Giddy Yoyo is a natural food company based out of Orangeville Ontario. With a wide range of chocolates, superfoods, and wheatgrass, Giddy Yoyo is providing people with good food. Good Whole Food’s Tom Karadza had the opportunity to talk to Giddy Yoyo team member, Justin Booth about the amazing work Giddy Yoyo is doing.
Tom Karadza: Where do the name Giddy Yoyo come from, and how long has Giddy Yoyo been around?
Justin Booth: Giddy Yoyo is the name that the business is operating as but it was actually M&B Alchemy when it first started, which stood for Mark and Bridgette Alchemy. When Bridgette and Mark went down to Ecuador to source out cacao farmers they found the gentleman who we were currently working with, they overheard him say something that sounded like giddy yoyo. The word criolllo has double L’s, and no y’s in it, but in Spanish there are a lot of words that sound like yoyo. Either way they got back to Canada and they called back the supplier and they asked what is giddy yoyo, tell us about this. Is it a chocolate operation or what’s going on there? And he said, “I don’t know, I’ve never heard, or said giddy yoyo before in my life. I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
To that matter Bridgette and Mark went online and typed in Giddy Yoyo and there was nothing in Google and they’re like, “you know what, that’s going to be the name of the company.” And that’s how it started.
TK: So how long ago was that? When did this all start?
JB: That was probably back in 2008 or 2009. Giddy Yoyo started doing farmers’ markets around 2009. Around 2011 was when it started to pick up in retail stores. It started just with chocolate, and then in the beginning of 2013 we launched the superfood line. Now we have chocolate superfood, edible body care, and the frozen wheatgrass juice as well…
The overall mission is to get the best quality, the highest quality, mineral rich/nutrient dense food to everyone that is looking for it and seeking it, without having to shove it down people’s throats. It’s allowing people to educate themselves, feel the difference in eating clean foods that are not full of heavy metals and pesticides. It’s dealing with next level foods and next level nutrition. Then the vision is sometime in the future to create a healing centre that would have the Giddy Yoyo operation warehouse, yoga facility, smoothie bar… Basically a retreat centre for the operations to work out of, but at the same time be able to house the things we really appreciate in the line of holistic health and awareness. Where consciousness and growth, spirituality and science can mingle instead of sitting on opposite sides of the teeter-totter…
We’ve already started a project called the Global Unity Project, outside of the Giddy Yoyo scope. Where we’re just looking at land. We had 20 acres of land donated to us about 2 ½- 3 years ago, which we stared building a self-sustaining community as a prototype. Now the land was taken away so we have to take all the objects that we had there.
We built water desalination tanks out of recycled materials, we put them into 18-wheeler trucks so they could be moved around the country and to different countries to provide fresh drinking water. Aquaponic systems, vertical gardening, organic gardening, housing facilities, and doing this at a very, very reasonable cost, incorporating renewable energy and sustainable energies like solar power.
It has already begun as part of the vision, but it isn’t called Giddy Yoyo’s Healing Centre or anything like that, it’s just called the Global Unity Project. It’s a mass scale that we want to be able to shift the awareness. I mean if you can provide food and education for everyone on the planet, can you imagine what would happen to the crime rate, and poverty. It would disintegrate.
TK: I’ve turned into a massive chocolate snob. I never thought I would but now I am. So when I pick up a bar I immediately look at the ingredients and see what’s on the back. I love your 89% stuff, the extra dark. I’ve tasted a lot and it is pretty bitter but I still like it, but yours is really good. So what is it? Is it where you’re harvesting it? What is it about Giddy Yoyo’s chocolate?
JB: There are so many different aspects to it. The first thing, before anything, is how it’s sourced. This is wild cacao. This isn’t farmed cacao. We’re using an heirloom variety of Arriba Nacional, which is the original cacao that was placed here on earth by a source, or whatever your religious beliefs are. Then it came from Ecuador in the amazon, and then the Spanish came into South America. They got the cacao, traveled to Mexico, and then went to Africa and Bali and across the world. That’s how it actually spread its wings across earth, across the equator.
We’re sourcing from the original point of where the cacao came from, and again as I said it’s wild harvested. So these are massive, big, wild cacao pods that are trees that are 20-30 feet high. Not on a farm where it’s some sort of hybrid version of a tree that can’t even stand up by itself because they’ve modified the genetic code in it.
So it starts there but you know we’re not certified fair trade because again there’s another aspect. What is fair trade? Why are people considering something fair trade when it’s conventional? What I mean by that is farming where they use pesticides and sprays so it’s not even fair for the farmers themselves. So we consider ourselves beyond fair trade. Another magical point of the chocolate is the energetic beans that are touching this cacao from the time it’s cut down from the tree, passed through the facilities, making its way to Canada, and then into our chocolate operation where we hand make this chocolate. There are melters, and tempers, and grinders, but we’re transferring them from each one. It’s not like you press a button and everything melts down… We do it all by hand and then every single chocolate bar is then put into a fridge, in a mold where it hardens and tempers. Then they’re individually put into a foil wrap by hand, and then sealed by hand by a gentleman named Paco. He does 1350 bars a day wrapping those. So you know when you look at the back of the package and the first and second ingredients are love and gratitude, well that’s exactly what we mean. It is love and gratitude from the time the cacao pod is harvested, to the end user reaching and opening the bar and smelling the aroma, and tasting it on their taste buds.
TK: I see a lot of different chocolate bars sweetened with different things. Is that why you’ve chosen the unrefined cane juice crystals, just because it is the closest to a good sweetener?
JB: Other sweeteners are manufactured in a lab and we’re all about natural, coming from Mother Earth or Gaia or whatever you want to call it. So we find that the raw cane juice crystals are the best option to sweeten something. Coming from Ecuador, growing in volcanic soil, there’s something different and magical about the soil because of all of the minerals and nutrients in the soil from the volcano. And then the same process where we do a freeze process after it’s been juiced, so we’re taking the crystal part off the top, and taking the fines piece of the sweetener itself. So it tastes good, it’s a healthier alternative for you. It’s not going to do the same type of spiking to your blood sugars as a refined sugar would. Then stevia, even though it’s natural, has a little bit different of an aftertaste where it doesn’t complement the chocolate like the raw cane crystals. That’s why we use the raw cane crystals.
TK: Very cool, and another question we always debate here, so you can help clear this up for everyone, what is the difference between cocoa and cacao?
JB: From my understanding, and from my learning, cocoa is a processed version of cacao. More of like a North American Mars Bar, or Kit Kat, where as cacao itself is the natural raw version coming directly from its point of origin in South America. It’s hasn’t been tampered with, or refined.
Chocolate is a very powerful healing superfood. It is the highest source of magnesium from any other food group on the planet, but as soon as you start playing with it, genetically modifying it, then you’re losing all of those amazing qualities out of it. That’s how you determine the difference.
“There’s an overall collective consciousness beginning to shift. There’s light being shone towards the awareness of what fuels our body, and that there’s a difference between food and candy. That’s why we put on our cases that it is FOOD, not candy.” —Justin Booth
TK: There is a page on your website that says chocolate can be used for weight loss. I am positive that 99% of the population would see something like that and roll their eyes. I believe it. I think more and more people are believing it, but can you talk more about what you mean when you say that?
JB: It’s a slippery slope when you explain things. The government would call it “making claims.” It’s not like we’re saying just because you eat chocolate you’re going to lose weight, but the thing is a lot of people are trying to make changes to their diet and refined sugars one of the biggest culprits when it comes down to weight gain. A few months ago I saw something on Google about a study where they did a brain scan of someone on cocaine and someone who just had refined sugar, and it was lighting up and activating the same portions of the brain as cocaine.
You have to think about chemical substances and foreign substances in the body and what they do to effect the changes in our brain, and the physical structure. When it comes down to raw cacao instead of refined sugar it just comes down to because it’s raw and mineral rich and nutrient dense, when you eat 3 or 4 squares of a chocolate bar you feel satisfied. You feel full. You feel content. It’s because you’re getting the right type of mineral and nutritional value your body is seeking. Whether it is in 32g [of chocolate], or eating a Big Mac, which you would think would fill you because it is a heavier content, but are you getting the right nutritional value your body is seeking? When your body gets the right type of phytonutrients that its seeks, then it’s content and it’s not hungry again, because it’s using the minerals and nutrients. So by having food, the type of fuel that is right for our body, we’re not looking to consume more, because our body is satisfied with what we have.
Now when you have food like fast food that doesn’t have that type of mineral/nutrients and phytonutrients, yes maybe when you eat it you’ll feel full for a little bit, but your body’s going say, “Oh there’s no vitamins or minerals or nutrients here. I’m just going to tell the brain that I need more food because I’m not getting the right type of minerals and nutrients.”
I’m not a doctor but that’s what we’re talking about when we say it can be used for weight loss. Especially for people trying to make small changes in their diet. If you make a lot of small changes you can see really big results. So if you’re the type of person who likes to eat a Mars Bar everyday, well why don’t you just take that Mars Bar out of your diet and switch it with raw chocolate, a Giddy Yoyo chocolate bar, and see the differences over a period of time. Evaluate it for a week or two. Keep a food journal and see how your emotions and feelings are, how does your body work, how is your physical input and output of energy? Then you can start to document and see changes…
For people trying to make these changes we try and encourage them to healthy alternatives. As you implement these small changes and replace your refined sugar chocolate bar with something like a Giddy Yoyo chocolate bar you’re going to feel the difference. You’re going to taste the difference obviously, but you are going to feel the difference. Over a period of time, just by including some exercise on a daily basis, even if its just 15 minutes of walking, you’re going to see the difference. If you weren’t walking 15 minutes a day before that, and you switch your refined chocolate bar to Giddy Yoyo chocolate bar and go from not walking to walking, you’re going to see differences. You’re going to be burning calories, you’re going to have different types of energy, and you’re going to be able to see these differences. It’s not just the chocolate itself that is going to make the whole difference. It is going to be a lifestyle change.
TK: It took me a while to realize I can eat less and feel more full from the food. I didn’t quite realize it was because of the nutrient density and mineral richness of the food, but now I’m completely sold.
Chocolate is obviously a huge great product for you guys with all the different flavours, but do you personally have a favourite superfood?
JB: Personally one of my favourites, and I drink it everyday when I first get up in the morning, is the wheatgrass juice. With regards to our wheatgrass it’s a farm I’ve been personally working with for about 3 ½ years, this is before even coming to Giddy Yoyo. People are starting to learn about wheatgrass and how powerful it is as a healing food on so many levels. For alkalizing your body, weight loss, detoxifying, people who have severe ailments like cancer even being able to (not just the wheatgrass, other changes in the diet too) have better energy levels, making peoples teeth whiter, removing skin issues… Every ounce of wheatgrass is roughly the equivalent of eating 2.5 pounds of raw green vegetables. There is no other food on the planet that comes close to the same nutritional value as wheatgrass.
If you think about the biggest, strongest animals on the planet, what do they all have in common? They are eating grass. Cats and dogs, even though they’re meat-eaters, when they’re sick, what do they do? They eat grass and it helps them throw up and clean out their systems. There are studies about this that go back to WWII when Ann Wigmore noticed the similarities between cats and dogs when they got sick. What were they doing? They were eating grass. Now the problem with humans is we don’t have the ability—we only have one stomach, so we can’t eat grass and break it down. We need to juice the grass, extract the enzymes and the bacteria, and then drink it to absorb it into our blood stream. Now the larger animals on the planet, they all have 2-4 stomachs so they’re able to eat it. They’re designed for it.
I have a personal story behind the wheatgrass myself. In 2012 I was diagnosed with second stage kidney failure, I had jaundice, cirrhosis, anxiety, and depression. For 3 months I went vegan. I was drinking about 10oz of wheatgrass juice a day, meditating, thinking positive thoughts, praying, a whole bunch of different things. Then 3 months later I go back to the hospital and do the same blood work, and ECG, and they told me when you have second stage kidney failure you can only stay the same or get worse, it’s not going to get any better than that. And when they got the results they said, “There must be some sort of misdiagnosis because you don’t have any signs of kidney failure.” So I explained to them what I did. I gave them back all of the pharmaceutical drugs and explained to them what I was doing on my diet and my routine, and they’re like, “You can’t tell people that because it gives them false hope.”
That right there is when I realized this is a messed up pharmaceutical industry, because my story needs to be told. With that being said, that’s why I religiously drink it every day and I don’t want to force it down anyone’s throat, but I just want to share that information with people. If that happened for me then it can happen for someone else as well.
I love our edible body care. We’ve got new chocolate covered golden berries as well. These are all different products.
The other thing about the wheatgrass, there’s trade grown wheatgrass that a lot of farms grow these days, but it’s highly conducive to mold because it’s grown indoors. You’re not getting natural sunlight, and you’re not getting a deep rooted system to pull in all of the minerals out of the soil. Plus the water is getting trapped under the mats of wheatgrass, so there’s very stagnant air, and that’s highly conducive to mold. Whereas what we do is grow it outdoors in northern Ontario. We’ve got a deep rooted system, we bring it into the farm, we rinse the wheatgrass, we juice it, we put it into BPA free plastic bags, we flash freeze it with liquid nitrogen so it’s still bioactive. That way it’s just been locked in time. All you have to do is take your cubes, break them out of the BPA free plastic sheet, put it in your cup, and add water. You don’t even have to juice the wheatgrass.
The other aspect is even if you get wheatgrass from a farm that is growing it, as soon as they cut the wheatgrass, it starts to die and oxidize. Every minute and every hour of every day for about 5-7 days it is decaying and dying, losing nutritional value. Plus you have to put it in a juicer and juice it, and then clean your juicer, and it’s a pain in the butt. With the way that society works now a days, everyone wants everything done yesterday. This is a perfect way to complement the high value of nutritional value and do it in a very, very quick time.