All Chia Seeds ARE NOT Created Equal

I started on my chia seeds quest several weeks ago. It was long enough to get it from two different places. The first was from Navitas Naturals Certified Organic Chia Seeds. That was a big mistake. Stay tuned to this station and I’ll tell you why.

After I’d ordered it (and signed up for a subscription for it to be shipped regularly) my forum friend, Shari, told me I could get it for a whole lot less. Always one for a bargain, I was disappointed I had jumped at the first chance to get really truly organic seed. Seems there are lots of sites that sell organic seeds and many of them for less.

I went back to Amazon to cancel my order. No way to do that. I had waited too long and it was already on its way. As a matter of fact, it got here two days later along with my regular order of agave nectar. I resigned myself to keeping the more expensive chia seeds and opened the package.

As I chronicled in this post, I took a sample to each of the two people I talked to before. One of them started Googling and found chia for less than I had paid on Amazon, provided enough was ordered at once. She and another person each ordered a lub. I had emailed her that I’d go in with them but I guess she got the message after she had already clicked “submit”.

I took the plunge and ordered five lubs. That way, even though there was shipping tacked on, the price was low enough that I felt justified getting that much. I was hooked on adding chia to my blended soup in the evening.

Well, shoot! The company was out of chia so I kept using the more expensive stuff. At least I had that. The others didn’t have anything after they used up the sample.

Finally, the notice came that my chia was shipping and should be in soon. I was so glad because I was getting low enough I was starting to be nervous. Sure enough, it came in priority mail.

There were five individual heavy zip bags of one lub each in a large heavy zip bag. It was very well packaged. It wasn’t as pretty as what I was used to and the seeds appeared to be smaller. When I mentioned that to one of the other people, she didn’t think so. I compared them with what I had left and I had to admit she was probably right. I didn’t have a scale capable of weighing a single seed so I had to depend on eyeballing it. I kept four packages and gave one to my friend in the nursing home.

Now, I mix chia with food and eat it. My nursing home friend likes to mix hers with Cream of Wheat at breakfast. The others throw them in their mouths and wash them down with water. I objected and told them they are missing a lot of the experience of eating chia. One said she doesn’t like the way they stick in her teeth and, besides, they don’t have any flavor of their own. True, but the “tapioca” like texture is missing when they aren’t used in food. Seems it was lost on her. And then I found out why.

I ran out of the Navitas chia and opened my first bag of generic. That was where my mistake came in. If I had never ordered the Navitas Naturals, I would have never known the difference. Maybe Shari has never had high quality chia and that’s why she is happy with cheaper. When I think of mixing chia with liquid, I like to think it “blooms”. The resulting gel that surrounds each seed on the Navitas is much larger and firmer than what is on the generic. At least I think it is. Maybe it’s my imagination, but I do believe there is a difference. It’s enough that I won’t cancel my subscription.

Several days after our generic came in, I got a call. “What’s the difference between chia and Salba?” I misunderstood and said, “Chia IS salvia.” To be perfectly correct, chia is Salvia hispanica L. The caller said, “There’s an article in the paper about how good Salba is and it’s better than chia.” I’d never heard of Salba so I started searching. What I found is, Salba is also Salvia hispanica L. The difference is the price. It is considerably more than the Navitas which is a little more than the generic once the shipping is factored in. If I were more curious than I am at present, I would order a jar of Salba to see if there is any difference in quality but I’m afraid to. I’ve already been spoiled by Navitas Naturals. I don’t need to be spoiled by Salba.

8 Responses to All Chia Seeds ARE NOT Created Equal

  1. Genese November 26, 2009 at 12:12 pm #

    Tommie, i’m so grateful you introduced me to this tiny wonder. i’m convinced the chia seeds are helping reduce my blood sugar. adding two heaping spoonfuls to my food each morning is the only change i have made to my diet. my glucose readings have dropped an average of 75 points. now i rarely need extra fast acting insulin injections before meals.

    • Tommie November 26, 2009 at 12:16 pm #

      Woohoo, Genese! That’s great! That’s supposed to be one of the things it will do.

  2. Sue Thomas November 30, 2009 at 3:03 am #

    I am not a chia expert yet, but I did read that we shouldl not eat them without soaking because they grab so much liquid that our body will have to supply that liquid unless we soak them first and thus we can cause dehydration.
    Isn’t Salba exactly the same? Maybe Salba is more white. Our guts will never know, so save the $$$!!
    I first read about chia from Rene Oswald
    I like Navitas Twister Power mixture of chia, and flax.

    • Tommie November 30, 2009 at 6:51 am #

      That makes sense. I don’t know how much water they are using to wash them down. Might be enough. Yes, Salba is exactly the same. You can buy white chia but they aren’t supposed to be any different, nutritionally, than the black. What I have is mixed. Do you soak the chia and flax? Flax is so gluey when soaked, it kind of turns me off.

    • Laurie January 26, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

      Check out

      They have Navitas cheaper than Amazon..

      • Tommie January 26, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

        Thanks, Laurie!

  3. Margaret December 30, 2009 at 12:03 pm #

    Great review of Navitas vs. generic chia. We really need more information like this. The first generic chia seed that I bought was full of chaff: edible but twiggy. We need a site where people can post reviews.

    • Tommie December 30, 2009 at 8:41 pm #

      I checked out your site and read that you were wondering if Navitas is organic. I can assure you it is. It’s on the back of the package. Since I’m an affiliate, I took your link out (sorry). That would create quite a conflict.

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