We need the tonic of wilderness –Thoreau
How do we ensure the tastiest, most nourishing cup of Rasa, while also doing right by the planet?
Four pillars of quality hold up the Rasa Casa and inform our buying, formulating, and testing decisions:
We’re fanatical about organic. Why? Beyond the human health component (don’t get us started!), organic is one of the most effective ways food companies and consumers can act to protect animals, fragile ecosystems, and the planet as a whole. Did you know Arctic ice caps are now testing positive for pesticides? WTF?!
One in five wild plants is threatened with extinction, mainly due to land conversion for agriculture and resource extraction. Almost half of our herbs are wildcrafted, and we’re committed to protecting these powerful plants and understanding the bioregions they come from.
Many factors influence the potency of our herbs—seasonality, geo-authenticity, traditional preparation methods, ideal cut size, and more. We also taste every herb lot before purchase—our own senses can be subtle and sensitive measures of vitality.
We employ a wide range of strategic testing at third party laboratories to screen for pesticides, heavy metals, sulfites, allergens, and microbial contaminants. We also develop close relationships with processors and growers around the world, building trust and friendship across our supply chain.
Beyond these four pillars of quality, we have a fifth central pillar that recognizes our herbs as not just commodities to be traded, analyzed, sold, and consumed. These herbs are personalities, archetypes, food for far more than our nervous systems. The nectar we find in relationship with these herbs turns to honey in our hearts and sweetens the final product, Rasa.
With these five pillars in mind, we sent our Chief Herbalist, Ben LeVine, to China last fall to visit with suppliers and explore the mountains many of our herbs call home. Why does an understaffed start-up send an employee all the way to China? To check on quality, safety, and conditions in a country know for foul play? To tour farms, forests, and facilities? All of these, definitely. But deeper than that, it’s about a thread. A green thread of meaning that starts in the soil of a remote mountain range, weaves its way from plant to harvest to factory, and ultimately arrives in a cup half way around the world. Read Ben's China report.
With the heart you remember the feeling, with the soul you remember the spirit, with the mind you remember the detail of the digging. —Stephen Buhner