The rusty equipment shown is a typical hammer mill that can be found in dehydrators like the ones in the Google pictures that were built to produce pesticide-based animal feed for the meat industry. Most of these animal feed driers were built in the 1940s and 1950s. In more recent times, for a few weeks in the spring and fall, some of these same facilities switch over to an "organic sideline" and produce ingredients for the natural foods market, using the same equipment used for the meat industry.
Hammer mills are used in dehydrators to convert freshly dried cereal grass and alfalfa leaves into a powder. The powder is then pressed into pellets for storage. Hammer mills are also needed for grinding the pellets back to powder for shipment to buyers.
Instead of pictures of the hammer mill used at their dehydrator, some producers provide pictures of their final stainless steel hammer mill and equipment used to grind pellets back into powder and avoid showing their other hammer mill.
The Other Kansas Greens Producer
Above are the stainless steel collectors and ductwork used at Pines' dehydration facilities. Compare these pipes and collectors with the Google links to images of three dehydrators owned by two other major cereal grass and alfalfa producers. Both these other producers use the Ogallala Aquifer for irrigation and both market their own products as well as ingredients for other manufacturers.
The two Kansas alfalfa mills you will see on Google belong to the only other Kansas producer of greens besides Pines. It is owned by a family with a member who produces a very popular line of green superfoods sold in the natural food market. The family also sells whole food green ingredients to other manufacturers of green superfoods. The ingredient side of the family's business goes under several different names.
All the websites they use give the impression that those who work for the family are dedicated vegans, who represent a lovely, little, bucolic organic family farm, They frequently state on their websites that they have been producing "greens" for more than 100 years.. The reality is quite different,
The reality is that the family is major Kansas agribusiness. The truth is that for most of those hundred years, they have produced pesticide-based alfalfa animal feed for the factory-farming, confined-animal meat industry. For all those years, their alfalfa has fed millions of animals in crowded cages and pens. They have employed thousands of people in their animal feed alfalfa mills as well as also owning a manufacturing plant for pesticide-based alfalfa harvesting equipment.
Pines International non-gmo project verified organic wheatgrass, alfalfa, barley grass, oat grass and rye grass
The Other Kansas Greens Producer
The beautiful greens produced with our equipment are not only certified organic, but also ALL PRODUCTS are non-GMO Project Verified, including our alfalfa, which so far is the only non-GMO Project Verified alfalfa leaf produced for human use.
With the popularity of vegan diets and vegan political activism, our facilities have become an important factor for companies that want to attract vegan customers.
Pines International is a truly “vegan friendly” ingredient producer because none of our equipment is used or ever has been used for the factory farming, confined animal, pesticide-based, meat industry. Most consumers become vegans not only for dietary reasons but because they are opposed to the meat industry.
Increasingly, political vegans are identifying products with ingredients that come from entities that have amassed wealth through supporting inhumane treatment of confined animals for the meat industry. Because of vegan activism, companies are now being asked to disclose the locations of the dehydrators used for Google searches.
Pines is a vegan-friendly producer and has not and will not provide support for cruel and inhumane treatment of animals.
The hammer mill pictures are to show the difference between hammer mills at animal feed dehydrators and Pines hammer mill for human food. We are showing both mills with the doors open. Compare Pines' stainless steel hammer mill used at its facility with the conventional metal one at a meat industry facility. The picture of Pines mill at the top is with the screen in place and the picture below it is with the screen removed so you can see the actual hammers.
We feel stainless steel is easier to keep clean and to sterilize prior to harvest than conventional steel. In addition, conventional steel tends to rust and erode while stainless steel doesn't. Although most producers of whole food cereal grasses and alfalfa do not have exceedingly high plate counts, we feel using stainless steel for our hammer mills and pellet mills in our dehydrators is cleaner and more sanitary.
As the only other Kansas producer, we at Pines International seek to be completely open and transparent about who we are and what we do. We are not ashamed of our facilities, and as you can see we proudly show pictures of our dehydrators and equipment. We do not use potentially contaminated and endangered ground water for irrigation. Instead, we are located in a region where we can depend entirely on natural rain water. We have never and will never use our facilities for the factory farming meat industry. We are exclusively organic and vegan, not GMO chemical farmers with an "organic sideline." We do not try to hide the fact that we produce our own products for the natural food marketplace as well as ingredients for other companies. Our ingredient sales are sold under the same name as our retail products.
Since other producers do not publish pictures of their dehydration facilities, we are providing links above to Google pictures so you can see them for yourself. Don't be fooled by pictures of stainless steel post-production milling and tableting equipment when the producer avoids showing pictures of the dehydration facilities that made the pellets. Compare Google pictures of their facilities with ours. It is easy to see that the collectors and duct work for these other dehydrators is not stainless steel. Both these other facilities were clearly built are used primarily as animal feed factories, while ours were built exclusively for organic human food, using clean, stainless-steel and facilities that dry at lower temperatures and use less energy.
We don't have pictures of the dehydrators used by other major producers of greens, but Google does!
Simply click the links below to see their dehydrators. Please be sure to compare their non stainless steel collectors and ductwork with the pictures of Pines' stainless steel facilities
The Colorado Greens Producer:
Before Pines built two new stainless steel facilities beginning in 2010, most whole food cereal grass and alfalfa came from irrigated farmland and facilities that were built in the 1940s and 1950s as animal feed dehydrators. Other major greens producers still utilize these antiquated dehydrators located in semi-arid regions of eastern Colorado and the central plains of Kansas. They rely on the Ogallala Aquifer for irrigation..
At Pines, we certainly feel organic green superfoods are wonderful. They are sadly missing in the diets of a majority of people today, but we also feel they need to be grown in sustainable ways in order to be considered truly organic and truly vegan. The once massive Ogallala Aquifer is now depleted or nearing depletion in many areas of the central plains. As reported by Mother Jones Magazine, 75% of what remains of the Ogallala is now contaminated with herbicides. Even though other green ingredient producers use pesticides and other chemicals for most of their products, they have been successful in obtaining certification for an “organic sideline" using greens grown on several of their fields that have met organic standards. So far, organic certification agencies have allowed companies to produce both organic as well as non-organic products and to use herbicide-contaminated irrigation water at levels still considered to be "safe." Technically, they are organic, but we feel these practices do not reflect a commitment to sustainable organic agriculture.
Pines facilities and location are an amazing contrast to dehydrators that were built for animal feed. We are exclusively organic. Our dehydrators were built exclusively for organic human food, not pesticide-based animal feed. They are modern, computer-controlled facilities, utilizing state-of-the-art equipment utilizing muchlower temperatures. Our family farms are located where irrigation is not needed. All our organic greens are grown with natural rainwater.
PINES' Location and Ethical Values Makes Us the Only Producer to Practice Sustainable Organic Farming, and Our Equipment Makes Us the Only Vegan-Friendly Producer
Besides a Better Product, We Also Offer Honesty, Integrity and Transparency
Below is the stainless steel conditioner used by Pines. Having food grade stainless steel makes our dehydration facilities much easier to clean and ensures product quality.
In addition to using stainless steel at our dehydrators, we also use stainless steel equipment in the final milling process for the pellets after they are withdrawn from the frozen storage caves in near Bonner Springs, Kansas. We can mill to your specifications.