Coconut Oil to me is what Windex is to the Greeks, according to My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I love it. I love it a lot. And I use it for everything. A few months ago, I wrote a post about coconut oil, specifically the overpriced RMS Beauty Coconut Creme that is basically really high quality coconut oil that is outrageously marked up (but still totally awesome because coconut oil is the best). This post is actually one of my more popular posts, and since then I have been on the lookout for other top-of-the-line coconut oil brands to add to the list, and I am super stoked to say that I found two that meet all of the qualifications that RMS lists:
- Organic, made from fresh coconuts.
- No chemical refining, bleaching, or deodorizing.
- Extracted from fresh coconuts within the day to eliminate mold growth or danger of other impurities.
- No heat processing: centrifuge-based extraction which preserves all nutrients, not expeller-pressed.
This, friends, is the cream of the crop when it comes to Coconut Oil. This Canadian brand promotes and prioritizes ethical business practices and environmental sustainability, and this coconut oil is certified fair trade, a huge bonus for putting your money where it counts. The cold-pressed DME Virgin Coconut Oil has earned multiple organic certifications, and meets all the criteria above. You can read more about it on their website here, but I also contacted them, because I did not see it explicitly stated that no chemicals or other ingredients were added. They got back to me very quickly with the following:
Alpha's Award Winning Fair Dinkum Fair Trade DME™ Virgin Organic Coconut Oil is fresh pressed by small holders on the Solomon Islands from mature, wild crafted coconuts within 20 minutes to 2 hours of husking the nut. It is the freshest, fairest, most future friendly coconut oil that you can buy. It is not processed in any way other than filtering, and no chemicals of any sort are used in the pressing, processing or packaging of our coconut oil. It is not refined, bleached, or deodorized. With DME™ you get that fresh, smooth, coconut flavour that signifies the highest quality of oil.
You heard it right folks, and they even spelled flavour with a u, so they mean business. This brand even goes one step above RMS by promoting fair trade. The only downfall is that they are a Canadian brand, so shipping to the US can get a bit pricey if you order from their website (plus they require a $100 minimum, although they have some other products you could try - I have heard great things about their Tamanu Nut Oil and MCT Oil), but lucky for non-Canadians it is also available on Amazon for $19.99. Yay Amazon. Also, you get to support Canadians, who are 100% awesome (I have been there, this is verified.) Not that Americans aren't, but I'm sorry, Canadians are really f$&%ing nice.
If you are at all interested in raw foods, superfoods, or just healthy eating, The Raw Food World is one of my favorite websites to read up on new amazonian miracle foods that will cure every ailment you didn't know you had. But seriously, in addition to the ingredients that are a little more out there, like Moringa Powder (I use this and I love this) and dried Barberries (I swear I didn't make this up. I want to order them just so I can use my terrible pirate accent every time I eat them. Because they sound piratey. Captain Barbossa, that's why. Also the "arrr" sound), they also have things like high quality olive oil and dried apricots, and the best part is that they tell you exactly where they came from, the history of the ingredient, how they were grown and processed (usually minimally), and goes into detail about the antioxidant and nutrient profile and what it's good for. For instance, did you know that Barberry is chiefly valued as a liver cleanser? TOTALLY a pirate food, and I have never wanted them more. Want some so much. Okay, back to the Coconut Oil. Oh also, before I get into that...this website likes CAPS on random words. A lot. It's like a capocalypse. Oh my god I'm so embarrassed I just said that. But THEY will totally JUST cap random WORDS for EFFECT, and it is OFF-PUTTING. But just get over it, because there's nothing you can do about it*. Okay, Coconut Oil, according to their website:
Raw Centrifuge Coconut Oil is extracted by centrifuge creating the purest oil available anywhere. It is first cold pressed from the fresh coconut and then finished with centrifuge. Unlike any other coconut oil out there, the maximum temperature that the coconut oil ever reaches during this process is 118 degrees F. This process preserves the live enzymes,lauric acid, and all the other immune system building nutrients.
First the coconuts are harvested at the perfect age. The coconuts are delivered on the same day to the processing plant, which is located inside the coconut plantation. The coconuts are then de-husked and grated, and the fresh coconut meat is cold-pressed and filtered. Except for picking and opening the nut, there is little human handling in our process. Stainless steel mechanical equipment is used in order to provide a sanitary controlled environment in the processing plant. The coconut oil is strained and immediately bottled. No chemicals or preservatives are added. You only get pure unadulterated Virgin Coconut Oil.
It is made from fresh coconuts that are shelled, chopped and then gently expeller pressed. The temperatures of the coconut flesh and the resulting coconut milk emulsion are carefully monitored to insure they do not exceed 40 C or 104 F. Once the coconut is shelled, it takes less than 45 minutes to produce the milk. This coconut milk, with the aid of a series of centrifuges, separates the oil from the water components of the milk. It requires a series of passes through 6 different centrifuges before a pure oil is isolated. Lastly, a slight vacuum is placed on the coconut oil to remove any remaining traces of moisture.
One thing I will note - it looks like this oil is both expeller pressed and centrifuge extracted. So if you just want the centrifuge, I guess go for Alpha Health. I have tried this coconut oil**, and it is great. I will put it out there - I couldn't really see a big difference between this one and Trader Joe's coconut oil, but just knowing that it is produced in a more high quality method makes me feel like I am using fancy oil, and it turns out that I like very much using fancy oil. Fancy oil FTW!
Hope this information helps those that feel a bit lost in the coconut oil aisle. So rest easy, order yourself up one of these coconut oils, and slather yourself in coconutty awesomeness.
*OMG, I just checked, and somehow I can't find any CAPS on their site any more. What? I wished it and it happened? I really wish that I didn't waste my wish on this. Sh&% that's another wish.
**I totally take this back. I tried using Raw Food World's oil for oil pulling after my Trader Joe's ran out, and the texture and flavor is absolutely better. It is incredibly silky and smooth, and tastes fresher. Huge difference.