The 42-acre Barlean's farm in Ferndale bustles with activity. Trucks from as far away as Canada and the Dakotas pull up to deliver flax seed, forklift drivers haul pressed flax meal into storage containers for recycling as cattle feed, while inside fresh pressed flax seed oil is bottled, labeled and rush shipped to health stores around the country. The phones ring endlessly at the Barlean's farm, as hundreds of orders for Barlean's organic oils pour in from health store retailers daily, retailers who insist upon fresh-pressed-on-demand organic oils for their customers.
What's driving all this activity on the Barlean's family farm in Ferndale? The realization that 8 out of 10 Americans are deficient in essential fats, called Omega-3 fatty acids. The health consequences of this nutritional deficiency are extensive. Health authorities, such as Artemis Simopoulos M.D., author of The Omega Plan, indicates disorders such as heart and blood vessel disease, eye problems such as dry eyes and macular degeneration, mood and behavior problems such as attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity, autoimmune disorders such as arthritis, diabetes and lupus, skin problems such as psoriasis, and even cancer, may materialize from this common nutritional deficiency.