Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DNM, CNS, is a doctor of chiropractic, doctor of natural medicine, clinical nutritionist and author with a passion to help people get well using food and nutrition. He operates leading natural health website DrAxe.com and is co-founder of Ancient Nutrition, a health supplement company. He’s also author of the books Eat Dirt, Essential Oils: Ancient Medicine, Keto Diet and Collagen Diet.
By Dr. Josh Axe
Here at Ancient Nutrition, we’re extremely excited to announce that we’ve partnered with Whole Foods Market to create an original line of Multi-Sourced Collagen products utilizing ingredients native to New Zealand.
When it comes to sourcing ingredients for our products, we pride ourselves on raising the bar for quality. New Zealand’s animal welfare and environmental sustainability programs reflect the quality and care for both land and livestock that we value.
This is exactly why we’ve exclusively sourced our products from humanely raised NZ animals, in addition to leveraging traditional preparation methods, such as those used to render bone collagen.
Our new Ancient Origins Multi-Sourced Collagen products also feature top of the line ingredients that have been used for their beneficial properties across many generations, such as Manuka honey, which is a quality source of enzymes and other beneficial compounds.
What Sets Ancient Origins Apart
Why are we willing to obtain ingredients for our new collagen products from the other side of the world? Because we feel that New Zealand stands apart when it comes to key measures for grass-fed livestock.
The primary ingredient found in our new Ancient Origins Grass-Fed, Multi-Sourced Collagen formulas are NZ beef, lamb and venison collagen. These animals are grass-fed 365 days a year and are also raised under some of the strictest environmental/sustainable practices in the world.
New Zealand is widely known to produce some of the best beef in the world. Livestock in NZ are raised as nature intended, free to roam outdoors where they have access to a natural diet of grass in pasture and clear water.
In our opinion, NZ’s farming and animal welfare standards are superior to most others, and therefore their ingredients are worth seeking out, for some of the following reasons:
- NZ cattle have year-round, 365 days of unrestricted access to pasture. The climate in NZ favors year round pasture growth, allowing for ample space and food for the cattle.
- Grass in NZ is typically cheap and plentiful. This allows cattle in NZ to obtain 90-95% of their diet from pasture (meaning a grass/clover mix).
- Grass-fed animals are also raised in a way that actually gives back to the environment and promotes regenerative agriculture— such as by promoting soil and water quality, as well as promoting biodiversity. In NZ, sheep and beef production are complementary and contribute to improved pasture quality and sustainability.
Two things that are very important to us as a company are that we support animal welfare and regenerative agriculture.
Regenerative agriculture describes holistic farming and grazing practices that are intended to rehabilitate and enhance the entire ecosystem. These practices can assist in rebuilding organic soil matter and restoring soil biodiversity.
New Zealand farmers (including those that raise livestock for dairy and meat) play a role in regenerating the environment because they run 100% pasture-fed systems, which help to sequester carbon into the soil.
For more than 30 years, local governments in NZ have partnered with farmers to improve the health of the soil and livestock via rotational grazing, as well as to improve water quality by reducing run-off and erosion.
We are happy to support farmers contributing to regenerative agriculture in NZ, which can have far-reaching benefits for the land, animals and plants within an environment, including:
- Increasing biodiversity within the ecosystem
- Enriching the soil and reducing erosion
- Improving water quality
- Improving the health of livestock thanks to rotational grazing practices
- Yielding crops that are more resilient in times of climate instability
- Potentially helping to mitigate certain effects tied to climate change
At Ancient Nutrition, we also believe that if we are going to include animal-derived ingredients in our products, then it’s critical that the animals are raised as humanely as possible. We see ourselves as animal welfare advocates, something that we have in common with New Zealand farmers.
In New Zealand, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), a part of the New Zealand Government, provides policy and regulatory advice/systems for biosecurity, food safety, forestry and animal welfare.
The Animal Welfare Act establishes a duty of care for animals, including cattle, by laying out specific obligations of animal owners and farmers. The Act defines “physical health and behavioural needs” (based on the “5-freedoms”) as:
- Proper and sufficient food and water
- Adequate shelter
- The opportunity to display normal patterns of behaviour
- Appropriate physical handling
- Protection from, and rapid diagnosis of, injury and disease
- Antibiotics are also never added to animal feed. In general, the use of antibiotics is very limited in NZ, and many are banned for use altogether or only allowed to be given under strict veterinary guidance.
Animal Tracing is another unique aspect of NZ farming and animal welfare practices. The National Animal Identification and Tracing system (NAIT) is an electronic tagging system that tracks the movement of every farmed animal raised in NZ.
This system is in place for both food safety and New Zealand Bio Security reasons. Electronic tracking enables high levels of disease surveillance among cattle, leading to NZ having extremely low levels of disease prevalence among livestock.
As mentioned above, our Ancient Origins Grass-Fed, Multi-Sourced Collagen formulas are made with NZ beef, lamb and venison collagen.
You can choose from three delicious flavors — Chocolate Brownie, Honey Vanilla, and Golden Milk. — all of which are sweetened with a combination of Manuka honey sourced directly from New Zealand, along with monk fruit extract to help keep the sugar content low.
Manuka honey is unique to New Zealand and, in general, offers some noteworthy benefits — such as supporting skin health, and promoting dental and digestive health.
It can help to promote healthy digestion by supporting the growth of “friendly” probiotic bacteria in the gut and by potentially aiding in the normal production of stomach acid. This translates to support for healthy immune function.
Here’s more about the Manuka featured it in our new Ancient Origins line:
- Exclusively produced and packed in New Zealand.
- Source of methylglyoxal (MGO), hydrogen peroxide, amino acids, B vitamins (B6, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid), calcium and more. Naturally occurring MGO is a key compound in Manuka that makes it so different from other kinds of conventional honey, since, overall, MGO is believed to support the health of certain tissues and general metabolic function.
- Igen Non-GMO Certified.
- Made without antibiotics, glyphosate and pesticides, which are rarely used in NZ due to strict standards.
- Traceable “from hive to home,” meaning that beekeepers ensure its quality.
- Has a rich, earthy flavor, providing natural sweetness.
How to Use Ancient Origins Collagen
Did you know that roughly one-third of your entire body is made up of collagen protein? While your body naturally makes collagen on its own, many people can benefit from consuming more from their diet.
Like our other collagen protein products, consuming Ancient Origins Collagen on a regular basis can help promote healthy connective tissues, nails, joints and skin.
How can you use these products? If you’re familiar with our other collagen products, our new Multi-Sourced Collagen formulas can be used in the same ways — such as in smoothies, shakes, oatmeal, homemade chocolate and health-minded baked goods like waffles or muffins.
It’s as simple as adding some to your morning coffee, almond/coconut milk or another beverage, or using it to boost the protein and nutrient content of some of your favorite recipes.