Ja, mon! Ziggy Marley stopped by Vitamin Cottage at Natural Grocers in Green Mountain today on his way to Copper Mountain for the Wanderlust Festival. The reason for the stop? To promote his new organic food line.
Marley is a longtime proponent of organic food without Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). As he told Westword in January, "I don't want to put anything into my body that's not natural." So he's partnered with Omega Health Products to create the world's first line of flavored coconut oil and roasted hemp seeds.
Marley has always been interested in food production, and says the Omega concept convinced him to get involved. "We're authentic in the ideas that we speak about," he says. "It's not just about selling a product, it's about giving people consciousness through food, about giving them awareness. I'm not a salesman, I'm a musician. It has to mean more than 'Here's a product, put my face on it and then sell it.' It's about getting a discussion out there about the GMO stuff, and putting things that are good for you in your body."
Vitamin Cottage is the first retailer in the country to carry the products. Coco'Mon co-founder Ken Vickerstaff has been in the organic food industry for 36 years, and says he's long wanted to partner with Marley. "We came up with this concept about eighteen months ago to create a superior product," says Vickerstaff. "The plan is to be in over 10,000 stores in the first year and bring great products to all of America."
The Coco'mon oils are a healthy alternative to butter or margarine, and can also be used as skin moisturizer and hair products. The oil is cold-pressed from fresh coconut kernels, and is both gluten-free and kosher. Four flavors are offered, including Original, Orange-Almond, Lemon-Ginger and Curry. The roasted hemp seeds come in Caribbean Crunch, and Sea Salt and Pepper flavors. They have an abundance of protein -- but since they come from agricultural hemp, no THC.
While it's important for the food to taste good, Marley cites the peripheral benefits: "We are highlighting non-GMO, organic and putting good things in your body. I mean, America, everybody's talking about health care -- but it starts with food, food is the first medicine."
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For more information and recipes, visit www.ziggymarleyorganics.com.