Down on the Farm: An Inside Peek at Dietary Supplement Production

by | Updated: April 4th, 2017 | Read time: 3 minutes

Supplements don’t grow on trees, but the nutrients in them should, right? Many supplements contain nutrients that are fully manufactured in a lab. But, supplements delivered from whole foods, on the other hand, like the ones made by MegaFood, contain real, farm-fresh ingredients. By choosing those, you know the nutrients you’re consuming come from actual organic foods grown on actual organic farms.

Corner of Organic Orange Grove in Florida |

How can you be sure? Simple: transparency. MegaFood has been using real food in their supplements for more than 40 years, and almost five years ago, they started creating Farm Fresh Partnerships with organic and sustainable farmers so consumers can trace their products straight to the source. The first of their Farm-Fresh Partners was Uncle Matt’s Organic, based in Clermont, Florida. MegaFood uses Uncle Matt’s organic oranges in products that contain vitamin C.

My team and I had pleasure of meeting and interviewing Benny McLean, Production Manager for Uncle Matt’s, when we filmed a special, on-location Facebook Live segment. We wanted to get the inside scoop on the special relationship between Uncle Matt’s and MegaFood.

Three Generations Deep

Recently Harvested Field on Organic Orange Grove | met McLean on a 40-acre citrus grove with four different of varieties of citrus: navel oranges, dark red grapefruit, tangerines and Valencia oranges. On that same grove, organic green beans and peaches (for a “U-pick” in the spring) are also grown.

McLean himself is a third-generation citrus grower and started helping his dad when he was only 10 years old. “We weren’t driving a truck or tractor or anything like that, but we were pulling weeds and cutting sprouts,” said McLean of his farming upbringing.

Some of McLean’s own children also have gone into the family business. Uncle Matt’s Organic bears the name of his son and company CEO, Matt McLean. Another son, Ben McLean III, works as Vice President of Uncle Matt’s.

Production the for citrus company centers around fresh fruit and juices. Navel oranges are sold fresh and whole, but many other fruits end up in organic juices, like the orange juice, grapefruit juice and tangerine juice sold by Uncle Matt’s.

Uncle Matt’s philosophy is based on building healthy soils that will yield a healthier tree so it can naturally defend itself against disease. The single factor analysis of today’s Ag world reacts to pests with pesticides, but Uncle Matt’s takes pride in protecting the next generation, believing that less contamination means a safer planet for everyone. The flavor profile of their juices is different than those made with conventional farming techniques. You can taste the difference! I certainly did when I bit into an orange McLean cut for me straight off the tree. It was the juiciest and most delicious orange I have ever had!

Partners in WellnessPeople on Tractor in Organic Orange Grove |

The Farm-Fresh Partnership between MegaFood and Uncle Matt’s has been going strong for almost five years because both companies strive for honesty, transparency and top-notch quality. MegaFood sources Uncle Matt’s organic oranges any time they use vitamin C, such as in their Ultra-C and Complex C. Some of their multivitamins also contain vitamin C from those oranges. “We source our products all the way from farm to tablet, or in this case, from citrus grove to tablet,” said Rob Principe, Internet Account Manager for MegaFood.

But the collaboration does not end there. “Our partnership is definitely a two-way street,” Principe added. Uncle Matt’s has sourced from MegaFood as well. “We were able to add 500mg of our turmeric per serving in the Organic Orange Turmeric juice from Uncle Matt’s Organic.  I was able to try this turmeric-infused juice on our trip, and I can attest that the turmeric enhanced the flavor without overpowering it. It was delicious!

Shop MegaFood’s dietary supplements at and check your local grocery store for Uncle Matt’s organic juices.

Watch our full interview with Benny McLean below: