NorCal Organic Blog

How is Source Organic Whey Protein Made?

January 02 2015
Rumiano Cheese CompanyWhat makes Source Organic Whey stand out to compared to other organic whey proteins? The name says it all. How we SOURCE our whey is the most important part. Unlike other organic whey proteins we tell our customer exactly where our whey comes from. We work directly with the family owned and operated Rumiano Cheese Company and the local dairies in and surrounding Crescent City California.  The pastures, soil, and weather in and around Crescent City make for arguably the best dairy farming conditions in the United States. With well over 300 days/year of green pastures, these cows are truly pasture fed.

Milk from the family dairies arrives at the Rumiano Cheese factory and is heated in large vats to meet FDA pasteurization requirements. There is NO raw organic whey  due to FDA limitations and feasibility of production.

Renin and cultures specific to the cheese being made are added to the vat of milk. Once the curd is set the curds are cut and the liquid whey is filtered out of the vats and into the whey processing plant. The cheese curds are then pressed into block or rounds of cheese.

The liquid whey is passed through a series of filters which filter the solid whey particles form the liquid. When nearly all the water is removed the whey is sprayed into a drying container which fills directly into large bags. The large bags become smaller bags of Source Organic Classic Whey.

For Source Organic, the whey is blended with less than 1% organic sunflower lecithin which coats each particle of whey to allow the whey to dissolve more easily in water.

From farm to you we have the shortest distance of farm fresh milk to whey.

Many thanks to the cows, farmers, and the Rumiano family.

Thanks for reading!

Raw Whey and Raw Dairy? Can I or Should I Buy Raw Whey Protein?

December 22 2014

We are often asked if Source Organic Whey Protein is raw? What is truly raw whey protein? First let’s define "raw."

It is generally accepted that raw food that is not heated above 117 degrees (48 degrees Celsius). The term raw is often used in the natural and organic food industry but there is NO industry certification for raw, each company that claims their product is raw does so on their own accord. Many companies use what I would consider deceptive wording to infer their products are raw. For example, Raw Organic Whey, would lead me to believe that their whey protein is raw and organic. Raw Organic Whey is NOT raw, although they do not make this clear on their website. Where does Raw Organic Whey come from?  There is no information on sourcing and we know from this post that USDA organic does not mean that the whey is necessarily from the US or that the cows are pasture fed.

So what if you want raw organic whey? There are no companies producing raw organic whey protein. Unfortunately there is no process currently available that would allow for large scale, safe, repeatable production of raw organic whey protein. Selling raw organic whey online would be ILLEGAL per FDA regulations. Agree with this or not, it is the law.

The only way to get raw whey would be to start with raw milk and separate the curds and whey, this would result in a raw liquid whey, which then could theoretically be dried into a powder (below 117 degrees). Remember, to produce 1 lb of whey protein you need 100 lbs of liquidwhey. For a DIY delicious and fun raw cheese and raw whey recipe try this.

So how is Source Organic Whey made? Check out our next post!

Thanks for reading!

What Does USDA Organic Mean? What is Organic Whey?

December 17 2014

Today there are many organic whey proteins available. When Source Organic Whey Protein started in 2011 there were less than 5 brands in the US and I knew where and how each one was produced. Currently there are many brands of organic whey protein, and few if any brands are transparent in where they source their organic whey protein. So how does a consumer know where their whey is coming from?

The USDA Organic standard defines the following in regards to organic agriculture: "standards cover the product from farm to table, including soil and water quality, pest control, livestock practices, and rules for food additives."

The USDA Organic Seal on a whey protein DOES NOT tell you: 

  1. Where your whey protein comes from. Many organic whey protein companies now buy from huge dairy conglomerates overseas and don't know anything about how the cows are fed or raised. 
  1. What the dairy cows eats on a daily basis. The USDA clearly defines what the cows can't eat to meet organic standards, but what they do eat varies greatly. Very few organic-dairy cows get to graze on nice green pastures 300+ days/year like our dairy cows. To raise and care for cows the right way, big companies wouldn't be able to get the margins they need. And since they are all about margins, only the minimum organic standards are met in the most cases. 
  1. How the farmers take care of their animals. The American Humane Association goes beyond the USDA guidelines and sets a higher standard for animal care and wellbeing. Source Organic is the only whey protein certified by the American Humane Association.

In conclusion, ask some questions! Look at the organic whey protein brands and see if you can trace exactly, all the way to THE FARM where your organic whey comes from.  At Source Organic you can! We know our farmers and are proud to work with them!

Thank you for reading! 

What’s the difference between the Non-GMO Project and USDA Certified Organic?

June 17 2014


In a nutshell, the Non-GMO Project goes the extra mile to ensure that all Non-GMO Project Verified foods have never been exposed to genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The description below runs through the possibility of cross contamination in crops and feed, and how the National Organic Program has great guidelines, but only the Non-GMO Project is testing to confirm there are no GMOs present.

Source Organic Whey Protein is proud to be the only Non-GMO Project Verified organic whey protein, and we have the great people at Rumiano Cheese Company and their local dairy farms to thank.

While the National Organic Program (NOP) identifies genetic modification as an excluded method, GMOs are not listed as a prohibited substance. This means that although GMO seeds are not supposed to be planted and GMO ingredients are not supposed to be used, no testing is required to show whether any GMO cross-pollination or contamination has occurred. These rules were established at a time when GMOs were in limited production and neither cross-pollination nor contamination was a significant risk. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case. Genetically modified varieties now make up the majority of key commodity crops in North America such as corn, soy, and canola. As such, cross-pollination from GMO crops and GMO contamination of non-GMO seeds, ingredients, and products is a real risk, even for certified organic products. The good news is that the NOP has excellent guidelines for traceability and segregation, and the Non-GMO Project is designed to honor the work that certified organic companies are already doing, with the added measure of testing risk ingredients at critical control points.

Join the Fight Against GMOs and Pesticide Testing in Hawaii

March 17 2014

There has been a lot in the news recently about new GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) and pesticide testing in Hawaii. A number of pro surfers have banded together to raise awareness about the issue including Kelly Slater, John John Florence, Sebastian Zietz, and Dustin Barca. Also, a recent documentary was produced by pro surfer and activist Kyle Thiermann that is linked to below. 

GMO crops include corn, canola, soy, sugar beets, and cotton, but more than 60 countries have banned or seriously restricted GMOs because they aren't considered to be safe. The US is not one of these countries, in fact, GMOs are in as much as 80% of conventionally processed food. Nearly 90% of corn, 94% of soy, and 90% of cottonseed grown in the U.S. are from genetically engineered seeds.

Hawaii is ground zero for new GMO and pesticide testing. The largest biotech agrichemical corporations in the world (including Syngenta, Monsanto, Pioneer, Dow Chemical, and BASF) are spraying toxic restricted use pesticides on GMO field trials near schools, hospitals, and residential neighborhoods.

This is where we need your help.

Share the video, sign the petition to evict Monsanto from the North Shore of Oahu, put the pressure on Hawaii state politicians, blame GMO companies and spread the word.

Also, buy organic and Non-GMO Project certified foods, ask your local restaurants if they have any non-GMO menu items, and shop at your local farmers market.

Source is proud to be GMO-free and Non-GMO Project Verified.

How to Pick the Organic Whey Protein that is Right For You

January 10 2014

With a number of organic whey protein brands on the market, it sometimes can be hard to tell which brands are best. The goal of this post is to point out these differences so you can find the organic whey protein that best fits your needs.

Here are some things to consider when choosing an organic whey protein: the type of feed the cows consume, the use of soy, the treatment of the cows, the protein's source, and whether the cows are truly "grass-fed."

One of the first things you should check is whether the organic whey protein is Non-GMO Project Verified. Almost all the organic whey proteins on the market claim that their cows are fed Non-GMO feed but only one protein, Source Organic Whey, has met the strict standards of the Non-GMO Project.

Next, check the ingredient listing on the label to see if there are any soy ingredients. Many organic whey proteins use soy lecithin while only a few do not. Source Organic Whey does not use soy in any of its products.

Third, consider the treatment of the cows. There are very few brands that even mention where their cows are located, let alone if they treat the cows well. Also, many of these products will claim the milk used to produce their whey comes from small family farms, but never mention where these farms are. Other companies do this because their milk is received from farms all across the nation. Source Organic Whey comes exclusively from Northern California farms that are certified by the American Humane Association for their animal welfare practices.

Finally, no brand will tell how long their cows are grazing in pasture each year. Grass-fed organic whey protein still qualifies as “grass-fed” even if the cows are in a heated barn being fed grass that was harvested months ago. Source Organic Whey’s cows are located in a small region of Northern California allowing for an average of 350 days of pastured grazing per year. Compare this to cows in other parts of the country that are left standing in barns, with little exercise or movement for over 3 months a year.

So when deciding which organic whey protein to choose please consider:

  • Is it Non-GMO Project Verified?
  • Does it contain soy?
  • How are the cows are treated?
  • Where does the whey come from?
  • Are the cows truly “grass-fed?”

Thanks for reading,
Al, MS, RD and Steve


Source Organic Whey is one of the most pure, grass-fed, organic whey protein powders on the market. From Jersey cows on family farms in Northern California, we think it's the best whey protein out there.

Try our new organic
Canadian Oat Milk & Hemp Protein

Quality Guarantee

If you don't love your first order, it's on us. Return your products within 30 days of receipt for a full refund.