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Where do green-lipped mussels come from and how are they farmed?

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We know how it goes. You’re at the vitamin store, perusing the aisles and trying to find a supplement to combat joint pain and inflammation. There are so many — but the most frustrating part is that once you’ve finally narrowed your choices down to two or three, you look closely at the ingredients only find a list that looks like a short novel. 

Nobody wants to put harmful compounds into their body, especially when all you’re trying to do is counteract a source of pain or discomfort. Why should you have to add synthetic ingredients that are likely to cause other problems, just to solve this one?

Here at GLX3, we get a lot of questions about how we’re able to use only all-natural ingredients to create such an effective supplement for joint pain and inflammation. So we did what any honest, responsible company would do — we looked into our production process and gathered information from every step of the way.

Here in this article we’ve distilled that process down into digestible bits, with info taken directly from the mouths of the growers we work with. Let’s start with some common questions about green-lipped mussels.

Where do green-lipped mussels come from?

It all starts with the potent, nutrient-rich ocean waters off of New Zealand’s eastern coast. Ninety Mile Beach is the sort of epicenter of the species, but they thrive along a vast stretch of the waters on this side of the country.

The mussels that we use in our supplement are top-quality and raised by experienced farmers who have mastered the craft of harvesting only mussels that are of a specific caliber. Spat, which are young mussels before they fully develop, are placed in farming colonies underwater and raised at various depths until they are ready for harvest. The typical growing cycle is between 14 and 18 months, depending on conditions in the farm and other factors such as predation and weather.

While we use New Zealand Green Lipped Mussels for medicinal purposes, mussel farming is originated as a food source. Earlier, we noted New Zealand’s native Maori – these mussels were part of their diet for hundreds of years.

In the 1960s, mussel farming began as a small industry in New Zealand. Today, green lipped mussels are the top aquaculture export in the entire country – even topping the legendary King Salmon. In 1972, the first official Green Lipped Mussel Farm was established, and since then the industry has grown at a rapid pace.

In general, mussels raised on farms grow to be up to 15cm in length. It’s rare to see farmed mussels top 20 cm, although it does happen from time to time.

What do green-lipped mussels eat?

Green Lipped Mussels eat phytoplankton from the ocean. This actually works out really well for us, as we absorb the benefits of the phytoplankton when we take Green Lipped Mussel supplements. Because the sun’s rays are unusually intense in the areas where the mussels grow, the plankton must protect themselves from the potentially deadly high levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Over time, they have developed powerful antioxidants to fight the stress caused by the radiation. When the mussels eat their food, they absorb these protective mechanisms. And the cycle continues – when you consume their extracted oil, you get the benefits of these protective properties.

What is the difference between green-lipped mussels and green shell mussels?

They are the same thing. In the West, we usually refer to them as Green Lipped Mussel and in other parts of the world they are often called Greenshell Mussels. In both cases it refers to “Perna canaliculus” the mussel that only lives in New Zealand.

Why aren’t green-lipped mussels harvested from the open ocean?

The main reason is that farming the mussels helps to prevent depleting the natural population in the ocean. Many fish and ocean creatures that are frequently used as food sources are overfished. This has a negative impact on their population and is, in general, an unsustainable practice.

In addition to avoiding over-harvesting, farmed mussels are monitored throughout their development to ensure health and proper growth. They are protected from many predators and receive the proper nutrients from the ocean.

Green Lipped Mussel farms are located in areas that allow for open circulating of the water, meaning they aren’t sitting there in the same stale water for days at a time. The farms are strictly monitored by the government to make sure they keep up with health and environmental regulations.

Also, the farms are protected from hazards such as runoff from the land and plants and algae that may be harmful. The New Zealand Marine Biotoxin Authority ensures that the farms meet all standards and are aware of any biotoxin alerts that may affect shellfish in the area.

How is green-lipped mussel oil extracted?

This is another common topic of discussion. How are green lipped mussels farmed into oil for supplements? The process is done by trained professionals through an extraction process, known as biotechnology. After the shells are popped open, the mussel meat is removed from the shell without using heat, so as not to ‘cook’ the mussels and cause them to lose their nutritional benefits. Through a modern form of pasteurization, the mussels are able to stay fresh.

The result is a highly purified marine lipid oil that maintains the beneficial vitamins and nutrients, including crucial Omega-3’s to provide relief for joint pain and inflammation.

Now let’s walkthrough how GLX3 is produced from farm-to-table.

Green-lipped mussels in GLX3 are sourced from the worlds best growing environment

Ask any farmer or rancher what the key ingredient to a successful harvest is and they will tell you that it starts with a pristine environment. No one wants to buy a product — be it food, an ointment, or otherwise — that was knowingly raised in toxic surroundings. 

It’s not only a rising trend to care about where your products are sourced, but it’s also good for both your body and the environment. The most respectable brands know that their customers can tell when they’re being conned. This is why it’s a natural reaction to laugh when you see that McDonald’s is sponsoring the Olympics or that Monsanto has a grant foundation to help organic farmers learn how to save seed. 

There’s no substitute for fresh, and we believe in sourcing the best mussels because that ensures the best mussel oil. We work with a 4th generation family farm in the Marlborough Sounds off the coast of New Zealand. “The pristine water of the Marlborough Sounds provides an ideal environment for raising Greenshell mussels,” they said via a release. “Shellfish health and seawater purity are rigorously monitored by the Marlborough Shellfish Quality Programme (MSQP), which is considered the most robust in the world.”

Our sustainable harvest process allows for natural development of the mussels

For an optimal supplement that provides maximum impact against arthritis, the mussels need to grow to be 100 mm long. This takes between 15 and 24 months underwater and starts with collecting spat (the seed mussel) from 90 Mile Beach in New Zealand. 

The spat are then hung on spat ropes until they reach the point where they can be properly dropped into the ocean on a production rope. From there, they are nurtured and allowed to develop in their natural habitat until it’s time to harvest.

Our farms make a point to collect about 6,000 shellfish samples per year to ensure that nothing has gone awry during the production process. ”The programme operates 365 days a year,” “Each year the testing officers collect and test around 6000 water and shellfish samples.”

The location, on New Zealand’s eastern coast, serves two purposes. First, it’s the natural environment of the Green Lipped Mussel and they only place that they grow — so it wouldn’t make sense to take them anywhere else.

Second, the waters there are among the most pristine ocean waters anywhere on the planet. There is little worry of Mercury pollution poisoning the water, or of trash and other toxins infiltrating the region. The area is clean and allows the mussels to organically develop in a healthy manner, ensuring our harvesting process of green-lipped mussels entirely sustainable.

Our production and capsule process is safe and sustainable

After harvest, the mussels are extracted from their shells and undergo the production process. This takes place in a sanitized, safe facility on the island that is closely monitored to ensure we get the best supplement possible!

And, The New Zealand Minister of Fisheries has developed strict regulations surrounding the production process to guarantee that environmental standards and practices are met. By the time the oil is mixed with Vitamin E Oil and New Zealand Olive Oil, it’s been extracted down to its most potent state for combatting joint pain and inflammation.

A safe, sustainable green-lipped mussel supplement that delivers top-shelf benefits

GLX3 is a green-lipped mussel product is designed to be a top-shelf combattant against inflamed joints, and is used by many to ward off the pain of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The nutrients in the mussels — along with the Omega-3 fatty acids, help joints act years younger and exhibit less chronic pain.

The Omega-3 fatty acids in the mussel oil works with the body’s metabolic system to help all of your joints function better — and you can rest easy knowing that what you’re putting into your body is safe and sustainable. 

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