What does it mean to be organic?
Organic lifestyles are committed to reducing our intake of pesticides, hormones, genetically modified ingredients, artificial ingredients and sustainable practices for farming that reduce the environmental impact on our earth. So using purer ingredients let’s us create yummy indulgent treats for you to eat. Alden’s or Julie’s Organic is certified “Organic” meaning, greater than 95% percent organic ingredients go into our products, and the other less than 5% are approved per the “National List” approved by USDA. The USDA “National List” is simply a set of ingredients which cannot be sourced organically, but are needed in processing.
How is the treatment of organic cows different from conventional?
The cows are given access to organically managed outdoor living spaces to allow for their natural comfort behaviors as pasture animals. Also they are eating organically grown feed that doesn’t have commercial pesticides or fertilizers used in the growing as they are organically farmed. This combined with homeopathic health management promotes a healthier cow that does not need antibiotics or hormones and makes for higher quality milk.
Are organic cows given antibiotics?
Antibiotics would be a last resort in saving the cow’s life, as with humans, sometimes they are the only thing we can use to combat infection. Cows that are treated in this manner must leave the organic herd and can no longer be considered organic.
What do organic dairy cows eat?
Only the best, of course! Unlike you and I, who can choose to eat from any of the 4 categories of organic (100%, 95%, greater than 70%, and less than 70%), these organic bovine sweethearts are given a strict 100% organic diet which comes from a combination of organic pasture and organic feed.
How is the organic cream processed?
After organic cattle have been milked, their bulk milk is pooled and then separated from the cream at a state-licensed processing facility. The organic cream is then heat treated and put in a tanker for transportation. The cream arrives at the Oregon Ice Cream plant within hours after the cows have been milked.
What happens to the cream at the ice cream plant?
The fresh organic cream is unloaded into sanitary storage tanks before use. When making Alden’s or Julie’s Organic ice cream, our organic cream is mixed with other organic ingredients like nonfat dried milk, cocoa powder or flavors to make ice cream mix. The ice cream mix is then pasteurized and placed in a flavor vat prior to being frozen into ice cream.
Is the ice cream homogenized?
Yes, all our Alden’s or Julie’s Organic ice creams are homogenized. Although a home ice cream freezer can make good ice cream from unhomogenized cream, a modern industrial freezer requires the fat in cream to be homogenized, which is a process in which the large fat globules present in raw cream are broken up into smaller, more uniform globules. If we didn’t take this step, our freezers would churn out frozen butter instead of ice cream, and the product would be full of little globules of ingredients.
What are the “natural flavors” listed in the ice cream products?
The “natural flavors” when used, listed in the ingredient statements of our Alden’s or Julie’s Organic products vary per flavor. They are typically concentrated extracts or essential oils from fruits, vegetables and other plant matter. Things like strawberry juice concentrate, coffee concentrate, and peppermint oil are commonly accepted ingredients. Most of our ingredient vendor’s formulas are considered proprietary information but we receive Continuing Letters of Guarantee stating there are no hidden allergens or organically unacceptable ingredients.
Are there GMO’s in the ice cream products?
Under Federal guidelines, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) are not allowed for use in Certified Organic products. We rely on the network of USDA approved organic certifiers to ensure that the ingredients we use to make Alden’s or Julie’s Ice Cream are free of genetically engineered components.
Is Julie’s Organic Kosher?
Yes, the CK symbol on each package means that we are supervised by Kehilla Kosher of Los Angeles, California. Kehilla is an internationally recognized kosher certifier operating under strict Kosher standards.
How do you read the production code on the ice cream products?
Our production code is in Julian calendar format, in which each day of the year is numbered. We add the last two digits of the year at the beginning of the code. For example: January 1st, 2010 is 10001, July 1st, 2010 is 10182, and December 31st, 2010 is 10365. This code in located on the bottom all Alden’s Organic ice cream cartons or the side of Julie’s products.
Is there wheat or corn in the vanilla extract used in the ice cream products?
While the alcohol used in our vanilla extracts is made from grains such as corn or wheat, they are considered non-allergenic due to the fact that they are distilled and contain no grain proteins.
The product I purchased was icy or grainy like it had been freezer burned. What caused this?
This is what we call heat shock. Heat shock happens when an ice cream is allowed to melt and is refrozen, sometimes more than once. We maintain strict temperature control over our products while they are at our manufacturing facility, but after our products are shipped, we have limited control over how they are treated. Shipping companies, distributors, and retail stores may not take as good care of our products as we wish and sometimes they allow the ice cream to thaw before placing it in a freezer or refrigerated storage environment. If this has happened to the product you purchased, we suggest taking it back to the store from where it was bought and requesting a replacement or a refund.
Are Julie’s Organic sorbets dairy free?
Julie’s Organic sorbets are made without any dairy ingredients, but since we do not test for the presence of milk proteins in our finished product, we do not make a dairy free claim on the sorbets.
Is Julie’s Organic ice cream gluten free?
Most of Julie’s Organic ice cream flavors do not contain ingredients that have gluten in them. However, our Cookies & Cream ice cream and Vanilla Sandwiches contains gluten, as wheat flour is listed in the ingredient statement. Consumers should understand that our ice creams which do not contain gluten are made on shared equipment which sometimes processes gluten-containing ingredients. We minimize allergen issues through proper scheduling, thorough washing and sanitizing. Whenever there is a possibility of cross contamination with an allergen, the production line is shut down and a wash is performed to eliminate any residual proteins that might be left on the equipment surfaces. We do manufacture a Julie’s Organic Gluten-Free ice cream sandwich for consumers with a gluten sensitivity or allergy.
Palm oil production leads to deforestation of tropical rainforests due to expanding palm tree farms. What is Julie’s Organic doing about this problem?
Julie’s Organic uses organic palm oil sourced from one vendor, who has provided us with a lot of information on how their processing partner in Brazil takes great measures to support the environment rather than exploit it. The land they use for their palm plantations is land that was previously deforested by other parties. Their operation is actually reclaiming land for the environment and exhibits greater biodiversity than was there before their operation. Additionally, it is part of Brazil’s environmental law that of all the land owned by the palm oil grower/processor, they can only actually grow crops on 25% and the rest must be kept in its natural state.
Back in 2008, the Rainforest Action Network ran a big campaign to bring awareness to a lot of the environmental issues surrounding palm oil production. Our supplier met with RAN and presented a list of policies that they and the processor jointly support. In RAN’s ensuing press release, our supplier is specifically mentioned as a domestic source of palm oils that are made with a commitment to environmental conservation.
Additionally, our supplier is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and they are in the process of being certified as part of IBD’s (a Brazilian certifying agency) Ecosocial program, which is somewhat equivalent to Fair Trade certification in coffee and cocoa products. This is a measure that they are taking to support not just the environment, but the people involved in the industry.
I purchased a carton of your Julie’s Organic novelties and the plastic wrapper was opened. What caused this?
The open wrapper was a result of our Flowrap machine not working properly. Each of the seals on the packaging requires heat and with time the heating mechanism gradually fades and has to be replaced. Any bars which go through the Flowrap machine during this process are normally removed for rewrapping but every once in a while a few slip past our production workers when the heating mechanism is on the borderline of needing to be changed.
The Julie’s Organic ice cream sandwiches I purchased had one with a broken/missing wafer. How did this happen?
Every once in a while the equipment we use may have mechanical issues which can cause the chocolate wafers to not be placed onto a sandwich or break the wafer as it is placed onto the sandwich. We have production employees watching for these inferior sandwiches, but due to human nature, a worker may let something slip by without even being aware of it. In an 8 hour production run we can manufacture approximately 60,000 sandwiches, at this rate of speed a couple of broken or missing wafers are bound to get by, but we try our best to catch them all.
There was a Julie’s Organic ice cream bar in the wrapper that was chopped and part of the bar was missing. Why did this occur?
At the start-up of a production run, it takes a little while to get all the various pieces of equipment operating perfectly in synchronization. While this is occurring, the machine which wraps our bars in plastic may not be in unison with the conveyor and as it cuts and seals the plastic wrap, it may also cut through a bar. When this happens, there is generally one partial bar in plastic wrap and one and a partial bar in another plastic wrap. Bars from start-up are generally removed for inspection and reworked if possible, but sometimes a few manage to make their way into the finished products that are not up to our quality standards. Statistically, these anomalies are a tiny portion of the literally millions of quality ice cream bars we manufacture.