Whole 30 started as a diet program in 2009 and has been undertaken by many people ever since. The program is the brainchild of some individuals, including author Melissa Hartwig. According to her, it has gotten increasingly hard to keep up with the statistics of those impacted by the Whole 30 program, since millions of copies of the Whole 30 book have been sold, and around the same number of people visit their website and follow their social media pages.
The Whole 30 program is a kind of elimination program that excludes certain foods from one’s diet plan for thirty days.
The program has often been erroneously regarded as a weight loss program, but it is a temporary nutritional reset program. Even though weight loss might occur while observing it, shedding pounds isn’t the basis of the program. The program’s idea is to enable its users to curb unhealthy food cravings and learn to make healthier food choices.
Foods eliminated in a typical Whole 30 food plan are legumes, sweeteners, dairy, grains, soy, artificial additives, and alcohol. Foods permitted include fish, meat, poultry, fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, etc.
The Whole 30 Label
The makers of the Whole 30 program are currently in partnership with over seventy companies, who make products that comply with the program’s often rigid standards.
When companies and their products have successfully fulfilled these requirements and kept to the standards, they can use the Whole 30 Approved label. According to Melissa Hartwig in an interview by Food Business News, the first set of products that met the requirements were approved in 2011.
The Certification Process
The Whole 30 organizations have teams that oversee various stages of the certification process. Initially, there is a team that handles new applications. These applications usually contain information about the product sought to be certified as Whole 30 and its manufacturer. The criteria to scale this stage successfully is that the product(s) must have passed every single program rule stipulated by the Whole 30 organization. These rules are easily accessible online for those who are looking to send in an application.
The rules or standards for verification are simple and straightforward; to exclude things like legumes, grains, dairy, alcohol, sugars, artificial flavorings, and addictives.
Also, animal-derived ingredients will be inspected to ensure that it was obtained and sustained responsibly. The standard for animal-derived ingredients is that they should be gotten from organic and grass-fed animals.
To keep to the spirit and goal of the program, paleo-style foods like nut bars and dried fruits are not on the list of foods they’d readily verify. Important also is the requirement of community relations. Whole 30 would want to know how interactive the manufacturer is with the community he markets his product(s) to. They would also want to know how he would relate to or engage with their community. They would also want to know how willing the manufacturer is to make changes to his product to suit the Whole 30 community if the need arises.
All these and more are considered before products are verified. Often, passing all the rules on paper doesn’t guarantee certification, especially if it feels that a particular product won’t be suitable for their community.