Amazon Trip 2014: Part 2 of 3

After two days in Rio, it was time to make our way up to the Amazon Rainforest.  After a full day of travel we landed in Macapa located at the mouth of the Amazon River Estuary and referred to by residents as “the capital of the middle of the world” given the equator runs right through the middle of the city.  It is here that riverboats come down from the villages throughout the state of Amapá to unload fresh açaí on the docks of the Sambazon factory and local markets.



We spent the day capturing some great footage at the docks and throughout Macapá. Boats are loaded with hand woven baskets, carried up our docks and unloaded into crates which are quickly brought over to our factory to beginning processing. In town, local vendors hang red flags or signs outside their stores to indicate they are serving fresh acai. We made sure to sample some fresh açaí from a local vendor straight out of a batedeira.

AmazonTrip2014_2-c AmazonTrip2014_2-dAmazonTrip2014_2-e2AmazonTrip2014_2-eAnother day based in Macapà found us renting a boat to access the local village of Caconga.  Coconga is a small community that harvests açaí.  Here we met with a local farmer to show us first hand how it’s done using the classic tools of the trade.  With only a machete, sling of rope and a bit of courage, farmers climb up  40’ towering palms.


Once the farmer slides back down with the phrom, they remove the berries into a hand woven basket.  From here, baskets will be brought down river via canoe to be picked up by the larger riverboats.

Our last visit in Macapá was to a local brick making manufacturer.  Açaí fruit is 95%+ seed leaving only a thin layer of highly nutritious pulp and skin.  This leaves a large amount of seed byproduct after our berries are processed into fresh puree and then frozen.  We’ve partnered with this local brick manufacturer to sustainably repurpose the seeds.


Mountain of seeds are donated to the factories who burn the seeds in massive kilns to produce bricks. These efforts provide an alternative to burning virgin trees, saving over 200,000 cubic feet of wood per year, equal to the size of 10 football fields!


While one more night at the Ceta Eco-hotel would have been nice, we had to catch a local riverboat departing at 1am to the community of Limão do Curuá.  Here we would meet up with the Whole Foods crew and help finish up construction of this years school project.

Giveaway: Bikes Make Us Happy. Win this Bike for Bike To Work Month, Be Happy

Giveaway: Win this Sambazon BIke for Bike To Work Month

In order to bike to work you need a minimum of two things, one, a bike and two, a nourishing start to your day. In the spirit of Bike To Work Month, we are giving you the chance to win this rad Dutch-style bike plus a case of one of our newest fresh smoothies, Blended Breakfast! Blended Breakfast is crafted with organic whole fruit, ancient grains (quinoa and amaranth), and chia providing healthy omegas, 4 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of vegan protein to give you the nutritional fuel you need to leave the car behind and pedal your way to a feel good day.

To enter to win all you have to do is:

  • Post your interesting biking pictures to Instagram and/or Twitter – no limit in entries!
  • Enter to win by tagging your photos with #SambazonBike and #BikeMonth
  • Winners will be selected based on their creativity and positive vibes
  • stylin’ new bike owner will be chosen on May 30


And don’t forget, National Bike To Work Day is next Friday, May 17.  It’s the perfect day to take a picture on your morning commute and submit as an entry.

Happy cycling, Tribe!


Sambazon & Costco making positive change

Ola, Tribe!

If you follow us on Facebook, you already know we’ve declared 2013 as the year of 365 Days of Positive Change. I firmly believe that to make real, positive change in this world we all need to foster a healthy disregard for the impossible.

That’s why from the beginning, Sambazon has been based on a philosophy called the Triple Bottom Line, which not only measures success economically but also socially and environmentally. When a Triple Bottom Line business makes a profit, everyone wins. From the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest which provides amazing fruits and botanicals that is now sustainably harvested, to the farmers who work the land that now earn a healthy living, to our employees who translate this Amazon magic into next level products; and finally to you, our consumers who ultimately use these delicious powers to help further your own health and wellness missions while feeling good knowing that every fresh juice or frozen goodie you buy makes a positive impact on the communities and forests of the Brazilian Amazon.

We feel that this is an awesome model of how business should operate and that with enough of them out there, then capitalism, in fact can be a positive force for change and a major contributor to a sustainable future.

We are proud that through the years we have made decisions for our business and products with a higher consciousness. These efforts have not gone un-noticed and we are excited that our Triple Bottom Line philosophy is being recognized by not only passionate tribe members like yourself but also some of our finest and largest retailers like Costco who just featured a story on our market driven conservation model in The Costco Connection.

We are honored that Costco is recognizing the positive good Sambazon and our products are bringing to the world and that they share our earnest commitment to social and environmental well-being. Together we are making positive change in the world, and for that we are most grateful. Check out The Costco Connection article here.

Positive change can start every day of the year with small and simple acts. I hope you’ll join me on this journey of 365 Days of Positive Change in 2013. To give you some inspiration along the way, cruise by our Facebook page or other social networks, where we’re sharing bits of encouragement, revelation and just plain fun.


Ryan Black
Sambazon CEO & Co-Founder

Knowledge is Bliss – Why Label Transparency Matters

Ola change-makers:

I’ve always believed that a healthy mind, body, soul and planet all begin with the food we eat. In the weeks leading up to the election, we were passionately spreading the word about why it was important to vote “yes” on California Proposition 37 and support the national Food Label Transparency Movement. Plain and simple, we believe we all have a right to know what’s in our food, and we launched our grassroots social media campaign, Knowledge is Bliss, to share this message.

Unfortunately, the Yes on 37 campaign was outspent by huge agri-business conglomerates and corporations that launched an onslaught of misleading advertising. However, it was inspiring to see so many industry leaders unite to stir grassroots support for the campaign, and the fight for food label transparency isn’t over.

Even without a vote, we can still make our actions count nationwide by signing the Federal GMO labeling petition and by choosing to not purchase foods that contain genetically modified ingredients. Also, you can still visit our Knowledge Is Bliss Facebook tab, where you’ll find a quick “Shop Smart” guide on how to spot GMOs in the grocery store and download our Non-GMO Coupon Booklet, which includes great offers from us and our fellow non-GMO partners – Nature’s Path, Lundberg Farms, Mary’s Gone Crackers, Earth Balance, Vapour Organic Beauty and Uncle Matt’s Organics.

As we head into the holiday season and prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, I’m thankful that we have a choice at the grocery store and have access to fresh, organic, non-GMO foods. I hope that someday soon, we will also have a label that clearly lets us know what’s in the food that we feed our families. Until that day comes, we will continue to hold ourselves to a higher standard by partnering with the Non-GMO Project to independently verify our products. We hope you’ll look for the Non-GMO Project seal at the grocery store & ask your favorite brands to participate.

I know that keeping the Food Label Transparency topic top-of-mind and continually welcoming new people to the conversation will help us continue the fight for the fundamental right of all Americans to know what is in our food. I hope that you will join me in this fight for our right to know!

Power to the purple!

Ryan Black
Sambazon CEO & Co-Founder

Game changers…

Not sure why but 2011 feels particularly auspicious to me. I woke up feeling inspired to share some of the rewarding insights that years of yoga and work in the natural foods industry have revealed. If you’re looking to make some positive lifestyle changes, I can personally testify to the benefits of the following:

1. Make Sambazon Breakfast Bowls… My favorite recipe includes 2 packs of Pure or Pure Fuzion Sambazon Açaí Smoothie Packs (both are unsweetened), a couple scoops of organic rice/hemp protein powder (whole food powders/no isolates), a scoop of Amazing Grass brand Chocolate Superfood, Eden Blend organic rice/soy milk and any other organic berries you enjoy. Top with Ezekiel sprouted cereal and some honey.

2. Get Your Juice On… I highly recommend investing in a low RPM, twin gear juicer such as the Green Star juicer. Juicing organic fruits & veggies is a complete game changer. Pickup some Green Bags and use them instead of the standard plastic bags from the produce section; in this way, your veggies will last in your fridge for a good 5-7 days. Go easy on the apple and carrot and be sure to incorporate things like fresh turmeric and ginger root, cilantro, parsley, kale, broccoli, celery and a whole lemon (peel included).

3. Sprouting… Sprouting is downright awesome. Just get a seed sprouting jar or two so you can keep a good rotation going. Avoid making this complicated because it couldn’t be easier or more fun! Just rinse your sprouts before you leave for work and then again at some point in the evening. You’ll have more delicious sprouts than you can eat; and so, if you have a surplus, just juice ‘em!

4. Composting… I can’t tell you how inspiring it is to utilize the pulp left over from my daily juicing to produce gorgeous organic soil for my house plants and garden. Just get a small compost unit for your countertop and make a larger one out of an old storage bin for your back stock. You’ll also need composting worms commonly referred to as ‘red wigglers’. Learn more from The Ecology Center and How to Compost.

5. Learn how to breathe… properly : ) Pranayama can be referred to as the scientific art of mastering the breath. Of course, most of us are born knowing how to breathe properly. However, stress and traumatic events in our lives can cause us to sub-optimize the manner in which we breathe. All breathing patterns have a corresponding affect on the mind; and so, mastery of the breath brings about a profoundly calm and serene state in the mind. You can learn simple techniques from your local Yoga, Tai Chi or Qugong teacher or contact me directly if you’d like to learn a particularly elegant system of breathing techniques called Kriya Kundalini Pranayama.

6. Letting go… The foundation for all successful meditations, i.e., pro-actively letting go of all of that which robs you of your peace. Most of us don’t think twice about our daily hygiene rituals, e.g., brushing our teeth, bathing etc. One can think of meditation as good mental hygiene. Consistent, intense practice of meditation promises profound improvement in our own lives as well as those we interact with.

7. Sunlight: Be sure to get at least 20minutes of direct sunlight each day. In this stage in our evolution, we spend a lot of time indoors inundated with electromagnetic radiation. Sunlight not only yields Vitamin D but will also help you look and feel your best.

Helpful keys to the successful implementation of positive lifestyle changes:

1. The things that will work best for you are those you’ll do. It’s always best to start with something that fascinates you.

2. Be sure to give it an honest try before moving on to the next thing. In yoga, we work first towards 44 days of consistent intense practice for a new habit to begin to take hold and a 144 day milestone for it to become part of your character. Remember, if you don’t give up, you’re bound to succeed!

Lastly: When it comes to discouragement and frustration, remember, if it’s not one thing in life, it will always be another. So, when you encounter negative emotions relax, smile and cultivate the opposite quality of whatever negative emotion you’re encountering, e.g., cultivate courage and contentment when you experience fear or frustration.

* Skanda gives regular weekend seminars into classical yoga all over the globe. Please contact him directly if you’d like to learn more.