Naturally Noble Aims to Grow Healthier Food
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
The health benefits of a whole foods diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains is well established. Good nutrition not only helps people feel better, research suggests it may help fight disease.
Many people take vitamins and other supplements, but they’re not always properly absorbed into the body. This quandary led Robert Van Risseghem towards entrepreneurism. His two companies are now based in LaGrange.
He founded Western Environmental Services (WES) in 1999. The company has developed soil amendments for home gardeners to help maximize a plant’s nutrient uptake. In 2010, Van Risseghem founded a related startup, Naturally Noble, to help people access food-based bioavailable minerals.
Food is understood as the optimal method for delivering nutrients, but Van Risseghem notes that modern food production methods may not be delivering what we need. He cites research that illustrates grocery store lettuce contains only about 10 percent of the minerals it’s capable of holding.
Naturally Noble produces six different wheatgrass powders, which have been cultivated with WES soils. Each product is designed with certain mineral deficiency groups in mind.
These whole food formulas are meant to replenish minerals whose deficiencies are associated with heart health, memory, fertility, emotional well-being, glucose tolerance and a poorly functioning immune system.
Van Risseghem came to understand the role of minerals in health through his background in wastewater treatment and countless hours of research on this subject. While working to clean up oil field wastewater in Southeast Wyoming, he noticed platinum was available in nature.
“Researchers in the 1970’s realized that if they were able to produce platinum-rich foods naturally, they would have an alternative to some types of chemotherapy. Their attempts at making this happen were unsuccessful,” he explains. “I decided to try to reverse engineer the platinum compounds I found in oilfield brine water to develop a soil to use for food production. It seemed logical that people who consume these foods would reap the benefits of bio-available minerals.”
Naturally Noble’s are currently packaged and sold as 100 percent whole food products under USDA guidelines. Van Risseghem’s plan is to eventually sell custom grown products to supplement manufacturers, who can incorporate them into their products under FDA guidelines.
Naturally Noble uses a third-party certified lab to demonstrate the bioavailable mineral level in the food products. Customers have reported a variety of benefits they believe are due to adding these products to their diets. Such results are what motivate Van Risseghem to continue producing these mineral enriched foods. “It’s pretty exciting to be a part of the revolution to improve our health by eating healthier food, made from healthier soil,” he says.
Van Risseghem doesn’t advertise or have a huge customer base. His ventures are largely self-funded and fueled by his passion for helping people live healthier lives.
The Goshen County Economic Development Corporation (GCEDC) has offered Van Risseghem a variety of support for this unique entrepreneurial endeavors since February 2017, including assistance with marketing, as well as business and financial planning.
GCEDC assisted Van Risseghem with funding for marketing materials to use at the Natural Products Expo West conference in California. It also showcased his products at a local Alternative Wellness event.
WES received a GCEDC grant to help develop a prototype for a special garden container system. The box is made from 98 percent recycled material, which is provided by Nature’s Composite in Torrington.
The goal of this innovative system is to produce food with consistent mineral values. It was designed for use with WES soil amendments and includes a water reservoir beneath the soil to ensure essential minerals aren’t lost in the growing process.
Van Risseghem has plans to restart a tree farm at Heaven’s Hope Nutritional Park in LaGrange, to grow nuts and berries utilizing his soils. “I believe we have to start bringing value added back to our foods,” he says.
Customers can order Naturally Noble and WES products online at http://heavenshopenaturalhealth.com/. Health Thyme in Torrington also carries their products.