Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat: Meet the Next Superfood!

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Northern Appalachia is home to a small family farm called Angelica Mill. This historic land is owned and worked by Sam Beer and his wife, Lucia. What makes this place—and these people—unique? They may be the only growers in the United States of an ancient crop that has a powerful phytonutrient profile: Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat. Big Bold Health is proud to partner with Angelica Mill and an expanding network of small growers to bring Himalayan Tartary buckwheat to the US marketplace and beyond.

Jeffrey Bland:                Well, here I am at Angelica farms in Angelica New York with one of the most special and really tremendous opportunities to visit with a Sam and Lucia Beer, farmers, in this beautiful valley of Upstate New York. And the only people in the United States that we’re aware of that, are still cultivating this ancient grain Himalayan Tartary buckwheat. And you might say, why are they the only ones, and what happened to Tartary buckwheat, and what is unique about this crop and, why are these people still standing tough against all opposition to a have a portion of their land dedicated to Tartary buckwheat.

Jeffrey Bland:                You’re going to learn about that, because that’s why we’re here, from the individual who knows, I call him an expert. Some people say, well an expert is a, a person that’s 30 miles away from homeless slides, but in this case, we are at the Beer home. So he doesn’t have to have slides and be away from home to be an expert we’re on his farm.

Jeffrey Bland:                So Sam, wonderful to be here and share this day with you and Lucia and your family and your beautiful environment. So let’s jump right into it. Why is Sam Beer and Lucia Beer the last remaining Himalayan Tartary buckwheat farmers that we can identify in the United States? And what’s about this particular unique plant?

Sam Beer:                     Thank you first Jeff, for making the trip or coming the distance all the way from Washington state to New York state and then the considerable drive from Buffalo down into the Hinterlands. And we’re delighted that you have made the effort.

Sam Beer:                     As to our uniqueness, as far as we can tell, we we’re the only farmer/millers of Tartary buckwheat. I think there may still be some growers in Northern Maine, but in terms of the processing, I think we’re the only ones. Our introduction to Tartary buckwheat actually came about by accident. We had been on this farm for several years, first milking cows and then as weekend visitors when we moved our family to Ithaca, New York, while our kids were going to school. And during the summer I’d often grow a few varieties of common buckwheat, to see if any of them performed particularly well. And none of them did. But among the seed packets that I received were two that had been mislabeled and they were quickly identifiable as seeds of Tartary buckwheat rather than common buckwheat. And I looked at them and not wanting to waste them. I said, “Well, I’ll throw them in the ground anyway.” And they didn’t do spectacularly, but they did at least as well as the varieties of common buckwheat that I tried.

Sam Beer:                     So the next year, I’d replanted the seed that I’d collected, seems the year after that I did the same. What started as a 50 seed packet, eventually ended up being field scale farming. The problem was that because the crop had disappeared from this country, even from this part of Appalachia where it had once been grown, so too the market had disappeared. The next step was, “Can we make a product that would be sellable?” So the farming operation expanded into a very modest milling operation and ultimately to a license from New York state to market our flour and the brand from our seed. And that’s the stage at which you discovered us.

Jeffrey Bland:                Well you know, there’s a lesson that I’ve learned over my years of living around serendipity or happenstance, or what we call random events. And as I’ve grown older, I’m less convinced that things happen by random. I think that there are certain divine principles that bring people together.

Jeffrey Bland:                And so in your relationship to Tartary buckwheat, I think that there’s some interesting parts of your history that I’d like you to share and that is, being an agricultural scientist of type, not just kind of maybe a garden variety farmer. Nothing wrong being a garden variety for any farmer, but having kind of an agricultural science and having been at Cornell University at that kind of a stage of your career. And then your mind, obviously is patterned towards looking at things maybe a little bit differently in terms of seed generation and optimization of crops. It kind of brings you into this area of inquiry that eventually allows you to start doing these experiments that maybe other farmers might not do. And as you do that, then you start investing yourself and understanding you and Lucia. What is the history of Tartary buckwheat? And Tartary is a district in Asia, for which this particular material has been used for, as a food stuff for over 2000 years. And so you start getting culturally deep into it.

Jeffrey Bland:                So I want to honor you because I think it’s a process by which it wasn’t just putting seeds in the ground, there’s a whole intellectual process that underlies this. And if you could summarize for our viewers who may not be familiar with this history, just a summary of how this was grown more polemically and why it’s not growing today? What are the dynamics that have created this opportunity now, for the Beers with the Himalayan Tartary buckwheat.

Sam Beer:                     I think it’s a fascinating history. It is thought to have developed in Southwest China. It was particularly connected with an ethnic group there called the Yi, but it expanded in all directions, expanded eastward into Korea and Japan, southward into the Indian subcontinent and to Nepal and India, and even areas apparently in South India. Then it made a long, slow trek westward reaching Europe. It has names in several European languages from, Swedish, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and, languages in the Balkans, France, which suggested that it was widely cultivated there. It probably traveled in conjunction with common buckwheat either as a weed and seed lots or, because farmers didn’t particularly care which species grew, that they would plant mixed seed lots and harvest whatever grew. That’s a, that’s a form of early form of crop insurance.

Sam Beer:                     So the plant eventually reached North America, either coming into the maritime with the Acadians or the early English Settlers, or into the Hudson Valley with the Dutch, and then worked its ways through the Appalachians, all the way down to North Carolina. It had a wide geographic range at one point. What’s interesting to me was how modern science and technology upended the traditional world. And in the decades after World War II, modern science took aim at the major food crops, particularly corn, and wheat, and rice, potatoes. Major international research centers were established to breed these crops. The gains in productivity were so immense, that farmers readily abandoned a species that they have grown for millennia and follow the money, essentially, and Tartary buckwheat was one of the casualties of that huge scientific advance. It disappeared within decades over most of the areas where it had previously been grown, including North America.

Jeffrey Bland:                And so a lot of people who are listening or watching this might say, “Well, that’s sad losing species diversity, but I never knew about Tartary buckwheat to begin with. So really is it a big loss.?” I think one of the most remarkable things, now I’m speaking as a nutritional scientist, one of the most remarkable things and how it relates to Big Bold Health and health promotion is that it’s one of the most vital nutrient dense products in the agricultural world. It has the highest level of any known plant of Rutin, one of the flavonoids. It is very high in a whole family of interesting flavonoids, that all have immune logical support properties.

Jeffrey Bland:                It is in all essence, what we might euphemistically call a super food. And so as we move to a high production form of alternative crops, which might give good yield, we then gave away some of this nutritional density that was found in Himalayan Tartary buckwheat, as a consequence of it being this very vital kind of a plant, that could grow against adverse conditions and have to make all these interesting plant protective compounds, to allow it to grow in hostile environments. So now we lose that for the agribusiness, big acreage of the commercial crops and to the detriment of some of the nutrition values. So lo and behold, you’re rescuing our nutrition value with Himalayan Tartary buckwheat.

Sam Beer:                     I think that most consumers are unaware of the degree that even the modern crops, their continued development and their exploitation for a lot of interesting nutritional factors, rests on a wide base of genetic variability and also that the security of those crops rests on a wide base of resistance to a number of diseases and pests. The picture-perfect ear of corn is maintained by a large family of ugly cousins. And it’s to our detriment to narrow that base, there are species and varieties that we should be humble our understanding of their value. They have unknown and unappreciated traits that are worth preserving.

Jeffrey Bland:                Yeah. I think that comes across so strongly when we met you and even before meeting you, and just in our communication prior to visiting your farm. This is a commitment to kind of the concept, the robustness of the plant kingdom and how diversity is stability in an ecological terminology and, some of the nutritional value that we may have given up in some of these original cultivars for improvement in yield. All of these are interesting trade-offs that are occurring in our mechanized farming of today. So then that leads us to, can we preserve a value-added farming opportunity for people who might want to be in this more artisanal farming? I guess or whatever they’d call it for these other cultivars of which ordinary and Tartary buckwheat would be an example. And how do we make that a commercially viable operation so that people who want to preserve that option can make a gainful living doing so? And that’s part of this experiment that you all and we all are in involved with. I think it’s a very interesting way of thinking about entrepreneurism at the family farm level.

Sam Beer:                     Well, I think the farmers market movement, is an essential part of that. People are introduced firsthand to an array of varieties and even an entirely new herbs and vegetables of which they were unaware. The other piece of that is a culture of exploration that consumers have to be willing to take risks, take these things home, slice and dice and cook and eat. Be prepared for some strange new flavors. I have a brother who, who was in the Peace Corps in Nepal many decades ago, and so was exposed to a novel cuisine that most Americans of that time hadn’t experienced and was transformed by it. It transforms its own habits. I think, you know, there is a fair slice of the population that’s willing to entertain that idea of a new diet, a transformation of what they’ve always eaten. And I think that’s great.

Jeffrey Bland:                Yeah. And you know, it’s interesting, in our conversations we were having earlier, you were characterizing yourself, and I think lovingly so, hopefully, as idiosyncratic. It seems like you’re very openhearted and opened armed, which is part of being open to the experimental trials of making this kind of angry or honorary crop at times, which is Himalayan Tartary buckwheat stand up both literally and figuratively for you. Cause I know it’s been a challenge as to how to actually make it commercially capable of producing a yield that would be meaningful.

Jeffrey Bland:                So tell us a little bit about that experience, because I can almost see this droopy Himalayan Tartary buckwheat that you’ve had to deal with over the years.

Sam Beer:                     One of the distinctive accomplishments of plant breeding, and the major crops was to shorten the stature of the crop and simultaneously make a stronger stem. If you’re using the stem to feed your livestock and you’re harvesting by hand and with a little sickle, it doesn’t much matter. You don’t mind the fact that the plant is four feet tall. But if you want it to stand up until you can cut it with a combine, then inevitably that extra height is leveraged for the wind and the rain to break the stem and leave the crop flat. That’s what often happens with our Tartary buckwheat. We find fields that we harvest half standing up and half lying down.

Sam Beer:                     I have no doubt that the crop will look substantially different 50 years from now or even a decade from now. But I think the interesting thing is the humility with which breeders will approach this crop. That the era where you design new varieties, simply so they stand up when you crank the fertilizer to them. And when you use the pesticides to create optimal growing conditions. I think that era is past and that breeders will be much more aware that there’s a range of values and a range of traits that they should be looking at, including and particularly, the nutritional values of the crop.

Jeffrey Bland:                I just wanted to have you share a little anecdote that you had told us about, because I think it’s so characterizes this concept of artisanal farming and starting off with an idea and testing it over time and getting it perfected. And it goes back to the story of the first time you combined buckwheat with one of your neighbors on an old piece of equipment.

Jeffrey Bland:                And I thought that story was so symbolic and emblematic of the whole nature of a startup and the kind of endurance and tenacity you have. Could you relate that story?

Sam Beer:                     Sure. Actually, this story related to common buckwheat. My brother and I had borrowed a combine. Quite a relic. It had a gasoline engine, it had a radiator on that engine that leaked so that every time, every circuit of the field required a stop to refill the radiator. And the combine also was of a vintage where the seed came out a spout and was collected in bags. And somebody sat at the top of the combine, tying off bags, and dropping them down a shoot, and then securing the next bag to be filled.

Sam Beer:                     So, we put our neighbor on top of the combine, on the bagger, and my brother and I drove around the field, stopping each circuit to refill the radiator, and about the third time around we said, “So how’s it going up there?” Well, it turned out we had about two handfuls of seed. But our neighbor was having so much fun up there on top of the combine that he was not going, he never would have revealed that until we had done the whole field. Well we said, “Enough of that.” Pulled out of the field, and I literally didn’t grow buckwheat for about 20 years after that.

Sam Beer:                     But there was some nagging fascination and subsequently I started looking at different varieties of common buckwheat. And that ultimately led to Tartary buckwheat. The main difference between the two species is the pollination system.

Sam Beer:                     Common buckwheat has a beautiful white pinkish flower that’s very attractive to bees. Often grown as a honey crop. Tartary buckwheat has very tiny, inconspicuous flowers, and that’s because the plants largely self-pollinate, and they don’t require insects. Although bumblebees and some other insects do visit the flowers. But that self-pollination is really a mechanism that pretty much ensures good weather, or bad, you’re going to get a pretty reliable seed set from the plants. That doesn’t translate into a reliable harvest, but at least you get at the halfway stage in the season. Predictably there are a lot of seeds growing on the plant.

Jeffrey Bland:                Yes. So that is a really interesting part of the story for me, because as a nutritional scientist and a person who’s involved with Big Bold Health, and helping people be healthy, I look at the nutritional attributes of Tartary buckwheat, versus common buckwheat. And it’s quite amazing actually, that the level of phytochemicals in the Tartary buckwheat are so profoundly greater, than that in common buckwheat. Some multiple times order of magnitude higher in terms of rutin.

Jeffrey Bland:                And so you start asking a question, a kind of an evolutionary question. Why would one species of buckwheat do something, one strain, that another doesn’t? In terms of producing from its genes, such an array at a high level of these phytochemicals? And of course, in plant biology, we know that these phytochemicals have purpose, the plant just doesn’t do all this energy producing thing to make these chemicals just free of charge. It does so for its own defense, and its own survival. So, this is a plant obviously that is accustomed to more harsh conditions, and conditions that it has to make itself on its own.

Jeffrey Bland:                And it produces all these things that, for the plant, are essential for its survival. But then as we think of human nutrition, I think it’s a very fascinating coevolution, that those same nutrients, quercetin and rutin, and all these kinds of interesting flavonoids that are high in the Tartary buckwheat are also now being found through the latest human nutrition research as having very profound effects on the defense of the human through its immune system.

Jeffrey Bland:                So it’s like the immune system of the plant is connected to the immune system of the human through this resilience factor that’s found in these phytochemicals. So as you got into this, the Tartary buckwheat story, was that something that kind of pulled you into saying, wow, it’s a product that has maybe some challenges, but it also has some real virtues as it relates to nutritional value?

Sam Beer:                     I actually didn’t research Tartary buckwheat extensively until we’d started to grow it. One thing that’s notable is the research from Asia, the home of Tartary buckwheat, often talks about an altitudinal difference. Higher elevations, Tartary buckwheat, lower elevations, common buckwheat.

Sam Beer:                     There is some cold hardiness difference but also there is apparently a difference in tolerance to UV radiation. High elevations, the air is thinner, less of the UV radiation is filtered out. And so more of it strikes the plant. And the Tartary buckwheat uses some of these chemicals as protectants.

Sam Beer:                     And it turns out because we share, plants and animals share a lot of the basic cellular biochemistry, that that’s what’s protective for the plant is in fact protective for the animal as well.

Sam Beer:                     But this was something that I’m still learning about, having grown, become familiar with the plant in the ground. And now we’re realizing, what’s really been extensively studied in Europe and in Asia but not North America, that this is a, really an interesting and valuable plant.

Jeffrey Bland:                Yeah. I go into thinking about the nature of how plant science connects to agronomy, which connects to food production with connects to commercialization in the food system.

Jeffrey Bland:                And so when we look at Tartary buckwheat, anyone that has had experience with it will say it has a very different taste. It has different organoleptic properties than common buckwheat. And people might say at first exposure, “This taste is very strong. Or it has some kind of a taste that I’m not familiar with.”

Jeffrey Bland:                Because what has happened over the years of food production is that we have taken out by interbreeding a lot of these phytochemicals or process them out, when we produce the final product. So that the tastes that we’re exposed to now as a population are very, and I’m going to use this term, kind of a double meaning, bland.

Jeffrey Bland:                They are really very neutral. And so we’re used to salt. We’re used to sweet, but we’re not used to a lot of other flavors that come along for the ride. And the natural plants where they’re rich in these phytochemicals, like some of the cultivars that are now being bred out of production in commercial products, are those that impart flavor characteristics and we’re not used to them. So we might consider them at first blush to be unacceptable or to be too strong. And Tartary buckwheat is certainly in that category because of its high density of these phytochemicals.

Jeffrey Bland:                A person might say, “Oh boy, this is not so neutral,” like white flour for instance. And I think it’s a learned kind of taste. We’ve got to relearn what our ancestors already knew when they were eating these cultivars as a natural part of their diet.

Jeffrey Bland:                They didn’t think it was unusual or strange. They were used to these flavors because it was part of their natural diet that imparted them certain health characteristics. In fact, a factoid that I’m familiar with is if you look at the Victorian period in England where the agriculture was just starting to be mechanized, and so you had the upper class starting to have milled flour, and the lower class eating these thick un-milled breads. And you start looking at all the flavonoids and the nutrients that were in these. You look at the health differences between those that ate the old stuff that was not all processed, versus the new stuff that was processed.

Jeffrey Bland:                The health effects on the records that were kept back there in the Victorian era showed very high longevity and low disease rates in those that were still eating the original foods with all those nutrients that were not processed out. So I think there’s lots of lessons that buckwheat, and the difference of common versus Tartary buckwheat tells us about taste, organoleptic properties and nutritional value and retraining ourselves to eat things that are more nutrient dense.

Jeffrey Bland:                So, I want to applaud your vigilance to preserve this ancient crop, which has these extraordinary nutritional values. So, I know your wife has worked hard on this.

Sam Beer:                     I agree with you. Absolutely. It’s a taste education. And you have to be open to it. What we found is you start with a little bit and you get used to it and then you find that you can use a little more and a little more. And what startles you the first time, you actually learn to enjoy.

Sam Beer:                     I think it’s really important to introduce children to a taste varied diet when they’re young. We know that the children around the world grow up in vastly different cultural backgrounds with different diets and they’re perfectly comfortable with whatever they learned as their childhood norm.

Sam Beer:                     And so there’s no reason why those who have the capability to introduce their children to a range of foods early on, I think do their children a service when they do that.

Jeffrey Bland:                That’s really a great watchword and that’s a news to use. Thank you. That’s really important. We have two Big Bold Health Food Lab professionals, Barbara Schiltz and Michelle Babb, who are working on putting together the food plan and the recipes, and have worked now with consultation Lucia on the Tartary, Himalayan Tartary buckwheat story.

Jeffrey Bland:                And I think that both of them, both of our Food Lab people have been so empowered by your wife to experiment and start developing the 30-day eating plan that incorporates this. Just as you said, taking a step along the road, you don’t just start off with a full dose every meal of Tartary buckwheat. But rather, you start to blend it into your products and get that nutritional value. And it’s interesting to note that there’s been a lot of studies done on taste receptors and how they can be accommodated based on the exposure that they’re getting.

Jeffrey Bland:                So if you have very high salt diets, for instance, it’s well proven that your reception for the taste of salt goes down as you increase salt in your diet. So then if you start lowering the salt in the diet, your taste perception for salt goes up. So what at first might seem like, that’s too low in salt, over time your tongue and your taste receptor for sodium will accommodate that.

Jeffrey Bland:                Similarly, for sugar. We’re so used to such high sugar diets now, in particularly in children’s diets that when they get to something that’s less sweet, they’ll say, “Oh, that’s not palatable.” But over time those taste receptors for the glucose receptors in the tongue will start to perceive that lower stimulation and the threshold will change.

Jeffrey Bland:                Similarly, for bitter. And we, by the way, understand now that the bitter receptors on our tongue are morphologically or are chemically identical to the bitter receptors that reside in the intestinal tract of our digestive system. And therefore, our intestines are tasting all the time. And when they’re picking up this information of bitter, they’re actually stimulated to release into the blend, hormones that regulate insulin and regulate glucose.

Jeffrey Bland:                So certain bitter triggers in our body, our response that more effectively allows us to metabolize our food. So these stories are now starting to once again tie back into the ancient things that we knew thousands of years ago that we have to now re-visit. And you’re helping us to be reintroduced, with Himalayan Tartary buckwheat.

Sam Beer:                     And being introduced personally. Part of the explorations has been from planting the seed and to putting down the fork.

Jeffrey Bland:                Yeah, exactly.

Sam Beer:                     And what’s great is to have friends and family who, out of personal loyalty, are willing to make that exploration with us. And to share their experiences too.

Jeffrey Bland:                Well, we’re sitting here on your screen porch, your sun porch and your beautiful house. And I’m thinking, just reflecting back from your stories and now asking a question which is looking forward.

Jeffrey Bland:                So as we look forward, or as Sam and Lucia Beer look forward in their lives, what would be some of the things that you, if you could have a magic wand and wave the wand, that you’d like to see with regard to farming, agriculture, preservation of certain cultivars? And how do you see the future in your idealized circumstances?

Sam Beer:                     The history of farming is one of, clearly mechanization and tremendous advances in productivity, per acre or per man hour.

Sam Beer:                     But, it’s really created an occupation which has huge barriers of entry for young people. I know the regional, YMCA camp have introduced gardening to kids and found kids tremendously receptive.

Sam Beer:                     It saddens me that that enthusiasm isn’t met by a profession that really allows people to pursue that as an economically viable occupation, unless you happen to be born into it.

Sam Beer:                     To the degree that we can make small niche farming viable. We open up occupations that I think are, can be tremendously personally rewarding but, but also strengthen small towns. This bucolic part of America is also an area that loses a population of young people, that is a relatively stagnant economically. And that’s a systemic problem that I think requires a rejuvenated agriculture. And I think small farming is a part of that.

Jeffrey Bland:                Do you think that this farm to table movement that we’re witnessing is part of that returning back to the land concept? Do you think that will have some contribution?

Sam Beer:                     I think it’s a substantial contribution. Yeah. And those farmer’s markets and all the variants that have kind of, are ramified from the farmer’s market movement are very helpful.

Jeffrey Bland:                Well, I’d like to say just for the sake of all of you listening or watching this, that we have been very pleasured and I had been very privileged to spend this time with Sam Beer and his wife, Lucia.

Jeffrey Bland:                And what they’re doing here to really create a reality around a concept really, which is the preservation of the family farm and the creation of value-added nutrition dense crops and to preserve cultural diversity and seed diversity.

Jeffrey Bland:                I mean, there are many things that together that are all part of the Big Bold Health movement. This is really the essence of making health personal right down into the soil. And Sam, I want to thank you for the time spent and for your years of dedication to preserving this opportunity, moving forward.

Sam Beer:                     Well, I pursued it for purely personal reasons of enjoyment, but we certainly are gratified by the attention that you’ve paid to it. Thank you very much for that Jeff.

Jeffrey Bland:                Thank you.

 

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Limitations on Linking and Framing. You may establish a hypertext link to the Site so long as the link does not state or imply any sponsorship of your site by us or by the Site. However, you may not, without our prior written permission, frame or inline link any of the content of the Site, or incorporate into another website or other service any of our material, content or intellectual property.

 

Disclaimers

 

Throughout the Site, we may provide links and pointers to Internet sites maintained by third parties. Our linking to such third-party sites does not imply an endorsement or sponsorship of such sites, or the information, products or services offered on or through the sites. In addition, neither we nor affiliates operate or control in any respect any information, products or services that third parties may provide on or through the Site or on websites linked to by us on the Site.

 

If applicable, any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers, are those of the respective authors or distributors, and not COMPANY. Neither COMPANY nor any third-party provider of information guarantees the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content. Furthermore, COMPANY neither endorses nor is responsible for the accuracy and reliability of any opinion, advice, or statement made on any of the Sites by anyone other than an authorized COMPANY representative while acting in his/her official capacity.

 

THE INFORMATION, PRODUCTS AND SERVICES OFFERED ON OR THROUGH THE SITE AND BY COMPANY AND ANY THIRD-PARTY SITES ARE PROVIDED “AS IS” AND WITHOUT WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED. TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMISSIBLE PURSUANT TO APPLICABLE LAW, WE DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. WE DO NOT WARRANT THAT THE SITE OR ANY OF ITS FUNCTIONS WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR-FREE, THAT DEFECTS WILL BE CORRECTED, OR THAT ANY PART OF THIS SITE, INCLUDING BULLETIN BOARDS, OR THE SERVERS THAT MAKE IT AVAILABLE, ARE FREE OF VIRUSES OR OTHER HARMFUL COMPONENTS.

 

WE DO NOT WARRANT OR MAKE ANY REPRESENTATIONS REGARDING THE USE OR THE RESULTS OF THE USE OF THE SITE OR MATERIALS ON THIS SITE OR ON THIRD-PARTY SITES IN TERMS OF THEIR CORRECTNESS, ACCURACY, TIMELINESS, RELIABILITY OR OTHERWISE.

 

You agree at all times to defend, indemnify and hold harmless COMPANY its affiliates, their successors, transferees, assignees and licensees and their respective parent and subsidiary companies, agents, associates, officers, directors, shareholders and employees of each from and against any and all claims, causes of action, damages, liabilities, costs and expenses, including legal fees and expenses, arising out of or related to your breach of any obligation, warranty, representation or covenant  set forth herein.

 

Online Commerce

 

Certain sections of the Site may allow you to purchase many different types of products and services online that are provided by third parties. We are not responsible for the quality, accuracy, timeliness, reliability or any other aspect of these products and services. If you make a purchase from a merchant on the Site or on a site linked to by the Site, the information obtained during your visit to that merchant’s online store or site, and the information that you give as part of the transaction, such as your credit card number and contact information, may be collected by both the merchant and us. A merchant may have privacy and data collection practices that are different from ours. We have no responsibility or liability for these independent policies. In addition, when you purchase products or services on or through the Site, you may be subject to additional terms and conditions that specifically apply to your purchase or use of such products or services. For more information regarding a merchant, its online store, its privacy policies, and/or any additional terms and conditions that may apply, visit that merchant’s website and click on its information links or contact the merchant directly. You release us and our affiliates from any damages that you incur, and agree not to assert any claims against us or them, arising from your purchase or use of any products or services made available by third parties through the Site.

 

Your participation, correspondence or business dealings with any third party found on or through our Site, regarding payment and delivery of specific goods and services, and any other terms, conditions, representations or warranties associated with such dealings, are solely between you and such third party. You agree that COMPANY shall not be responsible or liable for any loss, damage, or other matters of any sort incurred as the result of such dealings.

 

You agree to be financially responsible for all purchases made by you or someone acting on your behalf through the Site. You agree to use the Site and to purchase services or products through the Site for legitimate, non-commercial purposes only. You also agree not to make any purchases for speculative, false or fraudulent purposes or for the purpose of anticipating demand for a particular product or service. You agree to only purchase goods or services for yourself or for another person for whom you are legally permitted to do so. When making a purchase for a third party that requires you to submit the third party’s personal information to us or a merchant, you represent that you have obtained the express consent of such third party to provide such third party’s personal information.

 

Interactive Features

 

This Site may include a variety of features, such as bulletin boards, web logs, chat rooms, and email services, which allow feedback to us and real-time interaction between users, and other features which allow users to communicate with others. Responsibility for what is posted on bulletin boards, web logs, chat rooms, and other public posting areas on the Site, or sent via any email services on the Site, lies with each user – you alone are responsible for the material you post or send. We do not control the messages, information or files that you or others may provide through the Site. It is a condition of your use of the Site that you do not:

  • Restrict or inhibit any other user from using and enjoying the Site.
  • Use the Site to impersonate any person or entity, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity.
  • Interfere with or disrupt any servers or networks used to provide the Site or its features, or disobey any requirements, procedures, policies or regulations of the networks we use to provide the Site.
  • Use the Site to instigate or encourage others to commit illegal activities or cause injury or property damage to any person.
  • Gain unauthorized access to the Site, or any account, computer system, or network connected to this Site, by means such as hacking, password mining or other illicit means.
  • Obtain or attempt to obtain any materials or information through any means not intentionally made available through this Site.
  • Use the Site to post or transmit any unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane or indecent information of any kind, including without limitation any transmissions constituting or encouraging conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability or otherwise violate any local, state, national or international law.
  • Use the Site to post or transmit any information, software or other material that violates or infringes upon the rights of others, including material that is an invasion of privacy or publicity rights or that is protected by copyright, trademark or other proprietary right, or derivative works with respect thereto, without first obtaining permission from the owner or rights holder.
  • Use the Site to post or transmit any information, software or other material that contains a virus or other harmful component.
  • Use the Site to post, transmit or in any way exploit any information, software or other material for commercial purposes, or that contains advertising.
  • Use the Site to advertise or solicit to anyone to buy or sell products or services, or to make donations of any kind, without our express written approval.
  • Gather for marketing purposes any email addresses or other personal information that has been posted by other users of the Site.

COMPANY may host message boards, chats and other private/public forums on its Sites and on other platforms. Any user failing to comply with the terms and conditions of this Agreement may be expelled from and refused continued access to, the message boards, groups, chats or other such forums in the future. COMPANY or its designated agents may remove or alter any user-created content at any time for any reason. Message boards, chats and other public forums are intended to serve as discussion centers for users and subscribers. Information and content posted within these public forums may be provided by COMPANY staff, COMPANY’s outside contributors, or by users not connected with COMPANY, some of whom may employ anonymous user names. COMPANY expressly disclaims all responsibility and endorsement and makes no representation as to the validity of any opinion, advice, information or statement made or displayed in these forums by third parties, nor are we responsible for any errors or omissions in such postings, or for hyperlinks embedded in any messages. Under no circumstances will we, our affiliates, suppliers or agents be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on information obtained through these forums. The opinions expressed in these forums are solely the opinions of the participants, and do not reflect the opinions of COMPANY or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates.

 

COMPANY has no obligation whatsoever to monitor any of the content or postings on the message boards, chat rooms or other public forums on the Sites. However, you acknowledge and agree that we have the absolute right to monitor the same at our sole discretion. In addition, we reserve the right to alter, edit, refuse to post or remove any postings or content, in whole or in part, for any reason and to disclose such materials and the circumstances surrounding their transmission to any third party in order to satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process or governmental request and to protect ourselves, our clients, sponsors, users and visitors.

 

Registration

 

To access certain features of the Site, we may ask you to provide certain demographic information including your gender, year of birth, zip code and country. In addition, if you elect to sign-up for a particular feature of the Site, such as chat rooms, web logs, or bulletin boards, you may also be asked to register with us on the form provided and such registration may require you to provide personally identifiable information such as your name and email address. You agree to provide true, accurate, current and complete information about yourself as prompted by the Site’s registration form. If we have reasonable grounds to suspect that such information is untrue, inaccurate, or incomplete, we have the right to suspend or terminate your account and refuse any and all current or future use of the Site (or any portion thereof). Our use of any personally identifiable information you provide to us as part of the registration process is governed by the terms of our Privacy Policy.

 

Passwords

 

To use certain features of the Site, you will need a username and password, which you will receive through the Site’s registration process. You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of the password and account, and are responsible for all activities (whether by you or by others) that occur under your password or account. You agree to notify us immediately of any unauthorized use of your password or account or any other breach of security, and to ensure that you exit from your account at the end of each session. We cannot and will not be liable for any loss or damage arising from your failure to protect your password or account information.

 

Limitation of Liability

 

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, NEGLIGENCE, SHALL WE, OUR SUBSIDIARY AND PARENT COMPANIES OR AFFILIATES BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES THAT RESULT FROM THE USE OF, OR THE INABILITY TO USE, THE SITE, INCLUDING OUR MESSAGING, BLOGS, COMMENTS OF OTHERS, BOOKS, EMAILS, PRODUCTS, OR SERVICES, OR THIRD-PARTY MATERIALS, PRODUCTS, OR SERVICES MADE AVAILABLE THROUGH THE SITE OR BY US IN ANY WAY, EVEN IF WE ARE ADVISED BEFOREHAND OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. (BECAUSE SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF CERTAIN CATEGORIES OF DAMAGES, THE ABOVE LIMITATION MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU. IN SUCH STATES, OUR LIABILITY AND THE LIABILITY OF OUR SUBSIDIARY AND PARENT COMPANIES OR AFFILIATES IS LIMITED TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY SUCH STATE LAW.) YOU SPECIFICALLY ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT WE ARE NOT LIABLE FOR ANY DEFAMATORY, OFFENSIVE OR ILLEGAL CONDUCT OF ANY USER. IF YOU ARE DISSATISFIED WITH THE SITE, ANY MATERIALS, PRODUCTS, OR SERVICES ON THE SITE, OR WITH ANY OF THE SITE’S TERMS AND CONDITIONS, YOUR SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY IS TO DISCONTINUE USING THE SITE AND THE PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND/OR MATERIALS.

 

THIS SITE IS CONTINUALLY UNDER DEVELOPMENT AND COMPANY MAKES NO WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, IMPLIED OR EXPRESS, AS TO ITS ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS OR APPROPRIATENESS FOR ANY PURPOSE.

 

WITH REGARDS TO CONTENT RELATING TO HEALTH & WELLNESS ON THE SITE:

THIS SITE OFFERS HEALTH, WELLNESS, FITNESS AND NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION AND IS DESIGNED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. YOU SHOULD NOT RELY ON THIS INFORMATION AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR, NOR DOES IT REPLACE, PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS, OR TREATMENT. IF YOU HAVE ANY CONCERNS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR HEALTH, YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CONSULT WITH A PHYSICIAN OR OTHER HEALTH-CARE PROFESSIONAL. DO NOT DISREGARD, AVOID OR DELAY OBTAINING MEDICAL OR HEALTH RELATED ADVICE FROM YOUR HEALTH-CARE PROFESSIONAL BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU MAY HAVE READ ON THIS SITE. THE USE OF ANY INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THIS SITE IS SOLELY AT YOUR OWN RISK.

 

NOTHING STATED OR POSTED ON THIS SITE OR AVAILABLE THROUGH ANY SERVICES ARE INTENDED TO BE, AND MUST NOT BE TAKEN TO BE, THE PRACTICE OF MEDICAL OR COUNSELING CARE. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS AGREEMENT, THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE AND COUNSELING INCLUDES, WITHOUT LIMITATION, PSYCHIATRY, PSYCHOLOGY, PSYCHOTHERAPY, OR PROVIDING HEALTH CARE TREATMENT, INSTRUCTIONS, DIAGNOSIS, PROGNOSIS OR ADVICE.

 

Termination

 

We may cancel or terminate your right to use the Site or any part of the Site at any time without notice. In the event of cancellation or termination, you are no longer authorized to access the part of the Site affected by such cancellation or termination. The restrictions imposed on you with respect to material downloaded from the Site, and the disclaimers and limitations of liabilities set forth in these Terms of Service, shall survive.

 

Refund Policy

 

Your purchase of a product or service or ticket to an event may or may not provide for any refund.  Each specific product, service, event or course will specify its own refund policy.

 

Digital Millennium Copyright Act

 

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (the “DMCA”) provides recourse for copyright owners who believe that material appearing on the Internet infringes their rights under the U.S. copyright law. If you believe in good faith that materials hosted by COMPANY infringe your copyright, you, or your agent may send to COMPANY a notice requesting that the material be removed or access to it be blocked. Any notification by a copyright owner or a person authorized to act on its behalf that fails to comply with requirements of the DMCA shall not be considered sufficient notice and shall not be deemed to confer upon COMPANY actual knowledge of facts or circumstances from which infringing material or acts are evident. If you believe in good faith that a notice of copyright infringement has been wrongly filed against you, the DMCA permits you to send to COMPANY a counter-notice. All notices and counter notices must meet the then current statutory requirements imposed by the DMCA; see http://www.loc.gov/copyright for details. COMPANY’s Copyright Agent for notice shall be annettegiarde@bigboldhealth.com.

 

Assignment

 

This Agreement shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of COMPANY and our respective assigns, successors, heirs, and legal representatives. Neither this Agreement nor any rights hereunder may be assigned without the prior written consent of COMPANY Notwithstanding the foregoing, all rights and obligations under this Agreement may be freely assigned by COMPANY to any affiliated entity or any of its wholly owned subsidiaries.

 

Dispute Resolution

These Terms of Use shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Washington and any dispute shall be subject to binding arbitration in Bainbridge Island, Washington. If any provision of this agreement shall be unlawful, void or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this agreement and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions.

 

Class Action Waiver

 

You may only resolve disputes with us on an individual basis, and may not bring a claim as a plaintiff or a class member in a class, consolidated, or representative action. Class arbitrations, class actions, private attorney general actions, and consolidation with other arbitrations aren’t allowed.

 

The arbitrator may not consolidate more than one person’s claims, and may not otherwise preside over any form of a class or representative proceeding or claims (such as a class action, consolidated action or private attorney general action) unless all relevant parties specifically agree to do so following initiation of the arbitration.

 

Severability

 

If any clause within these Terms of Service (other than the Class Action Waiver clause above) is found to be illegal or unenforceable, that clause will be severed from these Terms of Service, and the remainder of these Terms of Service will be given full force and effect. If the Class Action Waiver clause is found to be illegal or unenforceable, this entire Provision will be unenforceable and the dispute will be decided by a court.

Privacy Policy

Effective Date: March 2019

 

The following Privacy Policy governs the online information collection practices of BIG BOLD HEALTH LLC (“COMPANY,” “we” or “us”). Specifically, it outlines the types of information that we gather about you while you are using the www.bigboldhealth.com website (the “Site”), and the ways in which we use this information. This Privacy Policy, including our children’s privacy statement, does not apply to any information you may provide to us or that we may collect offline and/or through other means (for example, at a live event, via telephone, or through the mail).

 

Please read this Privacy Policy carefully. By visiting and using the Site, you agree that your use of our Site, and any dispute over privacy, is governed by this Privacy Policy. Because the Web is an evolving medium, we may need to change our Privacy Policy at some point in the future, in which case we’ll post the changes to this Privacy Policy on this website and update the Effective Date of the policy to reflect the date of the changes. By continuing to use the Site after we post any such changes, you accept the Privacy Policy as modified.

 

How We Collect and Use Information

 

We may collect and store personal or other information that you voluntarily supply to us online while using the Site (e.g., while on the Site or in responding via email to a feature provided on the Site). The Site only contacts individuals who specifically request that we do so or in the event that they have signed up to receive our messaging, attended one of our events, or have purchased one of our products. The Site collects personally identifying information from our users during online registration and online purchasing. Generally, this information includes name and e-mail address for registration or opt-in purposes and name, postal address, and credit card information when registering for our events or purchasing our products. All of this information is provided to us by you.

 

We also collect and store information that is generated automatically as you navigate online through the Site. For example, we may collect information about your computer’s connection to the Internet, which allows us, among other things, to improve the delivery of our web pages to you and to measure traffic on the Site. We also may use a standard feature found in browser software called a “cookie” to enhance your experience with the Site. Cookies are small files that your web browser places on your hard drive for record-keeping purposes. By showing how and when visitors use the Site, cookies help us deliver advertisements, identify how many unique users visit us, and track user trends and patterns. They also prevent you from having to re-enter your preferences on certain areas of the Site where you may have entered preference information before. The Site also may use web beacons (single-pixel graphic files also known as “transparent GIFs”) to access cookies and to count users who visit the Site or open HTML-formatted email messages.

 

We use the information we collect from you while you are using the Site in a variety of ways, including using the information to customize features; advertising that appear on the Site; and, making other offers available to you via email, direct mail or otherwise. We also may provide your information to third parties, such as service providers, contractors and third-party publishers and advertisers for a variety of purposes. Unless you inform us in accordance with the process described below, we reserve the right to use, and to disclose to third parties, all of the information collected from and about you while you are using the Site in any way and for any purpose, such as to enable us or a third party to provide you with information about products and services. If you do not wish your information to be used for these purposes, you must send a letter to the Online Privacy Coordinator whose address is listed at the end of this Privacy Policy requesting to be taken off any lists of information that may be used for these purposes or that may be given or sold to third-parties.

 

Please keep in mind that whenever you voluntarily make your personal information available for viewing by third parties online – for example on message boards, web logs, through email, or in chat areas – that information can be seen, collected and used by others besides us. We cannot be responsible for any unauthorized third-party use of such information.

 

Some of our third-party advertisers and ad servers that place and present advertising on the Site also may collect information from you via cookies, web beacons or similar technologies. These third-party advertisers and ad servers may use the information they collect to help present their advertisements, to help measure and research the advertisements’ effectiveness, or for other purposes. The use and collection of your information by these third-party advertisers and ad servers is governed by the relevant third-party’s privacy policy and is not covered by our Privacy Policy. Indeed, the privacy policies of these third-party advertisers and ad servers may be different from ours. If you have any concerns about a third party’s use of cookies or web beacons or use of your information, you should visit that party’s website and review its privacy policy.

The Site also includes links to other websites and provides access to products and services offered by third parties, whose privacy policies we do not control. When you access another website or purchase third-party products or services through the Site, use of any information you provide is governed by the privacy policy of the operator of the site you are visiting or the provider of such products or services.

 

We may also make some content, products and services available through our Site or by emailing messages to you through cooperative relationships with third-party providers, where the brands of our provider partner appear on the Site in connection with such content, products and/or services. We may share with our provider partner any information you provide, or that is collected, in the course of visiting any pages that are made available in cooperation with our provider partner. In some cases, the provider partner may collect information from you directly, in which cases the privacy policy of our provider partner may apply to the provider partner’s use of your information. The privacy policy of our provider partners may differ from ours. If you have any questions regarding the privacy policy of one of our provider partners, you should contact the provider partner directly for more information.

 

Be aware that we may occasionally release information about our visitors when release is appropriate to comply with law or to protect the rights, property or safety of users of the Site or the public.

 

Please also note that as our business grows, we may buy or sell various assets. In the unlikely event that we sell some or all of our assets, or one or more of our websites is acquired by another company, information about our users may be among the transferred assets.

 

Google Analytics

 

We also use Google Analytics Advertiser Features to optimize our business. Advertiser features include:

  • Remarketing with Google Analytics
  • Google Display Network Impression Reporting
  • DoubleClick Platform integrations
  • Google Analytics Demographics and Interest Reporting

By enabling these Google Analytics Display features, we are required to notify our visitors by disclosing the use of these features and that we and third-party vendors use first-party cookies (such as the Google Analytics cookie) or other first-party identifiers, and third-party cookies (such as the DoubleClick cookie) or other third-party identifiers together to gather data about your activities on our Site.  Among other uses, this allows us to contact you if you begin to fill out our check-out form but abandon it before completion with an email reminding you to complete your order.  The “Remarketing” feature allows us to reach people who previously visited our Site, and match the right audience with the right advertising message.

You can opt out of Google’s use of cookies by visiting Google’s ad settings and/or you may opt out of a third-party vendor’s use of cookies by visiting the Network Advertising Initiative opt-out page.

 

Facebook

 

As advertisers on Facebook and through our Facebook page, we, (not Facebook) may collect content or information from a Facebook user and such information may be used in the same manner specified in this Privacy Policy. You consent to our collection of such information.

 

We abide by Facebook’s Data Use Restrictions.

  • Any ad data collected, received or derived from our Facebook ad (“Facebook advertising data”) is only shared with someone acting on our behalf, such as our service provider. We are responsible for ensuring that our service providers protect any Facebook advertising data or any other information obtained from us, limit our use of all of that information, and keep it confidential and secure.
  • We do not use Facebook advertising data for any purpose (including retargeting, commingling data across multiple advertisers’ campaigns, or allowing piggybacking or redirecting with tags), except on an aggregate and anonymous basis (unless authorized by Facebook) and only to assess the performance and effectiveness of our Facebook advertising campaigns.
  • We do not use Facebook advertising data, including the targeting criteria for a Facebook ad, to build, append to, edit, influence, or augment user profiles, including profiles associated with any mobile device identifier or other unique identifier that identifies any particular user, browser, computer or device.
  • We do not transfer any Facebook advertising data (including anonymous, aggregate, or derived data) to any ad network, ad exchange, data broker or other advertising or monetization related service.

 

General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR)

 

The GDPR took effect on May 25, 2018, and is intended to protect the data of European Union (EU) citizens. 

 

As a company that markets its site, content, products and/or services online we do not specifically target our marketing to the EU or conduct business in or to the EU in any meaningful way. If the data that you provide to us in the course of your use of our site, content, products and/or services is governed by GDPR, we will abide by the relevant portions of the Regulation.

 

If you are a resident of the European Economic Area (EEA), or are accessing this site from within the EEA, you may have the right to request: access to, correction of, deletion of; portability of; and restriction or objection to processing, of your personal data, from us. This includes the “right to be forgotten.”

 

To make any of these requests, please contact our GDPR contact at annettegiarde@bigboldhealth.com

 

Children’s Privacy Statement

 

This children’s privacy statement explains our practices with respect to the online collection and use of personal information from children under the age of thirteen, and provides important information regarding their rights under federal law with respect to such information.

  • This Site is not directed to children under the age of thirteen and we do NOT knowingly collect personally identifiable information from children under the age of thirteen as part of the Site. We screen users who wish to provide personal information in order to prevent users under the age of thirteen from providing such information. If we become aware that we have inadvertently received personally identifiable information from a user under the age of thirteen as part of the Site, we will delete such information from our records. If we change our practices in the future, we will obtain prior, verifiable parental consent before collecting any personally identifiable information from children under the age of thirteen as part of the Site.
  • Because we do not collect any personally identifiable information from children under the age of thirteen as part of the Site, we also do NOT knowingly distribute such information to third parties.
  • We do NOT knowingly allow children under the age of thirteen to publicly post or otherwise distribute personally identifiable contact information through the Site.
  • Because we do not collect any personally identifiable information from children under the age of thirteen as part of the Site, we do NOT condition the participation of a child under thirteen in the Site’s online activities on providing personally identifiable information.

The HIPAA Privacy Rule

 

The US Department of Health and Human Services provides:  The HIPAA Privacy Rule establishes national standards to protect individuals’ medical records and other personal health information and applies to health plans, health care clearinghouses, and those health care providers that conduct certain health care transactions electronically.  The Rule requires appropriate safeguards to protect the privacy of personal health information, and sets limits and conditions on the uses and disclosures that may be made of such information without patient authorization. The Rule also gives patients rights over their health information, including rights to examine and obtain a copy of their health records, and to request corrections.”

 

You acknowledge that our operation of the Site does not constitute the practice of medicine, and specifically does not create a doctor-patient relationship between you and Dr. Jeffrey Bland, PhD (the “Doctor”).  The information provided on the Site is for educational purposes only. 

 

Notwithstanding the fact that the Site does not create a doctor-patient relationship between you and DOCTOR, our preservation of your personal health information shall be HIPAA compliant.

 

For purposes of this Privacy Policy, “patients” are those individuals who have secured the in-person services DOCTOR.  If you are a patient of DOCTOR, you will be provided with a copy of DOCTOR’s HIPAA Privacy Statement, which governs the information collection practices of patients’ personal information by DOCTOR.

 

How do we store your information?

 

Your information is stored at the list server that delivers the Site content and messaging. Your information can only be accessed by those who help manage those lists in order to deliver e-mail to those who would like to receive the Site material.

 

All of the messaging or emails that are sent to you by the Site include an unsubscribe link in them. You can remove yourself at any time from our mailing list by clicking on the unsubscribe link that can be found in every communicaiton that we send you.

 

Changes to this Policy

 

This policy may be changed at any time at our discretion. If we should update this policy, we will post the updates to this page on our Website.

 

Questions About this Policy

 

If you have any questions or concerns regarding our privacy policy please direct them to:

annettegiarde@bigboldhealth.com