Coconut Water and Meat is now available through our partner, Exotic Superfoods. To order, please call 917-685-2586 (East Coast) or 347-804-3961 (West Coast).

The Truth About Coconut Water and Coconuts: Buyers Beware!

Over the weekend, we had a chance to speak with Sat Purkha Khalsa, an expert in coconut importing who currently has joined forces with Body Ecology in their effort to provide the purest coconut water and meat on the market.

What gives Body Ecology coconut water its amazing taste? Three things:

  • Body Ecology Coconut Water is from the Fragrant variety of Young Thai Coconuts grown on small family farms in Thailand
  • Body Ecology coconut water has never been heated. It is raw, keeping the vital life force and fresh flavor of the coconut water intact.
  • Body Ecology coconut water is grown and processed completely with organic methods.

In the last five or six years, young coconut water has become increasingly popular. So popular, that Coca-Cola now owns a significant interest in ZICO coconut water and Pepsi in O.N.E. coconut water. The increasing popularity of coconut water is a positive movement towards consuming products that enhance health and nourish the body.

However, just as with any product on the market, there are degrees of quality. For example, up until now, all packaged coconut water has been pasteurized. Pasteurization alters the enzyme profile of coconut water and completely changes its flavor.

If you do choose a raw young Thai coconut, the most common ones available are partially husked with the remaining husk a bright white color that comes to a point at the top. While the water from these coconuts is raw, the coconuts themselves have undergone a fair amount of processing.

In order to maintain the white outer husk, these commercial young coconuts are dipped in bleach.

Otherwise, the natural coconut fiber will oxidize and turn an unattractive brown.

In addition to bleaching, commercial coconuts are also dipped in fungicide. The fungicide of choice is typically formaldehyde.

Sat Purkha tells a story of a company attempting to move a organic coconuts from Baja California, Mexico to, Oregon, "which is a lot shorter than bringing them from Thailand or Southeast Asia". He reports "they said they never got them to Oregon without turning green. It molds so fast. It is a wet, moist medium… perfect for growing mould. They absolutely have to dip them in fungicide."

He explains that even though there is reportedly no chemical migration through the inner shell of the coconut - and therefore into the coconut water and meat - the coconut itself is a living seed, and there is, of course, a significant energetic change. Even if "you’re dealing with parts per billion in terms of chemicals entering the coconut," he explains, the bleach and fungicidal treatment ultimately affect the character of the coconut meat and water.

An unprocessed young coconut does not have a shelf life under refrigeration of more than 3 weeks.

And that’s generous. At three weeks, Sat Purkha tells me, a organic unprocessed young coconut has turned and would be considered spoiled. The young, white-husked coconuts seen in health food stores and Thai markets are on a ship for three weeks before they reach the United States. He says that this is after at least a week moving the young coconut from the tree to its place of shipment. Then, after reaching the United States, the young coconut can be in cold storage for months.

Commercial coconuts could be irradiated on their arrival in the United States.

This is likely. Irradiation is standard procedure for much commercially imported produce. At this point, irradiation does not need to be indicated on the product label. Sat Purkha tells me that he is not sure if irradiation accounts for the extended shelf life, but that "they are doing something to increase shelf life by at least 3, if not 4 or 5 times."

Body Ecology operates its own supply chain independent of commercial import and export of coconuts. They are organic coconut products you can trust.

In the processing of its organic young coconut water and meat, Body Ecology works with family farmers and processor. Coconuts from these farms have been certified organic, a three-year process. During this time, biological controls, and practices like composting and mulching are implemented and a log of all treatments maintained. Body Ecology coconuts are artesian organic.

"Mass produced product passes through many hands. We are in control of our coconuts from the farmer to the store. We know exactly how our coconuts have been handled."

Sat Purkha tells me that after being hand-harvested, Body Ecology coconuts are sent to Bangkok where they are processed and packaged by hand in a cool, sterilized room. Coconuts are opened, filtered, bottled, and frozen. In freezing, he tells me, there is little degradation of cellular structure.

"When thawed, it pretty much comes out of suspended animation." Essentially, the life force, flavor and nutrition of the coconut water is preserved. Body Ecology coconut water and meat is NOT shipped frozen, which means that detrimental post-harvest treatments can affect health benefits, flavor, and overall quality. Throughout the voyage, the carrier monitors the shipment, making sure it remains at the proper temperature the entire time.

Body Ecology works with small family farms, small family processors, and with a dedicated shipper: "It’s as close as you can get to vintage coconut."

Body Ecology carries a Kefir Starter, which you can use to ferment the young coconut meat. You can also use coconut water kefir. Just be sure to leave a good amount of space in your fermenting jars for the pureed coconut meat to expand!

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A taste and benefit you will notice

What to remember most from this article

An unprocessed young coconut only has a shelf life of roughly 3 weeks, which is unfortunately why many commercial companies turn to other methods to help sell their coconuts far beyond their natural shelf life. For coconut water that you can trust, Body Ecology Coconut Water is certified organic and made with fresh-frozen coconuts . This preserves their quality, ensuring that you get the valuable nutrients you need.

You will truly be able to taste the difference!

Product Recommendations:

Reference

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  2. Jiang, Z.M., et al. “A Comparison of Medium-Chain and Long-Chain Triglycerides in Surgical Patients. Ann Surg 1993: 217 (2): 175.
  3. Kabara, J.J. The Pharmalogical Effect of Lipids. Chanpaign, I11: The American Oil Chemists’ Society, 1978.
  4. Chowhan, G.S., et al. “Treatment of Tapeworm Infestation By Coconut (cocos-nucifera) Preparations.” Journal of the Association of Physicians of India: 1985; 33 (3): 207 – 209.
  5. Fife, Bruce. Coconut Cures. Colorado Springs: Picadilly Books, 2005.
  6. Trinidad, T.P., et al. “Glycaemic Index of Different Coconut Flour Products in Normal and Diabetic Subjects.” British Journal of Nutrition. 2003: 90, 551 – 556.