Lawrence, KS—Pines International, based here, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year as a pioneer in the green foods industry.
Ron Seibold and Steve Malone founded Pines International in 1976 after being inspired by the research conducted by agricultural chemist Charles F. Schnabel, Sc.D., and his colleagues at Cerophyl Laboratories. As far back as 1930, Schnabel and his team demonstrated the nutritional value of young cereal grasses and their importance to one’s health and vitality as well as the proper farming practices to maintain their nutritional value. Using this body of knowledge as a blueprint, Pines International became the first American green foods company and, 40 years later, continues to be a model of integrity.
What was initially a two-person business run from a van, Pines International products can now be found in 7,000 natural product retailers nationwide and exported to over 20 countries. Its cereal grasses are grown organically in glacial soil in Northeastern Kansas during the cold months, when temperatures can reach freezing level. These conditions allow cereal grasses to grow slowly, resulting in a concentrated, nutrient-dense dark-green leafy vegetable. In fact, the company says seven tablets of its wheatgrass are equal to one 50-g serving of spinach.
While the business has grown over the past 40 years, Pines International still remains grounded in its original mission. “One thing that hasn’t changed is our commitment to the environment and to sustainable agriculture,” says Seibold. “We have directly been involved in the conversion of nearly 2,000 acres to organic farming and support other organic family farmers making up another 2,000 acres.”
Pines International continues its work to restore and protect land that has been damaged by shortsighted farming and development, being a major contributor to the Kansas Riverkeeper program as well as dozens of other environmental organizations and feeding programs nationally and internationally.