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The History of Organic Whey Protein


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Organic whey protein powder is a supplement that is used by many different types of people that include athletes, those who are on a steady and demanding workout regimen and in some cases, those who are on a high-protein, low-carb diet in order to lose weight. Whey protein powder can be combined with water, juice, soy milk, and even almond milk to make a shake that be consumed before or after a workout or sporting event to build and heal muscle. These shakes are quickly absorbed by the body, where their amino acids ease tired or injured muscle tissue. People have used organic whey protein for years as a way to supplement their exercise or athletic regimen, but it may surprise some people to know that this whey has actually been used for thousands of years as a natural healing substance.

The First Uses of Organic Whey Protein

The first known uses of organic whey protein can be traced back to the father of medicine, Hippocrates. This Grecian, who lived from 460-370 B.C., was the first individual to organize medicinal ways of healing into the actual practice of medicine. During his study of the human body, he noted how certain diseases weakened muscle tissue and caused fatigue in his patients. To combat this, he began to prescribe liquid whey to these patients (which would have been considered organic by today's standards, as no additives or chemical pesticides were used in grazing their cows,) which he branded as "serum." His student and protege, Galen, also gave the serum to his patients. However, unlike today, the serum was not mixed with water or other types of liquids. Instead, it was pure liquid whey, which was strained from fresh milk.

Both Hippocrates and Galen believe that there were certain elements in liquid whey that not only battled overall fatigue in their patients but also strengthened the immune system, which made them less prone to disease. They also believed that the serum allowed people's bodies to become more adaptive to their environmental surroundings, which also strengthened their immune system, kept them healthy, and allowed them to live longer, healthier lives. Of course, since both Hippocrates and Galen didn't have the means to create the type of organic whey powder that's used today, the fresh, pure whey serum continued to be used by physicians and became popular throughout the world.

Organic Whey Protein in 18th-Century Europe

The use of organic whey protein as it was used by Hippocrates and Galen became popular in 18th-century Europe, when a man whose doctors couldn't find a cure for his ailments traveled to Gais, Switzerland, in order to find a holistic cure when medicine failed to work. While on medical sabbatical in this sheltered mountain town, he discovered that drinking pure whey protein not only gave him relief from his symptoms, but that continued consumption was actually healing his body. He began to talk about the healing power of whey protein to others, who began to also travel to Gais in order to take advantage of the serum.

In the early 1750's, a health spa opened in this small mountain town, and over the next several decades, others sprung up throughout Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. The health spas treated a huge variety of people, including royalty and the super-wealthy who came to try the restorative power of organic liquid whey. However, since the liquid whey had an extremely short shelf of less than ten hours, those who ran the spa had to make it fresh each evening for their guests. Once the liquid whey was separated from fresh milk during the cheese-making process, it was then brought to the spas by the mountain's cheese makers before the sun rose so the spa's guests could drink it first thing in the morning. These spas existed throughout the 18th and 19th century but were mostly defunct by the early 1920s.

Organic Whey Protein Today

While today's organic whey protein may not be what Hippocrates and Galen envisioned for the future of their serum, it is still the choice for many people who want to use whey protein but are concerned about the chemicals, antibiotics, and growth hormones that might be processed into today's powders. Of course, powdered organic whey protein has a much longer shelf life than the liquid whey serum that had to be carried over the Swiss mountains in order to reach the health spas there, and in most cases will last up to 18 months once the jar is opened.

The Regulation of Organic Whey Protein

Those who buy organic whey protein will notice that their product will have a "certified organic" stamp somewhere on the label. This means that the powder's processing standards have met The U. S. Department of Agriculture's standards concerning what makes a product truly organic. These standards were first implemented by the U.S. government in 1990, when it created the Organic Food Production Act of 1990 (OFPA). Soon after that, the government also created the National Organic Standards Board, which created a more rigid guideline when it came to the production of organic crops and foods. By early 2000, the USDA took steps to implement OFPA.

These USDA guidelines remain in place today, so any organic whey protein that is labeled as such must be processed from cows that are raised and grazed on sustainable farms, where the soil is naturally treated and the grass the cows eat is not treated with pesticides. Most organic whey protein is also free of artificial sugar, color, and other additives. Organic whey protein powder is not more prone to spoilage, as some people believe. In fact, it has the same shelf life as other protein powders.

From its humble beginnings as a pure whey protein serum in Greece to a healing substance in the Swiss Alps to the modern nutrition retail shelves of America, organic whey protein has a long and proven history of helping people to maintain their health, build muscle tone, and to promote an overall healthy lifestyle. .

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