do not contain refined sugars, oxidized refined oils, synthetic vitamins, GMOs, soy fillers, gluten or animal/dairy products. Hail Merry snacks delivers on all fronts while proudly offering outstanding award winning taste! Safety, quality and dependability of the finished consumer product are of utmost importance to us. We methodically source our ingredients for the same safety, quality and dependability so we can deliver a product that not only tastes delicious but also is healthy & safe to eat. This philosophy and dedication to our consumer is the reason we are not 100% raw. Hail Merry is a RAW OIL story. Let me explain.
As you are probably aware there are two factors that make a food raw, raw oils & living enzymes. Living enzymes like probiotics are VERY hard to quantify. That is why we hang our hat on raw oils not enzymes. There is not a standard of identity yet for RAW foods the way there is for gluten-free (Hail Merry is certified Gluten-Free to the highest standards of the industry by its most respected approving authority). We will become involved in contributing to the standards of RAW as an OIL story as we believe it is as critical as the ENZYME story. All Hail Merry products include RAW ingredients. Some of our products are more RAW than others, but they ALL feature RAW oils.
As a raw food enthusiast our brand reflects my own personal lifestyle (which is not 100% raw) and what I prefer in regard to flavor profile and the unique benefits of raw oils. I do believe strongly that enzymes play a major role in health and vitality. I prefer to obtain the majority of the living enzymes I consume daily from raw fruits and veggies. Our foods contain some living enzymes (as opposed to baked snacks) but are in fact more of a raw oil story, since by nature macaroons, dessert tarts, nuts and granola are considerably low in enzyme payload by nature. We choose to celebrate the plant based raw oil within the coconut oil, nuts & seeds left in tact from low heat dehydration.
As a manufacturer, we can source raw oils to meet our high quality standards. The raw cacao industry is not regulated and there is no guarantee that temperature limits to preserve living enzymes have not been exceeded. Manufacturers of raw foods cannot guarantee enzyme levels of their packaged products by the time it reaches the consumer, much like the yogurt industry. Air, light and temperature become factors. We can guarantee the processing of our cold-pressed raw oils.
I also personally believe that raw cocao is toxic when consumed often. It is not a superfood in the minds of many raw food experts including Jeremy Safron who is very outspoken on this issue. My recipes happen to be inspired by the highly esteemed raw food chef Matthew Kenney, who uses maple syrup in many of his recipes. Mathew also owns the raw food culinary school in Oklahoma and is regarded as a leader in the industry speaking at TED conferences etc.
Therefore, Hail Merry is a RAW OIL story. Raw oils don’t begin to fully oxidize until heated to temps well over 220 degrees. For the record we dehydrate our foods at 115 degrees.
For example our Meyer Lemon Tarts do contain raw fresh squeezed Meyer lemon juice, which gives the tarts our signature great fresh taste. We also use organic raw agave in the Meyer Lemon Tart. As you know there is a tremendous amount of controversy surrounding agave. At the end of the day we selected the highest quality raw agave on the market to use in this recipe for the flavor profile - yet how raw is the agave truly? Most agave syrup is processed at temperatures between 120-160F. How many living enzymes really exist in that agave after processing, manufacturing and transportation? If it does not have enzymatic activity, is it raw? As the controversy plays out in the raw food industry, we will continue to primarily use maple syrup as a sweetener. Maple syrup has a higher vitamin/mineral payload than agave and often a better taste profile in our snacks and desserts. The result is repeat sales and consumer loyalty, lifting the entire raw food market for all manufacturers. If a product does not taste good, it will not have sustainability. I can’t tell you how many raw enthusiasts Hail Merry has as fans, who are happy we use maple syrup in some of our recipes instead of agave.
At the end of the day, there are no official standards for defining raw. The fact that we dehydrate at 115 degrees to protect our raw plant based oils is how WE lead with raw. Hail Merry adds an asterisk next to those items in our ingredients that don't contain living enzymes for transparency, however there are still raw plant based oils present. We believe our customers are educated enough to make their own decisions about how raw a raw food should be to fit their individual lifestyle and philosophy, just as I have done. We believe in our customer and they trust us to deliver high quality, safe, transportable raw, vegan and gluten-free snacks that taste great and make them happy!
Here is a statement I wrote for our website.
Hail Merry foods are not 100% raw. We feel that we are raw where it counts most - in the plant based dietary oils found in the nuts, seeds and coconut oils. Our almonds have been steam pasteurized at 160 degrees, however the oils inside the almonds still remain raw. Our buckwheat groats, & sunflower seeds, have been soaked prior to seasoning and dehydration for optimum digestion. A diet flush with living enzymes is the key to vitality and longevity. Pair that with raw plant based dietary oils for proper vitamin absorption, and hormone balance and our bodies will radiate with good health.
I hope this helps give you more perspective into our story and philosophy. There are some living enzymes present in our foods just like other raw food companies, but no company can guarantee how many enzymes are present at point of consumption. We can guarantee consistency, dependability, sustainability and safety to your customers.
Founder, Hail Merry