ABC News Joins Runa in the Amazon
ABC News joined Runa co-founder Tyler Gage and actor and Runa investor Channing Tatum on a trip to the Ecuadorian rainforest to see the origins of the guayusa tea company. In addition to partaking in an ages old tea-drinking ritual with the Kichwa natives, Gage and Tatum took ABC’s Rebecca Jarvis to the company’s guayusa processing facility in Archidona. Gage says Runa employs 3,000 Ecuadorian farmers who’ve planted 1.2 million trees growing the naturally caffeinated Amazonian super leaf. As for Tatum, he says his involvement with the company has been an experience that’s gone far beyond just an investment opportunity.
“I’ve met some of the most beautiful people that truly changed my life,” Tatum said. “This experience of just being a part of this tea company has enriched my life to a degree that I don’t even know if I can express it.”
Kirban’s Coconut Water Story
ABC News’ Jarvis also recently sat down with Vita Coco co-founder Michael Kirban to discuss the explosion of the coconut water category in the United States, which began 12 years ago when Kirban and co-founder Ira Liran met two Brazilian women in a New York City bar, who told them what they missed most about their homeland was the beverage.
“Coconut water at the time was everywhere in Brazil,” Kirban said. “So we saw a business opportunity and decided to start a business.”
When Vita Coco launched in 2004 it was available in a 30-block radius in New York City; it now spans 30 countries around the world. When asked if the category’s success could be temporary and if he worried coconut water could be “just a fad,” Kirban pointed to the beverages’ longstanding history, which dates far beyond his company’s story.
“Coconut water has been a massive category in the entire tropical world for generations,” he said. “All we’ve done is bring it to North America and bring it to Europe and other places it didn’t exist before.”
Can Coffee Undo Liver Damage? Green Tea Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis?
A new study suggests that drinking more coffee may help reduce liver damage associated with alcohol consumption. Reuters spoke with study author Dr. Oliver Kennedy of Southampton University, who said his research – which studied 1,990 patients with cirrhosis – showed that increasing coffee consumption by two cups a day showed a significant reduction in the risk of developing liver cirrhosis. Interestingly enough, Kennedy was unsure of exactly what component of coffee was contributing to the results.
“Coffee is a complex mixture containing hundreds of chemical compounds, and it is unknown which of these is responsible for protecting the liver,” he said.
Meanwhile, Yahoo News has reported on research from a team at Washington State University in Spokane showing that a compound found in green tea may be effective at treating the effects of rheumatoid arthritis. The molecule, called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), was given to rat models of human rheumatoid arthritis with knee swelling, and over a ten day period, the team observed a significant reduction in that swelling.
Juice: A History Lesson
Eater has explored the concept of juice and its evolution over the last century from fresh-squeezed to frozen concentrate to today’s cold-pressed craze. The culinary news outlet also examined the use of the phrase “fresh” and its role in communicating the merits of the product to consumers. As for today’s cutting-edge pasteurization technologies, like high pressure processing, Eater said there’s little evidence that HPP retains fruit and vegetable nutrients better than heat-treated products.