Healthy Traditions: 20 Years of Demonstrating God’s Faithfulness in Offering an Alternative to Commodity Food and Products
20 years ago this month, in March of 2002, Tropical Traditions was born in the United States as an ecommerce company selling Virgin Coconut Oil and other products imported from the Philippines. We were the first ones to bring a "Virgin Coconut Oil" edible oil into the U.S. market at the time, and people thought we were insane, because coconut oil had been demonized in the United States for decades, simply because it is the one edible oil that has the largest percentage of saturated fat, which until this day, the U.S. Government health agencies want you to believe is a dangerous fat that leads to heart disease. Instead, USDA dietary recommendations for edible oils promote polyunsaturated oils, derived mainly from corn and soybeans. I had been living in the Philippines for 4 years by that time, and living in a rural area on a mountain, I was observing first hand just how wrong this dietary oil advice was. The older generation in our community, all consumed freshly made coconut oil from their own coconuts, and they were far healthier than the younger generations who mainly consumed store-bought commodity foods and shunned coconut oil because of the teaching in the United Sates on saturated fats. I did my own research, and I found out that the scientific literature on the medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil was contradictory to USDA dietary advice that demonized coconut oil. So we learned how to make it by hand from the older generation living in our community, and began using it as our own main dietary oil in our diet. The positive change in our own health was very noticeable, and as I dug deeper into the literature about dietary oils, I soon learned that U.S. dietary advice was highly political, and designed to protect the main subsidized cash crops in the United States, like corn and soybeans. The dietary oils extracted from corn and soybeans, commonly known as "vegetable oil" today, is the #1 dietary oil consumed in the United States, and yet the technology to extract oil from these crops has only been around since World War II, and these polyunsaturated oils were not part of the human food chain prior to that. I decided then that I would only consume dietary fats and oils that had been in the human food chain for thousands of years nourishing populations, and would stay clear of the modern edible oils that technology had produced and that were not traditionally part of the food chain. So Tropical Traditions was born in March of 2002, and today we have expanded our product line to more than just tropical foods imported from the Philippines. But our philosophy has not changed. We are all about "traditional" means of producing food, and today the company has been renamed to "Healthy Traditions." Little did I know back in 2002 that I was embarking on a journey that would lead me straight into the lion's den, where my enemies would try to destroy me. So as I document in this article these past 20 years, this is not only a testimony of one American company, it is also a testimony of God's faithfulness, and an example of what he can accomplish through his children when they take him at his word, and understand that our calling in this life is a life of persecution as we stand for the Truth. Persecution and suffering are the norm, and not the exception, for those who stand on the Truth.