Monday, October 26, 2009

Sambazon Participates at Walk for Hope!

"One of the most moving events I’ve been to: The City of Hope hospital’s annual Walk for Hope in Duarte took place yesterday and gathered 10,000 people together in solidarity pledging to cure breast cancer. The four lane street was filled with participants dressed in white and pink with pink ribbons buttoned to their shirts, hats, bags. Through the morning, it because clear that each participant either was walking for someone who has breast cancer, someone who died of the disease or was suffering themselves. From the tshirts that said, in memory of my wife, my mother, my sister... to “save the ta-tas”, the day was filled with a somewhat sad yet joyful and hopeful air. Even the CEO of the hospital came out to announce the hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations that they received this year toward the valiant effort they have put forth to cure Breast Cancer at their hospital. It was quite amazing to be able to hand out healthy, sustaining Sambazon juices to a crowd of such courageous and proud women and be able to support their movement."

- Written by Kaia Lai (West Coast Events Manager)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

October is Fair Trade Month!

Did you know that along with being synonymous for breast cancer awareness month, October is Fair Trade month?

To celebrate we asked one of our founders, Travis Baumgardner, to write a quick summary of how Sambazon became Fair Trade certified!

“Fair Trade certification has been part of our company’s triple bottom line mission and overall values from the beginning. Our goal is to add value through our work to benefit the entire supply chain of Açai fruits, which not only includes environmental support, but also social and economic support to the families that own and manage the agro-forestry areas in the Amazon Rainforest where the fruit is harvested. Fair Trade certification identifies opportunities and measures progress socially and economically.

We remain the first and only source of Açaí to be certified Ecocert Fair Trade, providing sustainable employment for over 3,000 people and fostering environmental stewardship on over 1.7 million acres of biodiverse agro-forestry farms in Amapá and Pará States.

Fair Trade Certification supports all 3 pillars of Sambazon’s triple bottom line (economic-environmental-social) success. It guarantees that the agro-forestry farms and their families who supply Sambazon with Açai fruit are receiving a fair market price along with Sambazon funded technical support which will increase their family income and add value to their lives. By promoting triple bottom line success, the families and their work to promote bio diverse lands are proving the case for sustainable development in the Amazon Rainforest. Through Sambazon Açai, this is bringing long term development and improved living and financial freedoms to an impoverished region where clear cutting for lumber, soy and cattle are predominant.”

Thanks Travis! And Happy Fair Trade Month Everyone!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Drifter is coming to a town near you!

Surf icon and Sambazon Ambassador Rob Machado is the central focus of acclaimed surf filmmaker Taylor Steele’s latest movie – Drifter. Steele captures Machado’s soulsearching journeys through the Indonesian islands. At the world premiere of the movie in Bali, Indonesia, at the Ombak International Surf Film Festival earlier this fall, it was chosen Best Film. And the Jakarta Post enlighted us further: "Capturing the journey of the surfer through a different land, culture and waves, The Drifter is a visual metaphor for a free spirit's conscious abandonment of the worldly traps of modern life as he searches for the inner freedom and spiritual joy offered by a life of renunciation."

Watch the trailer below, and check out Drifter in a town near you:
11/3/09 PORTLAND / Nike HQ
11/4/09 SAN DIEGO / La Paloma
11/5/09 LOS ANGELES / Montalban Theater
11/7/09 FLORIDA
11/9/09 NORTH CAROLINA / venue tba
11/11/09 VIRGINIA BEACH / venue tba
11/13/09 NEW YORK
11/15/09 SANTA BARBARA / Victoria Hall Theater
11/16/09 SAN FRANCISCO / Victoria Theater
11/17/09 SANTA CRUZ / Nickelodeon
11/19/09 LAGUNA BEACH / South Coast Theater

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sambazon Marathon Sampling in the Windy City!

"I flew to Chicago with high expectations for the city and the marathon it was about to host. When I arrived I realized that the Chicago Marathon is one of the largest and most well known races in world. Over 10,000 athletes were confirmed and all were in attendance for the Health and Fitness Expo the two days prior, where they were able to sample some of our delicious Sambazon açaí. The Expo was filled with an air of excitement and anticipation for the day of the big race but amidst all the controlled excitement, Sambazon had a great presence and was a huge hit! Runners along with their family and friends were thrilled to have a refreshing healthy beverage among all the protein bars and snacks.

The opening day we shared a booth with the ever gracious team at Runners' World Magazine. Cory, Sambazon’s Chicago Sales Rep, held the fort down as he was continuously swamped with Sambazon fans scooping up samples and coupons from the booth. The second day of the show was even more jam packed with a steady flow of runners, many of whom had flown in from all over the country and the world. Throughout the two days we introduced açaí to thousands of people from so many different places and I came to realize that these events truly foster an incredibly collaborative and positive endurance community with a worldly passion for their sport.

We were happy to share our passion for Sambazon açaí and spread the great nutritional vibes before their long 26.2 mile victory!"

-Written by Pamela Kotsaftis (Northeast Market Manager)

8th Annual Tim Brown Invitational Golf Tournament

Today marked the 8th annual Dr. Tim Brown Invitational Golf Tournament - the day when everyone from eco celebrities and pro golfers to surfers and industry leaders get together for a day of playfully competitive golf for a good cause, and we too were stoked to be involved. In the past, the event has raised thousands of dollars for Surfing America and likeminded organizations that Dr. Brown personally chooses. This year, however, Dr. Brown picked TACA – Talk About Curing Autism. He stood up in front of everyone today and told us why curing autism is such an important subject, how over one in 125 children born will be autistic, and how this statistic is continuously becoming more severe. This is why the resources and support that TACA provides for families dealing with an autism diagnosis is so important.

The event garnered some great support for the cause, with faces like Pro Surfer and Sambazon Ambassador Rob Machado and 11 time PGA Tour Champion John Cook along with over 100 supporters and golf aficionados.

Dr. Tim Brown, wife Hillary and John Cook grab some breakfast açaí bowls from the Sambazon Tent.

All in all, the Sambazon crew was honored to be a part of the TBIGT, such a fun and beneficial tradition. We’ll be looking forward to it again next year!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Super Acai Benefits by The Medicine Hunter

As featured on Fox News Health Blog:

The first time I ever tried acai (pron: ah-sah-yee) in 1997, the fruit was served to me as a thick drink by an Ipixunaindian woman, when I was living on the Amazon river for a month. Acai, Euterpeoleracea, was as deep purple as any food I had ever seen. In fact, a spill stained a favorite t-shirt of mine forever. I loved the rich flavor of acai, and the energy it imparted, and consumed as much as I could during the course of my time on the river. When I left Brazil that time, I lamented that I’d probably never be able to obtain acai back home. Times have changed, and this delicious fruit is now widely available, from Whole Foods to up-market grocery stores.

A so-called “super-berry” that grows on palms trees in the Amazon, acai is a staple food throughout Amazonia, and that status owes directly to its marvelous flavor. Acai explodes with flavor, and gets better with every mouthful. Rich in the potent purple pigments called anthocyanins, acai has a higher antioxidant activity rating than bilberries or blueberries, and is rich in beneficial dietary fibers. A glass of blended acai fruit, with just a slight touch of energizing guarana and certified organic sugar, imparts so much energy, you’ll want to dance and yodel while climbing a mountain at the same time. No wonder endurance cyclists and ball players have taken to this fruit. Surfers, skateboarders, X-gamers and outdoor enthusiasts speak of acai with reverence.

The berry craze is on full throttle now, and purveyors of each berry, from blueberries to blackberries, black currants and elderberries, have positioned their berry as the ultimate. All of these berries are rich in the purple antioxidant pigments called anthocyanins, and all impart both antioxidant protection to cells, and anti-inflammatory activity as well. As far as I am concerned, they are all extraordinary foods, and are valuable in any person’s diet. I just happen to favor acai most of all, because I love the flavor and the fact that the acai trade is helping to reduce deforestation in some parts of the Amazon.

Forest Preservation – Fast-forward years later, once more in the Brazilian rainforest, this time in the company of Ryan Black, founder of Sambazon Acai. We are watching several hard-working Brazilians climb tall acai palms rapidly, cut branches laden with ripe purple acai berries, and strip the berries into baskets, readying them for processing. “Our wildharvesting system was developed in conjunction with the Forest Sustainability Council,” Ryan explains. “We’ve taught people how to wildharvest acai, and protect the forest at the same time.” Through ecologically sound agro-forestry management practices, Sambazon has established a top-notch conservation program that protects the Amazon rainforest and minimizes habitat loss. On top of that, they’ve implemented a fair wage system that provides higher than average wages to over ten thousand families in Brazil’s Amapa state. Sambazon has won praise and support from World Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy and Greenpeace. As far as Ryan is concerned, it’s all just a reasonable and fair way to operate a business. “Might as well do it right if you’re going to do it,” he comments.

Harvested from August through December in the hot, humid Amazon rainforest, acai is a high labor fruit. I watch the remarkable climbing skills of the harvesters, and realize with some sadness that I could never climb trees like that, let alone do it every day.

Traditional acai- We are invited into a large wooden house with open windows and about a dozen children crowding around us, to watch a woman prepare acai the traditional way. In this house, the preparation is all performed by hand. The woman hand grinds the berries through fiber mats, until the juice and fine pulp drip into a container underneath. After laboring on our behalf for more than half an hour, she serves us acai. Several of us spoon the rich berry preparation into our mouths, and laugh at our good fortune until tears form in our eyes. “Now this is how to eat acai,” Ryan declares. Truth is, unless you make a pilgrimage to the Brazilian Amazon, your best acai bet will be freezer packs or smoothies found in natural food stores.

Acai diets– Just a quick word about the acai diets that everybody has been spammed over. Useless. Acai is not a diet miracle. It is a wonderful, amazing-tasting, highly beneficial fruit that gives you energy and makes you feel good. But don’t be bilked by companies that want you to believe it’s the key to slimming. It isn’t.

There’s really no need to try to make something more than it is. In the case of acai, this is a superior, nutrient-rich fruit with tremendous antioxidant value. It offers great flavor, and makes you feel good. The harvesting of acai provides a living to a lot of people, and helps to preserve some of the Amazon rainforest. In my mind, that’s more than enough.

Chris Kilham is a medicine hunter who researches natural remedies all over the world, from the Amazon to Siberia. He teaches ethnobotany at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he is Explorer In Residence. Chris advises herbal, cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies and is a regular guest on radio and TV programs worldwide. His field research is largely sponsored by Naturex of Avignon, France. Read more at