Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between ‘Natural’, ‘Organic’ and ‘USDA Certified Organic’?
There are significant differences between these terms, and what they mean insofar as the purity of the products you buy and consume. A vitamin or supplement may use the term “Organic” only when a certain percentage of the ingredients are certified to be organically grown, harvested and processed. “Natural” can be quite misleading, as it is a minimally regulated claim in vitamin and supplements, and can therefore mean anything—or nothing.
To avoid any confusion, Nova Scotia OrganicsTM only offers products that carry the highest level of certification possible, “USDA Certified Organic.” This hard-won designation comes with it a whole host of USDA assurances, and we’re mighty proud of it. Read more about why you should care about these claims, and our unique organic approach to provide you and your family with the best products anywhere. You may also want to check out a brief white paper on the subject and why we care so much about it, written by Founder & President, Nancy Smithers.
I’ve heard a lot about GMOs, but what exactly are they?
Simply stated, a genetically modified organism (GMO) is any organism that has had its genetic material altered by using new and still evolving genetic engineering. Elements of DNA from one organism can be added to the genetic makeup of another, resulting in a new, modified organism. Commercial agriculture has been quick to adopt some of applied practices of this science. Many crops have been developed using plants genetically modified to be more resistant to the herbicides used to suppress weeds, or to be less susceptible to viruses that can devastate a crop, even to inhibit bacterial growth that begins the moment a fruit or vegetable is picked, or permit some plants to be grown outside of their natural climate ranges.
On the surface, some of these applications appear to have benefits. However, as is often true, the concerns around GMOs are less about the science itself than in how the application of this science is being influenced by commercialism, by pressure to increase profit margins, to make big agri-business ever more efficient, and to increase our food industry’s tolerance for risk taking. A plant with a genetically modified increased tolerance for herbicide application may thrive in the field, grove or planting bed. But what of the human who eats that ear of corn that has been sprayed with this more potent herbicide? This is but one example of troubling questions many have. The subject is a complicated one, and worthy of vigorous debate.
Do Nova Scotia Organics products contain GMOs?
No. Just no. What you can understand easily is that not one ingredient, in any product offered by Nova Scotia Organics contains GMOs. Not one, not now, not ever. We promise. We have much more to say on it and you can learn more about our position on this issue by reading this white paper by Nancy Smithers.
How do I know what vitamins or supplements I need? Or if I need any?
This is a great question. Nova Scotia Organics is all about healthy nutrition and our firm belief that although good health and wellness depends on many factors—genetics and environment included—it is highly dependent on what we consume. It can be difficult to consume all the nutrients we need with our busy lifestyles, concern with overall caloric intake and some of the quality issues in our food supply.
As a vitamin, supplement and snack food brand, we do not 'prescribe' at Nova Scotia Organics. We have set up our website, however, to help you identify various products suited for people ‘like you’, e.g. Women’s Wellness, Gluten free, Men’s Wellness, Heart Health, etc. Take a look at the products that result from these searches, and don’t hesitate to discuss what you find with your doctor or healthcare provider. We work with the medical community often and encourage that partnership.
A number of your products mention “freeze drying”, either as it relates to a specific ingredient in one of your products, or about your Freeze Dried Fruit Snacks. Why is this important?
Freeze drying is a fascinating process that preserves the nutritional aspects of the food, plant or herb being freeze dried. It is a very different, more complex, but much more successful process—we believe—than simple dehydrating or other chemical means to preserve nutrients and increase the longevity of ingredients without compromising our products’ USDA Certified Organic status. We admit we're a little in love with our freeze dryers. These giant machines complete the fancy process called lyophilization, which begins with freezing, then drying the product through sublimation. Far more intricate than simple dehydrating, which can leave a rubbery product prone to mold without preservatives, our process draws out nearly all of the moisture so the fruit in our snack products are intensely flavored, naturally sweet, and slightly crunchy. Almost all of the nutrition is retained, as is the fiber and healthy phyto-nutrients.
A bonus? Even kids who don’t like fresh fruit often love freeze dried fruit because of its crunch. Try it!
What vegetarian or vegan options are included in the Nova Scotia Organics product line?
Most all of our products are vegetarian, and many are vegan. Exceptions include those products, which include calcium sourced from organic eggshell. Most pages on our site include a navigation menu along the left margin, just click on ‘vegetarian’ or ‘vegan’ and a list of qualifying products will pop right up.
I’m pregnant, are your products suitable for me? Is there anything I should be concerned about?
Hey, congratulations from all of us! We are so glad you found our site and love that you’re clearly trying to start your baby’s life off on the right foot. We have a terrific, completely USDA Certified Organic Pre and Postnatal Multivitamins & Minerals product that we hope you’ll consider. After all, why try to calculate exactly how much herbicide or pesticide is acceptable for a fetus' healthy development? Or how much synthetic solvent used to extract nutrients by even many "natural" product manufacturers are really too much for your baby? Good grief.
Our USDA Certified Pre and Postnatal Multivitamins & Minerals formula takes all that worry away: They’re also GMO free, vegetarian, gluten free, peanut free, soy free, dairy free, magnesium stearate free and made from whole foods.
Very few of our products are contraindicated for pregnant women, and those that are have a clear warning statement to this effect right in the “Ingredients & Other Information” tab on the respective product’s page. We encourage you to discuss our Pre and Post Natal Multivitamins & Minerals with your obstetrician or other health care provider. (Be prepared to wait while he or she writes down our website address. When they see our formula, they often want to recommend it to their other patients. Do let us know when this happens, will you? It makes our day every time.)
What is your return policy?
Nova Scotia Organics will gladly provide a 100% refund on all unopened or damaged items returned within 30 days of purchase. Nova Scotia Organics is not responsible for any return shipping and handling charges. We cannot accept, refund or credit opened products. If you do choose to return one of our products, or are displeased for any reason, we hope you’ll take a moment and tell us why. We’re listening to what you have to say and always appreciate the opportunity to understand your point of view.