Back in December 2009, Matt Pierce of Primal Pacs sent us a note, asking if we could put our official Whole30 seal of approval on his jerky snack kits. After extensive research of his ingredients, his practices and his business philosophy (including several phone calls and an in-person meeting), we granted his Pacs the first ever “Whole30 Approved” label. At the time, we didn’t realize the significance of the event … and that there would be many more of these requests come.
Since then, companies have been contacting us, asking that we review their products and determine Whole30 compliance. As such, our official “Whole30 Approved” process has grown to encompass a few different products, with several more in line for review as we speak. So we thought we’d take this opportunity to discuss what the Whole30 Approved label means, and our plans for the designation for the future.
What is Whole30 Approved?
The Whole30 Approved label is designed to let you know a product is 100% compliant with our Whole30 protocols. It guarantees that the program has no added sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes or dairy (as designated by official Whole30 regulation).
In addition, it lets you know this product, and its producers, have been vetted personally by Whole9. We aren’t just granting this label to everyone with a technically compliant product! We want to get to know the business owners, learn more about their ingredients, their sources, their business practices and general philosophies. We have a personal relationship with every Whole30 Approved producer, and feel confident that their core values and mission is in line with ours, and that of our readers.
Is there any money involved?
Not a dime. Currently, there is no fee associated with being Whole30 Approved, and we have zero financial interest in any of our Whole30 Approved companies. The Whole30 Approved label is just about passing along good products to our readers, to help you make better, more informed decisions about your Whole30 meals and snacks.
Are Whole30 Approved products a free-for-all?
Not necessarily. Just because a product meets the technical requirements of the Whole30 program doesn’t mean it’s going to be your best choice for everyday meals and snacks. For example, Primal Pacs make the highest quality jerky snack kit on the market (for real)… but we’d still rather you cook up your own balanced meal at home. Some of these foods are perfect for on-the-go snacks, but that doesn’t mean you should eat them three times a day. Make sense?
However, you can rest assured that we won’t be granting any Paleo-ified desserts or treats “Whole30 Approved” status, per the rules of our program.
Are all products from a Whole30 Approved company on your “approved” list?
Again, not necessarily. For example, SeaSnax are Whole30 Approved, but only certain varieties. (Their rice crisp snacks are off limits during your Whole30.) We’ll do our best to specify which products fit the bill and which are excluded, however, to take the guesswork out for you.
My favorite seaweed snack doesn’t have a Whole30 Approved label. Does that mean I can’t eat it during my Whole30?
Of course not! Not every Whole30-compliant product will have our label (and frankly, we’re pretty selective about who we give these out to). Remember, Whole30 Approved isn’t just about the ingredients – it’s about the relationship we have with the business owner, and whether their values and culture matches our own. As always, it’s ultimately up to YOU to read your labels and determine whether a product fits the rules of our Whole30 program.
Where can I see a list of Whole30 Approved products?
We’ve created this handy little Whole30 Approved page on the site (under the Whole30 tab) so you can see which products meet our specific criteria. (We’ll also be listing any special product deals or coupon codes for Whole9 readers!) We’ll be adding products to this page as often as new approvals are granted, so keep checking back, and keep spreading the Good Food word.