A quick scan of our ingredient list will reveal that all of our produce ingredients are certified organic—with one exception, our wild blueberries. In fact, we have always preferred these potent little berries to their larger cultivated cousins. Even as children, we knew there was something special about these delicious little sapphire spheres. Hanna got a taste for them berry picking on summer trips to Maine and Alison in her native Quebec. We were psyched when we recently received an email from Deb at The Wild Blueberry Association of North America. Apparently we’ve been boasting about our use of wild blueberries enough for her to take notice! Now we know even more about this powerhouse ingredient.
Wild blueberries, also known as “lowbush” blueberries, have been growing in North America for 10,000 years. These berries are smaller and darker in color than the farmed “highbush” variety that you are more likely to see fresh in supermarkets. They grow naturally in harsh conditions and thrive where other plants would fail. Their trademark deep blue color comes from a flavonoid called anthocyanin, which provides powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. This and other phytonutrients make wild blueberries incredibly beneficial for humans and dogs alike!
We know that “antioxidant” is a buzzword these days, and we would be remiss to toss it around without nerding out a little. This requires a field trip back in time to high school science class. Our bodies, our dogs’ bodies and every other piece of matter on the planet are made up of atoms. As you likely recall, atoms contain protons and neutrons surrounded by those whacky orbiting electrons. Joined together, atoms form molecules, which then form things like proteins, fats, amino acids, etc. Molecules in the body are constantly changing through normal metabolic processes. Sometimes they lose electrons along the way and become unstable “free radicals” (you’ve probably seen this term bandied around a bit, too). Environmental stressors can result in the creation of greater amounts of free radicals, which can then damage other molecules, leading to inflammation and other health issues. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by lending them electrons, thus stabilizing the molecules.
Wild blueberries are just about the most concentrated source of antioxidants out there (cranberries, which are in our new turkey formula to be released in October, are a close second)! Blueberries have been extensively studied and show real promise for cancer prevention, cognitive function, heart health, diabetes management and gut health. If you’re an Evermore customer inspired to share in these delectable dynamos with your pup, you may be tempted to run right to the grocery store and go wild. You’ll have to skip the produce section, however, and go straight to the freezer. Wild blueberries only grow where and when nature wants them to, so they have to be frozen immediately upon harvest to enjoy year-round. Thankfully, they maintain their nutritional values for up to 2 years!
Getting that email from Deb—who, as it happens, is also a huge dog lover—is a reminder that our amazing community extends beyond our customer base and direct suppliers. It also includes the wonderful people and organizations dedicated to promoting the same awareness, education and high ingredient standards that we are. It always makes our day to hear from like-minded individuals.