Health Food Scams: Alaskan Blueberries

A friend asked me what I know about Alaskan Blueberries (Vaccinium alaskensis), which some company is marketing as yet another “superfruit”. I had to admit that I hadn’t heard anything about it and decided to do some research on the topic.

Okay, first of all, it is called the “Alaskan blueberry” but it doesn’t only grow in Alaska. Its known range extends as far south as Oregon. So, be wary of people that tell you that it only grows in one place in the Whole Wide World. It’s that kind of “very rare plant” angle that some multi-level marketing (MLM) companies try to exploit, in the hopes that some one might either not own a computer or a library card, be literate or even willing to checkout a product’s background before they spend their hard-earned money on the latest Superfad.

Now, blueberries, in general, are very good for you. They have been shown in clinical trials to reduce the risks of certain cancers, reduce stroke damage in test animals and have a high level of antioxidants, among other things. So, yes, adding blueberries to your daily diet – say one cup of blueberries everyday – can help you be healthier.

This particular species of blueberry is known to grow well in forest openings, like clearcuts and areas that had been hit by forest fires. It will grow until the forest begins to overgrow the area and then the blueberries will appear less and less. They had been used as food by Native American tribes in the area, as well as by a number of animals, such as deer, bears, rabbits and mice.

But, are Alaskan Blueberries some sort of miracle food? To be completely Truthful, I haven’t seen any evidence that blueberries from Alaska are any better for you than blueberries from anywhere else.

One angle in-use is that Native Americans ate them. Well, so what? Native American tribes,  for the most part, tended to be hunter-gatherers and ate whatever they could find or kill. Hence, the term “hunter-gatherer”. They ate them because 1) they weren’t poisonous; and 2) they were available. Some animals used parts of the Alaskan blueberry plant to make their nests. Does that mean we should build our houses out of Alaskan blueberry bushes?

Currently, the MLM that is marketing Alaskan blueberry products is some bunch called Kyäni Inc. Here’s their website if you’re interested.

On their website, they claim that the antioxidant value of their product was rated higher than two other products out on the market. Who did the rating? A company called Brunswick Laboratories.

So, who is Brunswick Lab? I have no idea, except that they seem to do an awful lot of work for MLMs out to market their superfoods. Coincidence? Maybe. Kyäni says that Brunswick is a “nationally-respected testing facility”, but, I have to ask: respected by whom? There is nothing about them on Wikipedia or on any website unrelated to a multi-level marketing company that I can find.

You see a pattern here? Have you noticed it, yet? If you have, you’re one of the few that has caught-on to the multi-level marketers’ main angle. Here’s what’s going-on for those who haven’t noticed:

All these superfoods seem to come from faraway places that most people have never been or even seen. I mean, if you’re in Alaska, Alaska blueberries are nothing special. Heck, they’re just blueberries to Alaskans, right? They grow close-by so, they’re not very expensive at the neighborhood stores. They grow wild, so you could pick your own, if you want and if you’re very careful to avoid bears. But, if you live in another part of the USA, Alaska is this faraway land of ice and snow. A mysterious place that you have only seen in movies or the occasional Discovery Channel show. It’s also where Sarah Palin, the super-hottie and intelligence-challenged Governor comes from. So, when some multi-level marketer tells you that there’s a miracle food growing in Alaska that will help you be healthy and happy, you might be more willing to shell-out some bucks for a jar of Alaskan blueberry jam. I guarantee you that you’ll be paying more for that jar than John Q. Citizen in Eskimoland is going to pay for it at his local supermarket.

Just like Goji comes from faraway Tibet or Mongolia and Noni comes from the exotic South Pacific, Alaska blueberries have the benefit – for the multi-level marketers, anyway –  of coming from a place that is a distant locale to the suckers that are going to be buying it from the MLMs. Yeah, I said “suckers”. because only a sucker would forego all the available healthy foods that they can easily get at any supermarket to buy something from some MLM that’s going to cost you more than the thing is worth. Hey, you can buy blueberries from the store you normally shop at and you want to buy some marked-up bottle of blueberry juice from somebody who only cares about lining their pockets and couldn’t care less if you really got healthier? Come on, people! Read their websites, sometime. They talk about the “golden opportunity” for you to make money selling their product. It’s all about the money and nothing else.

I’m going to do you a favor, right now. I’m going to list some real superfoods that, if added to your daily diet can really help you be healthier and I’m going to do it for FREE. Here goes:

Sweet potatoes were a staple food of the Maori people of New Zealand. (Hey! That’s a faraway place that most people have never been to, right?) These things are chock-full of vitamins and dietary fiber. They are one of the best things you can add to your diet, in fact. But don’t confuse them with yams, because they are two different plants. But, speaking of yams…

Yams are another food that is high in nutritional value. Not as good as sweet potatoes. But, if you can’t find real sweet potatoes at the store, get yams instead. Yams are one of the staple foods of Western Africa, where they make it into something called “fu fu”. If you don’t know what fu fu is, Google it. I’m not going to post a recipe for fu fu right now. All you’ll need is yams, a food processor and some other things I can’t remember off the top of my head. Just Google it, okay?

But, wait! (insert sound effect here) There’s more!

Natto can be found at any Asian grocery that caters to Japanese. It looks like beans suspended in snot, it smells like rotten cheese and tastes kind of funky. But, the good news is that you can get used to it. Natto is very good for you and some of the older generation in Japan eat it every morning. Consumption of natto can help prevent strokes. Just mix it with wasabe and shoyu and it will taste better. Put it over a bowl of steaming rice and dig in!

But, wait! There’s more!

Tea, the second most consumed beverage in the world, right behind water. It’s Number Two after plain water! How many studies detailing the health benefits of tea do you need to see before you drink a few cups of tea everyday? Fresh-brewed iced tea, made with ordinary Lipton bag tea is way better for you that Coke or Pepsi. For hot tea, I suggest PG Tips, the most popular brand of tea sold in England, which is now available at in the USA, by the way, and you can even find people selling cases of it on eBay.

Oh, what else? Let’s mention: nuts of all kinds, blueberries, cherries, strawberries, citrus fruits.

That’s all I’m going to list for now. There are more examples I could give, but I think the point has been made. There a lots of foods available at your local grocery store that you can add to your daily diet and be healthier. That doesn’t give all you people an excuse to not exercise, though. You don’t just sit down at the dinner table, eat all these healthy foods I’ve just mentioned and then go sit on the couch to get fat. Get into a habit of some kind of daily exercise program, even if it’s only going for a walk.

I’m not making any money off this blog. I’m not going to make a cent steering you away from multi-level marketers trying to sell you a product that you could live quite well without.

For all the Kyani marketers who’ve sent me abuse in the comments section, here’s a video for you to enjoy.

My only obligation is to the Truth and that’s what I just gave you.

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35 Responses to “Health Food Scams: Alaskan Blueberries”

  1. JekReitte Says:

    I think you are thinking like sukrat, but I think you should cover the other side of the topic in the post too…

  2. Alonzo Kaupfmann Says:

    Who/what is sukrat???

  3. rocky Says:

    it’s true, kyani is overpriced shit

  4. Canada Says:

    agreed! my girl just signed up to this Kyani crap and she thinks shes gonna make millions but doesnt see that its a complete scam … its painful and I hope more people recognize this becuase sure you can make some internediary cash in the beginning, but in the end the marketing companies always collapse and fail – waste of time and money and i wish others would see through this crap

    miracle blueberries my a$$

  5. smartexwife Says:

    you are so right with what you say! my x husband and his girlfriend sell this crap and swear by it. they tried to get me to get me to take my autistic son off his meds and drink the miracle juice. I dont think so. Funny thing is, His girlfriend was in quit her job because she has high cholesterol (tells you how stupid she is). When I asked her why she didnt drink the miracle juice for that or her diabetes or for her uti that she stayed in the hospital with at california tax payers expense by the way, He just said that she was starting to. People out there are just so stupid and lazy to want to get a fast buck it is sickening. I bet I could do well selling a rare chocolate from a chocolate bean in Denmark and just bottle goat shit and do well.

  6. anon Says:

    Quick note about Brunswick Laboratories, they do not seem to have any real credentials, but the fact that they are called Brunswick Labs when there is actually a respected governmental testing facility called “New Brunswick Labs” screams scam. They are obviously trying the piggy back off the reputation of New Brunswick Labs. The fact the New Brunswick is a government operation is probably the only reason they haven’t sued the pants off Brunswick.

  7. Bronxbishop Says:

    For sale: The reality bean. It grows in exotic common of senseville. Just one bite of this miraculous berry and you become berry aware that you just spent a fortune on something that won’t cure stupidity. If you don’t believe me, just ask the famous lab Fictitious Laboratories Inc. located in suckersville.

  8. Sven Says:

    I don’t know who you are, I don’t know Kyani, but how dare you steal my internet time and tell me whats right or wrong from the livingroom you sit in. I’ll bet you got in your car, drove to Alaska, found the berries, visited the production facility and interviewed the staff as well didn’t you. You negative people are so full of shit that you dont know where to put it, so you use the internet to canalize the shit to me, the internet user. I was hoping to find this article interesting, but in the end, there were no background research done whatsoever to back the crap up.

  9. KonaGal Says:

    Nothing is more delightful and healthy compared to TRUTH,
    it’s sooooo simple and costs nothing but common sense !
    Mahalo Nui Loa

  10. Fred Says:

    So, I went to Brunswick labs and AVG came up telling me a threat was blocked. That rarely happens with my computer.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    No background research done on the Kyani products and yet another self proclaimed logical thinker who is producing the ‘truth’ with no facts. What people need to realize is there is no miracle juice that is going to end all of your health issues but there are vitamins, nutrients, foods and supplements that can drastically improve your health if taken consistently and and properly. Do some research and you may find that alot of those are actually in the Kyani products.. So what if its a MLM company selling it? Its a company founded by people who already made their millions in the Potato farming, Petrolium, and chain franchising industries who would be rich with or without the company. It would be the same product if it was sold on informercials or over the counter. Whether its cost effective for you is your decision to make. As a society we are too quick to jump on the bandwagon of negativity because its easy to say no and talk shit. Do your research, stop listening to those who claim to know the truth and become someone who can hold an intelligent conversation about why a product is or is not resonable.

  12. Peter H. Says:

    people have searched for the fountain of youth since the beginning of time but only to die trying to find it. but there are things out in the world that are worth searching for that is good for your health. I’m not saying kiyani will work for everyone, but it may work for some. It did something for me after I took Kiyani Sunrise for 2 weeks now. I have more energy and less aches and pains. Sleep better and wake up refreshed.

  13. Paul Says:

    I agree with Sven. This article is just another cup of “I know it all” story. Yes blueberries and many other berries do grow allmost evrywhere, but for instance the Alaskan blueberries grow in very uneasy growing conditions and most of the fruits and berries that grow there, have to struggle a great deal to survive these conditions. So yes they all are blueberries, granberries and so on, but the enviroment will condition their chemical and biological contents. I did research the Alaskan blueberries antioxidant level and most of the articles, i had a chance to read, agreed that Alaskan Blueberry have way higher level of antoxidants. More complex research is given here http://www.reeis.usda.gov/web/crisprojectpages/208348.html.
    So i dont know what kind of common sense you people are reffering here, but its deffinately doesnt make any sense. Have a wonderful day and dont forget to enjoy it 🙂

  14. Primus Hub Says:

    Aw, this was an extremely nice post. Taking the time and actual effort to
    generate a great article… but what can I say… I put things off a
    lot and don’t seem to get nearly anything done.

  15. Rob Hudgins Says:

    In the mid-80’s a multi-level marketing scheme, http://www.melaleuca.com/ emerged using the oil of the melaleuka plant; a succulent found in remote regions of Australia and their neighboring islands. The “pitch” was the average household in those regions always had on hand a small container of this magic potion to heal burns, cuts, eczema, cold sores; you name it. The demo, illustrating the penetrating properties of the oil, was to inflate a standard party balloon, place a drop of the oil on its surface, and then go into a spiel about the deep healing qualities of Melaleuka, “The Wonder From Down Under”. About a minute into the presentation the balloon would pop with a loud noise thus showing the marvelous and deep penetration the oil had achieved. Anyway, the goo was no more or less effective than aloe vera which everyone and their uncle had growing in their windows by the early nineties. The clincher for me was after seeing this presentation I somehow found myself meeting scores of people from Australia and New Zealand over the next few months. Not ONE of them had ever heard of melaleuka or any other plant, by any other name, possessing such with magic healing properties; at least, not from their regions. These types of scams seem to never end as long as an overly hopeful and misguided public is there to shell-out the dough. Rob Hudgins

  16. mkey Says:

    @Peter, Paul and others:

    what in this entire “Kyani” story makes absolutely no sense is the mere fact everything (and I do mean everything) looks very suspicious.

    (1) Probably phony sources and references: testimonials on various blog sites across the web, absolutely no credible sources I could find and also that idiotic Laboratory reference. Feel free to provide any solid information which can counter point (1) I’d very much like to see it.

    (2) locally unavailable materials that are coincidentally the best thing since sliced bread. This is probably the saddest point of them all, it’s always the same crap over and over again, a youth fountain that nobody but local tribes know of. Well, tribes and Kyani, of course.

    (3) the so obvious MLM business model which oozes with fraud. MLMs are dangerous for a reason and they all operate alike. There’s no protection for their employees (nor liability,) guys on the top only care about the amount of distributors, not the actual customers.

    (4) heavily overpriced products. This is one of the strong points of any MLM operation, when you have to slice a cake, make sure it’s a large one to begin with.

    (5) the Kyani site makes heavy references on “profit” and “opportunity,” giving it advantage over health and well being.

    I have nothing against people consuming products they think are good for them, nothing at all. Just don’t try to sell me that bullshit.

  17. Ummer Says:

    I completely agree with the topic of products like these in the market targeting the innocent people into believing that there is a one off fix or panacea for all the health maladies in this world.I am a medical doc myself and the simple thing I want to tell people is that – micro nutrients like vitamins,minerals like Zinc , Mg etc are called ‘micro’ for a reason as the body needs only a very tiny amount of it.

    So unless you are living in some remote part of Central Africa or an impoverished and poverty stricken area of an underdeveloped country or if you have some chronic health condition preventing ur body from absorbing these micros or anti oxidants causing deficiencies – We really need not bother putting loads of these into our tummy- No research has proven that – there is any health benefit in taking such supplements in a healthy individual nor does it prevent any risk factors.

    Most of the people who take such supplements fart a lot – and wud be very unpleasant to live with.This just indirectly shows the body protesting.

    It is almost insane when you think of the multi billion industry scamming money from innocent customers.Shame on them.

    Dr Faseel

  18. john p Says:

    we used this in an english lesson. Some great US slang, and some good shit-slinging!

  19. MD Adams Says:

    I can go either way on this as far as “the Truth” goes. I really can see both sides to this so allow me to play “devils advocate” here…

    Now, before I begin, I will under full disclosure tell you that I do participate in another company which may be considered a competitor of Kyani. I say this only for disclosure and because of this fact, I have researched Kyani and many other companies and products.

    First, On the side of “the truth” author…
    The notion that blueberries are blueberries is not far off. Do these “”Alaskan blueberries” offer some sort of benefit over any other blueberry I can get here in California? Possibly, but I think the main question is how much more benefit, and at what cost and is there any true value in spending the extra amount? I will add also that the Alaskan blueberry is only one of the ingredients in their products. The problem for me about Kyani is that all of there items listed I can get every single one of them at either my local grocery store, or at least at a Trader Joes or other higher end health store. And also, they are all land based plants where if you ask any person with google or a library card, any true “super food” or beneficial mineral for your health will come from the ocean, not the land. So Is Kyani a scam? No, I think scam is a bit harsh of a word to use. They do have a product to sell, and if you pay for it, they will indeed ship it to you and you will have to decide if the benefits are worth the price you paid or not. For some yes, for some no, but not a scam….I have been presented over the years virtually any and all biz opps under then sun it seems. Few good, most not so much. Getting back to Kyani, They have products can have helped the average feel a bit better and I have seen a few of the Kyani Mercedes driving around so it would seem the person driving them is making some good money. I would just caution that for everyone of those Mercedes out there with the ‘Kyani” logos plastered all over them that there is a trail of customers and distributors lost in the wake of those pretty cars…

    Now, the side in defense of “Kyani” and other MLM’s

    Like millions of other business’ in existence, the right to sell their products in any which way to decide to is up to founders and owners. I think the industry of direct sales and MLM have gotten a bad wrap for some of the truly bad companies that have been around, that in all fairness, just happen to be a MLM company. In truth, those companies would have failed regardless of if their products would have been sold in Walmart, the local mall, or in a direct sales company.. Quality of the company is not indicative of just all the bad ones being MLM. On the flip side, Amway on the other hand, for the good or bad, and whether you hate them or love them, have been around for 55 years. Amway is not a scam either. They have products, and they do fulfill all orders, So I’m not a fan of Amway, but still a very successful MLM company. The main incentive for companies to choose to start a company using the MLM platform is more or less for start up reasons. It is cheaper for a company to part with a bit more of there net profits on the back end, rather then having to supply all the upfront money to get the word out about the product or service they have. I guess in theory this may be the single reason why more of the bad companies do choose to use the MLM platform to start up as they can do this with minimal capital as compared to a conventional start up. MLM’s can be, with the right product and the right management with corporate integrity a sales opportunity for people to succeed…

    So there you go, Maybe a bit on the rant side but in any event, hope these shed a dim light on the good AND the bad of an industry that could sure use a bit of an over haul to be better all around…..

  20. Anonymous Says:

    Instead of relying on some super fruit to do all the work. How about quit staring at your fat in the mirror and get to the gym. Take a walk, hike. Quit going to McDonalds. Stop looking for a quick fix and put in WORK!! Believe me when I say the doctor says you’re about ready to do, you’ll make time.

  21. Boris Says:

    Multilevel marketing always smell bad.
    If the product so good just sell it in the stores
    People telling wonderful stories just to make money and get to the next level.Just sell it in the stores if its a good product people will buy it. I think it is pure pyramid scam same as Gerbolife .

  22. Anonymous Says:

    yes yes yes

  23. Navi kang Says:

    Thanks for sharing! I can get all the product from my local grocery store

  24. Zee Says:

    I agree with you. I happened to attend a briefing on this MLM (Kiwani in particular) and yes all they are business, for profit. They dont have any other motive but money, money, $$$ at the expense of the innocent public and to think that this briefing i attended is thru a church… It’s a good thing, I didn’t go for it! Shame on them!!

  25. Zee Says:

    Hi, just read this article and i want to let u know that it is VERY TRUE and I agree with u 100%. I happened to attend a network meeting for this Kiyani product and it is not only deceiving it is outrageously very expensive! You are right the lady from the church where i have attended this networking is saying that u can only find these wild blueberries in Alaska and that they are different from the other blueberries that we get . This people on top of this networking business is just out there to enrich themselves at the expense of the innocent people and for my experience parishioners and members of the church. Shame on Them!!!

  26. John Says:

    ALL THAT NEEDS TO BE SAID
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23977647

  27. Anonymous Says:

    But that isn’t a good reason to say Kyani works, because the people behind it have already made their millions.. like rich people tend to not like getting richer, like anyone else. As if this is their way of giving back to society.

  28. Anonymous Says:

    How can you actually believe that blueberries grown in the soil in america with pecticides and herbasides have the same properties as the ones grown in the harsh and natural conditions of alaska. Makes no sense dude

  29. albie300 Says:

    Scam priduct!

  30. Lisa Kljaich Says:

    As someone who has lived in Alaska, and has traveled extensively in the Pacific Northwest, there are some gaps in information in this blog post. Gaps in truth. I have seen fields and fields of blueberries in Alaska. Never have I seen that anywhere else. Despite that, I NEVER take them for granted. One year they are great, the next year, they can be wiped out by dry conditions, or a fire. They can also get crowded out by other plant life. Don’t know about the MLM company but two wrongs don’t make a right. Blowing smoke doesn’t make you sound very truthful. Don’t speculate – do your research. Ask an Alaskan if these berries are just blueberries. I can’t think of a single Alaskan that values wild healthy food that will say that.

    I do agree that exercise is very important, but active movement and healthy eating trumps exercise. Read the studies.

  31. Anonymous Says:

    Thank you!

  32. Kyle Says:

    Did you really just compare a bird making a house out of blueberries… lol

  33. Anthony pulliam Says:

    Thank you for the information I am a 50-year-old two-time cancer survivor currently on dialysis. A man from Kayani contacted my wife and said their product could reverse my kidney damage . My wife is desperate to try anything and wants me to buy this product but I think it’s a scam .

  34. Gabrielle Butler Says:

    Thank you so very much. Almost got suckered in by all the hype of Alaskan wildberries & you my friend hit the nail on the head. You see l’m a desperate mum to 22yr twin males with multiple disabilities who has tried every thing & really can’t afford to be wasting money, so they now go to the local swimgym & we are eating sensibly, loads of veges & fruit……but l almost got suckered in like l said hoping for a quicker result but your comment made me think twice & decided it was prop best for the guys to loss their weight steadily 1 is 230kgs the other 180 KGS . this friend.

  35. RIAZ SHIRGAONKAR Says:

    Great update about Alaskan Blueberries and the hype created by kyani Inc. Brunswick labs keep popping in this branding process by the MLM companies with pseudo claims of making ordinarily available foods and fruits as superfood. One such example is moringo olifera or the drumstick tree, also known as miracle tree. Please update about this food that is freely available in India (it’s worthless hence given away for free) and the supplement Companies are minting money using Brunswick labs report declaring it to be highest Oracle value superfood beating Acaiberry etc.

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