FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a CORE Meal?
A CORE Meal is a full bowl of hearty oatmeal shaped into a meal to go. Each CORE Meal is a fully balanced meal so you’ll have stable energy anywhere, anytime. CORE Meals are available in 3 delicious flavors in our original recipe and with a boost of organic whey protein. They are the perfect meals for breakfast on the go, flights, car rides, pre/post-workout recovery, athletic activity, and busy days packed with errands or meetings.
What is a Defender Meal?
CORE Defender Meals (now known as CORE Meals) are made with 100% plant-based ingredients. We use ground golden flaxseeds for a boost of fiber and carefully mix fruits, nuts, seeds, and grains into one fully balanced meal that maximizes overall health and longevity. We recommend CORE Meals for anytime you want to eat healthy on the go.
What is a Warrior Meal?
CORE Warrior Meals (now known as CORE Meals with Whey) are made with the world’s only fully soluble certified Organic Whey Protein. Each meal has a balanced ratio of lean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates to optimize energy, strength, and endurance. We recommend CORE Meals with Whey for high intensity activities, endurance sports, and post-workout recovery.
What's special about a CORE Meal?
- KEEPS YOU FUELED FOR 4 HOURS. Each CORE Meal is a fully balanced meal so you’ll have the stable energy you need to perform at your full potential. They are the perfect meals for breakfast on the go, flights, car rides, pre/post-workout recovery, athletic activity, and busy days packed with errands or meetings.
- MADE WITH WHOLE-FOOD INGREDIENTS. CORE Meals are made with the highest quality nutrient-dense whole organic ingredients — no syrups, salts, oils, flours, or additives. No junk, just real food!
- DOESN'T SIT ON A SHELF FOREVER. Real food goes bad! The colder you store it, the longer it lasts! Each CORE Meal is preservative free and lasts up to 1 week on the go, 1 month chilled, and 9 months frozen (depending on the flavor).
What happened to the word "Raw"?
We feel it's important that people recognize that the only true "Raw" foods are fresh, whole fruits and vegetables. Those are your healthiest foods. As a result we feel that the use of the word "Raw" on packaged foods is misleading regardless of the quality of the food inside.
We haven't changed our recipe, our ingredients, or our process but we removed the word "Raw" from our package. We work our hardest to have our ingredients be the closest to their freshly picked state as possible and you can taste and feel the difference when you eat our food.
To learn more about our deep perspective on food and nutrition, click here.
What if I don't like it?
If you are ever dissatisfied with our CORE Meals for any reason, please email email@example.com for a FULL REFUND.
What are CORE Meals made of?
CORE ingredients are simple. That's how we like it. Each CORE Meal is made with the highest quality nutrient-dense whole organic ingredients — no syrups, salts, oils, flours, or additives. No junk, just real food! CORE Meals have less than 10 ingredients, which cover the three major food types necessary for a healthy balanced human meal: healthy fat, lean protein, and complex carbohydrates.
- HEALTHY FAT. Every human meal needs between 15-20 grams of healthy fat. Healthy fats are the fuel of the nervous system, the brain, and critical parts of the organs. Nuts supply the healthy fats in our CORE Meals.
- LEAN PROTEIN. Every human meal needs between 10-20 grams of lean protein. Lean protein is the fuel for building muscles and the complex molecules used in nearly all body functions. Organic Whey Protein supplies the protein in our CORE Warrior Meals while cold milled flax and nuts supply the plant-based protein in our CORE Defender Meals.
- COMPLEX CARBS. Every human meal needs between 30-40 grams of complex carbohydrates. Complex carbs are the main source of the body’s everyday energy use! We use whole grain Oats to build this foundation of stable energy.
We are incredibly proud of our ingredients. So proud, we don't fiddle with them at all. To learn more about our ingredients, click here.
Why aren't CORE Meals very sweet?
We keep sweeteners out of our food because they are not part of the foundation for a healthy diet. Consuming sweeteners can lead to high blood sugar and taxing metabolic changes that can accelerate the aging of body systems. Both refined and unrefined sugars are used in nearly every product found in grocery stores in much larger proportions than are necessary for flavor. Over-consumption of simple sugars is at the heart of the obesity epidemic and is a leading cause of nutrition-related health problems. We value your health so we don't use any syrup, salt, oil, flour, or additives!
Why are CORE Meals so high in Fat? Isn’t Fat bad?!
CORE Meals cover the three major food types necessary for a healthy balanced human meal: healthy fat, lean protein, and complex carbohydrates. Every human meal needs between 15-20 grams of healthy fat. Our CORE Meals are made with nuts (almonds, walnuts, and cashews) because they are among the healthiest fats!
In general, whole plant fats are healthy fats while animal or processed plant fats (like oils) are unhealthy fats. The healthy fats found in whole plants like almonds, avocados, and pumpkin seeds are a key part of a healthy diet.
Be careful! A plant or animal fat can become an unhealthy transfat through processing or high heat. This is why we avoid using oils in our food and source only nuts for our healthy fats.
Aren't Oats a low quality food?!
Oats that are cooked into a mash or milled into flour are low quality and not very healthy because they behave like simple sugars in the body. For our CORE Meals we use only high quality whole rolled Oats, which are composed mainly of indigestible plant fiber. These fibers are very slow to digest, allowing the slow release of energy within a span of 3-4 hours.
Do you soak your Ingredients?
We do not specifically soak certain ingredients. However, because water is one of our ingredients, all of our ingredients come into contact with water during production. Despite popular belief, the majority of the phytic acid (an enzyme inhibitor) found in nuts is removed when the husk is removed. Don’t worry too much about phytic acid. Just focus on eating more fresh fruits and veggies!
Why don't you use Plant Protein Powders or Superfoods?
Fresh fruits and vegetables are the healthiest foods on earth. Powdered and syrup versions of them don't carry the same benefits because nutrients degrade quickly when plants are harvested and the complex phytonutrient relationships are lost in processing. The freshness of locally grown fruits and vegetables will dwarf the potency of exotic superfoods simply because of the differences in nutrient degradation over time.
Animal proteins have such higher levels of amino acids than plants that they weather nutrient degradation a little better. Additionally, the amino acid profile of animal protein is much more similar to that needed to build human proteins. We use Organic Whey Protein, as it is the highest biologically available protein empirically tested to improve muscular recovery and performance in athletes.
Are CORE Meals Local / Made in the USA?
CORE Meals are made in Oakland, California. We source our ingredients as close to California as possible from farmers who are at the forefront of quality and sustainability in their respective industries. Additionally, all of our operations take place in Oakland and all of our ingredients, packaging, and labor are sourced within the United States.
For the ingredients that can't be grown in the United States, we use USA-based importers that have a clear understanding of their suppliers' environmental and social responsibility. We believe in the visionary model of this country and choose to vote with our dollar for continued leadership in human rights, environmental protection, and peace.
Are CORE Meals compostable?
The meal itself (without the wrapper) can be composted at home and our display cartons (made of recycled paper) can be recycled. The wrapper is neither compostable nor recyclable. To ensure maximum life and flavor, our CORE Meals must be protected from oxygen and moisture. This limits the type of packaging material available to us. Currently, compostable and recyclable packaging options do not adequately protect against these conditions. If packaging materials like this become available in the future, we commit to sourcing them!
How do I store my CORE Meals?
CORE Meals are best kept cold. The colder you store them, the longer they last. We recommend storing them in the freezer (for up to 9 months) for maximum life and flavor. When you're ready to eat one, let it thaw at room temperature for about 5-10 minutes. You can also store them in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. At room temperature they will last up to 1 week.
When was my CORE Meal made?
Each CORE Meal has a "born on" date. On the back of each package you'll see something like: "Made on 12159 10:27." "12159" is the Julian Date and "10:27" is the time. The first two numbers in the Julian Date stand for the year: "12" = 2012. The next three numbers stand for the day of the year (out of 365): "159" = June 7. In this case, the CORE Meal was made on June 7, 2012.
How long will my CORE Meal last?
Real food goes bad! Since there are no preservatives in our food and our CORE Meals are made with different ingredients, they stay fresh for different spans of time:
- CORE WARRIOR ALMOND RAISIN. up to 1 week at room temperature - up to 1 month refrigerated (36°) - up to 9 months frozen (10°).
- CORE DEFENDER ALMOND RAISIN. up to 1 week at room temperature - up to 1 month refrigerated (36°) - up to 9 months frozen (10°).
- CORE WARRIOR CASHEW CACAO. up to 1 week at room temperature - up to 1 month refrigerated (36°) - up to 1 year frozen (10°).
- CORE DEFENDER CASHEW CACAO. up to 2 weeks at room temperature - up to 2 months refrigerated (36°) - up to 1 year frozen (10°).
- CORE WARRIOR WALNUT BANANA. up to 2 weeks at room temperature - up to 2 months refrigerated (36°) - up to 9 months frozen (10°).
- CORE DEFENDER WALNUT BANANA. up to 2 weeks at room temperature - up to 2 months refrigerated (36°) - up to 9 months frozen (10°).
As soon as we make our CORE Meals we flash freeze them and send them out to stores. When CORE Meals are taken out of the freezer and put on a shelf in the refrigerated section of the store, stickers are placed on each meal to mark its expiration date.
What if there is no expiration date on my CORE Meal?
If you purchase a CORE Meal without an expiration date, please return it to the store you bought it from. Please also email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know which store you bought it from so we can work with their team to improve freshness.
How do I know if my CORE Meal is still good?
CORE Meals are real food so you should treat them like real food. If you ever question its freshness, sniff and look for anything growing before consuming. If something tastes funny, DO NOT continue eating! Email email@example.com and we'll happily ship you a new one.
What if my CORE Meal has mold on it?
If you find a CORE Meal with mold on it, DO NOT eat it! Return the CORE Meal to the store and ask for a full refund. Please also email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know which store you bought it from so we can work with their team to improve freshness.
Lifestyle & Diet
What does Organic mean?
Organic certification is designed to help consumers limit their exposure to synthetic chemicals and make more environmentally conscious choices with regard to their food purchases. Certified organic foods must use natural fertilizers and cannot use sewer sludge, synthetic chemicals, bioengineering or ionizing radiation.
Even though the purpose of Organic Certification is fantastic, chemicals derived from natural sources are sometimes acceptable and certification does not always ensure that all best practices like integrated pest management and crop rotation are used. Because of this, we go beyond Organic in all of our sourcing to seek out the absolute most sustainable farming practices. We recommend you buy produce from local farmers that are working to be even more sustainable in their farming.
Are CORE Meals Organic?
CORE Meals are Certified Organic by the USDA. This means 100% of our ingredients (down to the last spice) are Certified Organic. To learn more about our ingredients, click here.
Are CORE Meals GMO Free?
All of our ingredients are Certified Organic so there are no GMO ingredients in CORE Meals. Ingredients cannot be Certified Organic if they are Genetically Modified. To learn more about our ingredients, click here.
Are CORE Meals Gluten-Free?
CORE Meals are Certified Gluten-Free by the GFCO! We buy GFCO certified Gluten-Free oats and we test every batch to 10 parts per million (ppm) to make sure they are Gluten-Free! To learn more about our ingredients, click here.
I thought Oats have Gluten?!
Gluten is the protein found ONLY in Wheat family grains. Oats are naturally Gluten-Free as they are Avena family grains and contain the protein avenin, NOT gluten. If you are gluten-intolerant, it is important to be cautious when buying Oats because oftentimes oats and other cereal grains are cross-milled with Gluten-containing grains and can become cross contaminated. We source only GFCO Certified Gluten-Free Oats. To learn more about our ingredients, click here.
Are CORE Meals Kosher?
All CORE Meals are Certified Kosher by Kehilla Kosher and blessed by a Rabbi.
Are CORE Meals Vegan?
CORE Defender Meals are Vegan. They are made with 100% plant-based ingredients.
Can I use CORE Meals for weight loss?
Each CORE Meal is a calorie-controlled, fully satisfying meal. At 400 calories, you consume fewer calories than most meals and feel fully sustained for up to 4 hours. By eating CORE Meals you avoid any added syrups, salts, oils, and flours that can contribute to weight gain.
We recommend eating CORE Defender Meals. Because of their higher fiber content, they provide you with all the nutrients and sustenance you need without the caloric density. If weight loss is your main goal, take the CORE Challenge to become your healthiest self!
What is the CORE Challenge?
The CORE Challenge is a transformative health program that helps you become your healthiest self. As a member of the CORE Challenge, you receive the tools you need to live a healthy, fulfilling life. Throughout the course of 30 days, you’re encouraged to follow CORE’s Blueprint to Health while eating mainly whole fresh fruits and vegetables plus one CORE Meal per day. Take the CORE Challenge today!
Are CORE Meals compatible with a Paleo Diet?
The major Paleo tenet is eating fresh unprocessed foods. We couldn't agree more! However, the Paleo Diet promotes high meat consumption, which has never been a large part of most human diets (we can trace this back to our chimpanzee ancestors). Our bodies are designed for only about 5% animal protein consumption. Because of this, we recommend that your diet be mainly composed of whole fresh fruits and vegetables.
The Paleo diet also discourages the consumption of grains. Whole grains are the foundation of CORE Meals, as they have been one of the foundations of the human diet for 30,000 years. Grains are often mistakenly targeted in diets like the Paleo Diet when, in fact, flours are what turn grains from healthy high fiber foods to simple sugars. In actuality, grains are just another body part of plants. Eat more plants, be more healthy!
Are CORE Meals safe for Diabetics?
CORE Meals are food, NOT candy. Each CORE Meal is a fully balanced meal that helps stabilize your blood sugar and provides a slow release of stable energy anywhere, anytime. CORE Meals range from 6-17 grams of sugar, and that's all from fruit! Respective to total food weight, this is 75-95% less sugar content than most other bars. CORE Meals have a balanced proportion of complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fat. This slows down your body's processing of our food over 3-4 hours, allowing sugar content to be absorbed into the body slowly without taxing insulin fluxes.
Do Nutrition Facts matter?
Nutrition Facts are highly charged political statements that have more to do with lobbying groups than they do with nutritional science. Nutrition Facts can be good general guidelines for the amount of energy available in food, but should not be used line-by-line for making healthy eating decisions.
Ingredients are what matter. The healthiest foods (produce) have ingredient lists that are just one word long and never have Nutrition Facts. But keep in mind it's also about quality not just quantity of ingredients. CORE Meals are made with less than 10 of the highest quality nutrient-dense whole food ingredients — no syrups, salts, oils, flours, or additives. No junk, just real food!
Be careful! Loose laws around manufacturing ingredients can allow sneaky things to be hiding in your favorite foods! Your best option is to only eat food from companies that are fully transparent about their ingredients!
What is CORE Foods?
We’re an Oakland-based not-for-profit company on a mission to cultivate a healthier planet by empowering people with nourishing food and honest resources. CORE Foods is refreshing the food system as a vehicle for nourishment and re-engineering business as a powerhouse for social good.
Where is CORE Foods located?
Our office is headquartered in West Oakland, California. We also make our food, source our suppliers, do all of our printing, and house our distribution facility right here in Oakland.
Inner cities and low-income areas like Oakland have some of the most challenging access to healthy food and support networks. We love our community and are committed to helping it thrive. To learn about how CORE is changing the landscape of business in Oakland, click here.
What is your Nutrition Philosophy?
Our nutrition philosophy stems from CORE Founder, Corey Rennell's subsistence with 12 tribes around the world, where he observed how our food fits into an evolution of millions of years of biological history. Corey discovered that the enduring principles of human nutrition are really simple: eat fresh food, mainly whole fresh fruits and vegetables. It's that simple. To learn more about our deep perspective on food and nutrition, click here.
What are your Company Values?
CORE Foods is on a mission to cultivate a healthier planet by empowering people with nourishing food and honest resources.
- WE MAKE THE MOST NOURISHING FOOD. We believe that compromising the quality of our food compromises the quality of your life. That’s why we make food you can trust to be at the foundation of your health. We keep the junk out and use whole-food ingredients, sourced as locally as possible, and grown using the most advanced organic methods to maximize the nutritional benefits you get from our food.
- WE LEAD THROUGH EMPOWERMENT. We provide food, services, and resources that give you the power to live your most fulfilling life. Our deep evolutionary perspective on nutrition allows us to dispel myths and separate fact from fiction so that you have access to all the tools you need to be healthy. We recognize that we may not have all the answers but we’re committed to learning and growing together.
- WE'RE NOT IN IT FOR THE MONEY. We’ve pioneered a new not-for-profit business model that separates food from profit so that your health always comes first. We reinvest 100% of profits back into our food, our movement, and our community. We measure, reduce, and offset our ecological impact to build a sustainable ecosystem. We share as much as we can about the inner workings of our company to further our commitment to social responsibility.
Why do you cap salaries at the industry average?
The success of our company is built just as much by the commitment of our consumers — and all the great people that got us here — as it is by our hard work. We deserve to be compensated for our talents and efforts but we believe success should be shared. Excessive wealth goes hand in hand with poverty. We find true happiness in taking only what we need and giving all that we can.
Why do you insist on paying living wages?
Every person deserves the right to healthy food, clean water, a safe home, and the pursuit of happiness. Minimum wages are often not enough to grant people access to all of these things. We know that our team is our most important investment and we want to make sure they have a strong foundation on which to succeed.
Are you Carbon Neutral?
Yes. We reduce our emissions as much as possible through actions like keeping our ingredients locally-sourced, working towards closed loop production, and avoiding excess waste and energy use. We offset the remaining emissions through CarbonFund.org.
You Didn't Answer My Question!
If you have any specific questions not answered above, please email email@example.com.