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Why produce organic granola?

Organic farming was not born yesterday, but despite growing demand, it is still a complex subject for many. At Fourmi Bionique, organic is at the heart of our priorities since day one, as is local sourcing, in the production of our granola, snacks and for our bulk ingredients. However, we must constantly think about how to integrate it into our offer. Organic has a cost and requires compromise. Should we focus on organic granola or local granola? Organic or Fairtrade? Is organic certification always a guarantee and certainty of quality? You will see that the answers are far from obvious.


Why choose certified organic granola?

Organic certification guarantees that 70% or more of organic ingredients were used in the recipe. But what does that really mean? An ingredient that is classified as organic has been produced in the context of sustainable agriculture and respect for biodiversity. In other words, it is a mode of production that rules out the use of synthetic chemicals, GMOs. This type of agriculture recycles organic matter and practices crop rotation to preserve the soils.

It therefore guarantees greater respect for the product, environment and health. Indeed, a recent study conducted by the INSERM (the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research) on nearly 69,000 people and relayed in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) shows that there is 25% less cancer in people who regularly consume organic food. Learn more.

These are all reasons that encourage us to focus on organic food and place it at the center of our thinking.

Should we choose organic or local?

This is an important question, as local organic products are often more expensive than abroad. In addition, not all ingredients can be produced anywhere: try to produce organic coconut here… That is when we need to ask the right questions. When should we buy organic and when should we buy local?


In order to answer this question, several facts must be taken into account

– The ingredient’s availability in the organic version.

– There is not enough organic food for everyone: it only represents 1% of all agricultural production.

Not all organic supplies are equal. There may be differences in organic specifications across countries, although there are equivalencies/agreements between the different territories. And knowing that over 80% of Chinese underground water is polluted, we should definitely ask ourselves the question. Source New York Times.

– Local conventional agriculture sometimes has less impact on ecology, health and economy compared to buying organic food from far away on the planet. Source Équiterre. FYI, the food sector accounts for 15 to 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. Source FoodSource.

– Providing 100% organic products at coercive prices is not a progressive approach, it does not make it possible to democratize its access to the greatest number.

– Producing organic at a low price can lead to abuse: fraud (honey is for example very often tampered with), pressure on employees (low wages, illegal employment, black market…), or on ecology when demand is too high and we must produce more and more (industrial drifts, drying up of land…). Source Food and Wine.

– All products from conventional agriculture are not as exposed to pesticides. Learn more.

Organic farming can therefore present its own issues. When the option of local and organic is not possible, the choice is up to the companies: offering 100% organic and abandoning the philosophy that goes with it at the expense of having to change the recipe/product, or give it up and lose market share. As we say: every choice is a renunciation.

Not being organic granola also has a cost!

Not being organic granola stamped can have many repercussions for a company. This can close the doors of some specialized points of sale, a part of the customer base and even some countries where the legislation is more restrictive (especially in Europe).

At Fourmi Bionique, we have made choices that we fully assume, choices that sometimes force us to give up certain sales opportunities. We have decided to put the quality of our products at the center of everything. That is why we source local organic when possible, but not at all costs.

To create organic and cheaper products, we could have chosen, for example, to exclusively use organic cane sugar. However, our desire to respect the artisanal character of our recipes and to offer healthy and high-end granolas has led us to continue to add local honey, a luxury ingredient. And we are one of the few to do it! Unfortunately, it is difficult to use local organic honey considering that the production is low and the price is high. We could also buy organic imported honey, but we prefer to put forward the quality ingredients of our local producers.


Fourmi Bionique: the Organic, the Local and the Fairtrade

We shared with you here the tradeoffs we have made in order to offer healthy and qualitative blends.

Local organic supply mainly concerns grain products that are easily found in Quebec: oats, spelt, rye and barley.

The different organic products that we wish to source but whose supply is difficult in Quebec are imported from Quebec distributors who can assure us the quality and traceability: this concerns the cane sugar, the coconut (the flour and the coconut sugar), sesame seeds, flax seeds, white chocolate, 71% dark chocolate, milk and caramel chocolate, espresso chocolate, Thompson grapes, tamari, Siberian ginseng, marigold petals, astragalus powder, maca powder, elm powder, elderberries, marshmallow root, matcha tea.

Then, there are products that we wanted to source in Quebec, even if it means using conventional agriculture. We’re talking about honey, maple syrup, cranberries and artisan chocolates from Chocolats Geneviève Grandbois.

Finally, we also wanted to ensure that some products come from a fairtrade supply: 71% organic dark chocolate, espresso chocolate, milk and caramel chocolate and cocoa powder.

In addition, the local, organic or fairtrade origin of each ingredient is well specified on our packaging.


The organic certification of our Grand Granola

The Grand Granola range is Ecocert Canada certified in the 70 to 95% organic ingredients category, the other ingredients being conventional and GMO free. This certification meets CARTV’s Designation Specification Manual and an audit is carried out each year. It consists of a validation of ingredients, methods and preparation processes according to the reference system. The objective is to ensure the respect of the organic integrity of products throughout the production chain. For more information, visit Ecocert Canada.

A grain-free granola? But why?


Since 2018, we have progressively introduced our new product line, Nutbrown. Unlike the Grand Granola, these are grain free granolas, meaning they are produced without any cereals. Today, 6 flavors exist, including 4 vegan ones. But why grain free granola? Is a recipe without cereals still good? We will go through all your questions in this article.

The Grand Granola line and its cereals qualities

In the Grand Granola assortment, you will find oats, spelt, rye and barley. All organic certified by Ecocert Canada. Cereals are the traditional basis of any self-respecting granola. They provide the crispy texture that we all know so well and they also are very nourishing. Cereals are an essential staple food of our diet, and Health Canada recommends that they be given the greatest importance, on the exact same level as vegetables, fruits and other protein or plant-based foods in our diet. Source Health Canada.



Cereals, certainly, but above all, whole grains! Our cereal products are all whole grain certified. Health Canada specifically recommends their consumption considering they contain far more fiber than refined grains. More info on whole grains.


Oats, for example, are rich in soluble fiber. They help lower blood cholesterol levels, control blood sugar, regulate appetite and weight gain, and can prevent colon cancer. Source Dietitians of Canada. Learn more about oats.


Spelt, for its part, is rich in insoluble fiber. It has the great advantage of regulating bowel transit. Low consumption of insoluble fiber can lead to constipation. The excess will have the opposite effect. It is therefore important to consume the right amount in order to benefit from good digestive health and prevent certain diseases. Spelt is rich in iron and protein, making it an ingredient of choice, although its yield is lower than that of wheat, for example. Learn more about spelt.


Rye acts against cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes as well as cancer. Phytoestrogens, Sterols, Antioxidants, Alkylresorcinols, Phenolic Acids, Fibers… All these elements with barbaric names are all the allies for our health that can be found in rye. It therefore certainly deserves to be part of our diet! Learn more about rye.


Barley is also rich in soluble fiber and antioxidants. Learn more about barley.

In short, cereals are an essential basis for a good intake of fiber, antioxidants, proteins, vitamins, minerals… they can also prevent certain diseases. So why put them aside?


Why a grain free granola?

There are several reasons that may cause some consumers to stay away from cereals. First of all, by skepticism. Indeed, some nutritionists, doctors, naturopaths, sports coaches… have contributed to the growth of grain-free products. A momentum supported by nutritional arguments and the fear of gluten. This has become the number one public enemy in the food industry this last decade.

Grain free granola: Gluten allergy or celiac disease

We hear and sometimes get confused with all the notions about the subject. And for good reason, it is a topic that is relayed everywhere to explain pains of all kinds. A bit like Lyme disease.

Celiac disease is to be distinguished from gluten intolerant. In the first case, it is an autoimmune disease, often hereditary, induced by the ingestion of gluten. In the second case, it is estimated that 3 to 6% of the population has a non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

This group of people develop symptoms close to that of the irritable bowel, without it being an immune response. Gluten intolerance is still poorly understood.

In both cases, it is important to stay away from gluten to avoid unpleasant or dangerous side effects: malnutrition, lactose intolerance, anemia, osteoporosis, kidney stones, etc. Learn more about celiac disease and gluten.


Grain free granola: Skeptics and dietetics

The abuse of refined cereals in recent decades has led to the association of cereals with junk food. Refined cereals are found in white flour, white rice, white pasta, white bread, couscous, and therefore also in many processed industrial products. They are also easier to preserve, so there are fewer losses for the manufacturers who use them.

However, contrary to what the purity of their name indicates, they are less interesting in dietary terms than their “raw” parents. In fact, by grinding or sieving, the refining will remove the bran and the germ from the cereal. This has the disadvantage of also removing the fibers and a good part of the precious vitamins and minerals. For example, refined cereals are more caloric because they contain more carbohydrates. Learn more.

Another topic for debate: followers of the Paleo Diet believe that the human genome has not changed enough to follow the introduction of cereals in our diet. More info in our article about this topic.

The Nutbrown grain free granola product line and its qualities

We conceived the NUTBROWN products first and foremost to offer an original, gourmet and healthy alternative to traditional granola. Almonds, sunflower seeds, cashews, sesame, flax, coconut… We use nuts and seeds that offer a wide variety of nutritional aspects that are different from traditional granola.


Like other nuts, the almond contains unsaturated fatty acids, proteins, vitamins or minerals that would prevent cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers, Parkinson’s disease and even strengthen cognitive abilities. We can clearly call it a superfood! Learn more.

Sunflower, Sesame and Flax seeds

These are all three oilseeds and they offer, as their name suggests, good fats. Believe it or not, good fats are essential for the proper functioning of the body. Despite their higher caloric intake, these fats provide excellent satiety and nutritional density. They allow to maintain a balanced diet, but also to prevent some diseases. Heart disease, type 2 diabetes, a lower risk of gallstones, the risk of colon cancer in women, and a cholesterol-lowering effect. Learn more.

Cashew nut

Low in fat, cashews are nutritionally very interesting to maintain a general good health. Indeed, like almonds, pistachios, pecans, walnuts… They would have a cholesterol-lowering effect, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, removal of the gallbladder and colon cancer in women. It is a good source of Magnesium, Iron, Copper, Phosphorus, Manganese and Zinc. Learn more.


Very popular and known for its taste and properties, coconut is a must in many recipes. Rich in good lipids, fiber, iron and phosphorus, the coconut promotes the effect of satiety and good intestinal transit. Learn more.

In summary, a grain-free granola can be an interesting choice in nutritional terms. We are proud to offer you this original and tasty alternative, which reproduces the texture of granola without cereals. We have built a product range for everyone! There is a granola to satisfy everyone, including those who chose for one reason or another not to consume cereals. Undeniably, it is often difficult to keep having fun despite following a restrictive diet. And for us, pleasure is sacred, so enjoy!

Why recipes without sulfites?



You probably don’t know it, but all our granolas, snacks and bulk ingredients are sulfite-free! In this article, we will explain why we chose sulfite-free products and recipes.

What are sulphites?

The sulphites (also written sulfites) are salts of sulfur dioxide with antioxidants and antiseptic properties. They are thus used in the food industry as preservatives. What is less known is that they are also naturally present in certain foods and in the body.

In the end, we can find them a little everywhere in our daily diet at different dosages. In large quantities in dried fruits, wine, cider, alcoholic or non-alcoholic beer, bottled lemon or lime juice, dried fruit, shellfish, processed food, vinegar, pickles, mustard, cold cuts…


What is the regulation for the display?

In Canada, sulphites must be displayed on the packaging. Either in the list of ingredients or with a statement “Contains Sulfites”, if they are added directly to a food as food additives or if their quantity exceeds 10 ppm (10 parts per million in the finished product). For some time, the name necessarily contains the term “sulphites” to avoid any confusion.

In Europe too, the declaration of the presence of sulphites in food is obligatory when their concentration reaches 10 mg / kg or 10 mg / L. The various types of sulphites will then be designated under these codes: E 220 (sulfur dioxide), E 221 (sodium sulphite), E 223 (sodium bisulphite), E 224 (sodium metabisulphite), E 225 (potassium sulphite), E 226 (calcium sulphite), E 227 (calcium bisulphite), E 228 (potassium hydrogen sulphite).

One can nevertheless ask the question of unpackaged products likely to contain some (shrimps for example).



Why recipes without sulfites?

At La Fourmi Bionique, we have strict specifications when we develop recipes. Since our beginnings, we want to choose the most natural and healthy ingredients for our recipes, so without sulfites. For most people, consumption of sulfites is safe. However, some people experience sensitivity or intolerance. They may have a reaction with the same symptoms as an allergy (see Food Allergy Canada). Side effects can be more or less serious (see the NCBI article): migraines, itching / hives, hemorrhoids, sneezing, abdominal pain, asthma attacks … until anaphylactic shock. If you are intolerant to aspirin, you are likely to make sometimes violent reactions to sulphites. It also affects more people with asthma. It is therefore vital in these cases to avoid them. Unfortunately, sulfite problems are less fashionable and less exposed than can be gluten and few consumers are really aware of them.


Should I avoid them?

If you are very sulfites intolerant, avoiding them can be perhaps a question of life or death. It will be useful to find out by reading the lists of ingredients and asking questions, especially in restaurants that must be able to inform you about their presence. More info on the Health Canada website.

In general, we think it’s best to avoid them as much as possible. Indeed, depending on your consumption mode, it is possible to exceed the daily dose recommended by WHO (0.7 mg / kg of body weight per day). For this, prefer organic foods without sulphites, as well as organic or biodynamic wines that contain fewer sulfites than conventional wines. For example, organic regulation of wine in Europe, Canada and the USA limits the addition of sulfites. Organic wines can contain 30% to 50% less. Also avoid low-end ready-made food and processed food.