Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Orgain

We love our producers, suppliers and vendors and we think most of them have some pretty interesting stories behind their products too. We’re sharing some of our favorites here in an ongoing series.

In 1999, a devastating diagnosis led Andrew Abraham to become a physician and create the world’s first organic ready-to-drink nutrition shake.

During his senior year of high school, Andrew was faced with a rare cancer that required aggressive chemotherapy. During treatment, he relied on liquid nutrition and was appalled to find the only ready-to-drink options were made with specific ingredients that many physicians consider a “no-no” for cancer patients, including high-fructose corn syrup and artificial preservatives, sweeteners, flavors and colors.

“After an exhaustive search, I couldn’t find anything better, so I started blending my own organic shakes at home,” Andrew explains.

During the next decade, Andrew survived cancer, finished medical school, earned an MBA and became a family physician, yet little changed in the world of ready-to-drink shakes.

So Andrew decided it was time to develop Orgain.

After tireless hours of experimentation, 55 formulations and five blenders, he perfected a smooth, great-tasting blend of organic whey, organic brown rice and organic fruits and veggies and bottled it for grab-and-go convenience.

 

 

“We hear one resounding word all the time: Finally!” Andrew says. “People are so happy to find our product.”

Orgain was developed with a complete nutrition profile suitable for almost anyone, and it’s become the go-to drink for many athletes and physicians. It also continues to play a vital role in the lives of people with illnesses that affect appetite. Through organizations like Feeding America, the company donates thousands of cases of Orgain every year to cancer patients with financial hardships.

Do you have an Orgain story? Tell us about it!

 

Leave a reply

To provide feedback or ask a question about our company, a store or a product, please visit our Customer Service page.

For more information about posting comments to our blog, please see our Comment Posting Guidelines.

124 comments

Comments

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@LAURA - I would encourage you to check directly with Orgain to find your answer. I did not see that the products were listed as lactose-free. You can find their contact info online at http://www.drinkorgain.com/.

Ethan Davis says …

Was so so so happy when i found this a couple years back. I've always been into healthy eating, but just recently i have been able to buy more groceries for myself, so i have been buying more Orgain! And for the last year I've been working out a lot. Now, i love it even more (and i didn't think that was possible). I use it for breakfast, post workout, and a snack when I can't find anything that will suffice. I recommend it to everyone I know! It's completely perfect other than one rather important aspect...I really wish it was more affordable, because then I know alot more people (including myself) would buy it much more frequently.

Deb says …

After losing my husband and mother-in-law to cancer in the same year, I was not eating properly - either not eating at all or eating comfort food. I was feeling the effects of that and a colleague told me about Orgain. I now drink it for breakfast every day, eat a decent lunch and sometimes drink another Orgain for dinner. I realize now that I was not getting the level of protein that my body needed and I can feel confident now that I am. I feel so much better and buy Orgain 6 to 10 cases at a time whereever I find it on sale.

Herve Gregoire says …

I like Orgain especially the chocolate flavor because it organically combines Whey and brown rice ( two high quality protein sources), real chocolate, plus fruits and veggies. Add a spoon full of flax seed oil and it would be perfect. They should make a version with flax oil for omega 3 fatty acids. I would drink it all day if i could afford to, tastes great.

Michelle Ofak says …

Do you carry Orgain Kids yet in Marlton NJ store

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@MICHELLE - I called and spoke to the Grocery team at the Marlton store. They currently carry the 4pks of the Orgain drinks but they do not have the kids version yet. Definitely let them know you are interested next time you are in the store and they can check to see if they are available for ordering yet!

Janet says …

I am never hungry for breakfast in the morning... I used to just drink coffee and not eat for hours. Now that I am in my forties, just coffee was making my stomach feel a bit queasy. Since discovering Orgain, I still drink my coffee, but when I get to work, I drink an Orgain. It soothes my stomach without making me too full. It's the best--so tasty it's hard to believe it's really good for me.

Victoria Sharp Kaufman says …

Your product was the absolute best after my jaw surgery in Dec. 2012. I could not eat or talk--just on liquids for 2 months! Drinking Orgain allowed me to continue my school studies and start a spring internship. Now 4 months out, although I can eat and talk again, I could not give up Orgain so I have have included an 11oz Orgain into my daily diet at tea time when I need the energy boost the most. When Dr. Abraham solved his problem, he solved others as well. Thank you.

richard says …

What is the difference between Orgain organic nutritional shake and Orgain meal replacement shake??????I am confused about this.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@RICHARD - I looked on their website and did not see a difference in shake options. I was only able to find the organic nutritional shake for adults and a kids version. For specific answers you can reach out to Orgain at http://www.drinkorgain.com/ and I'm sure they will be happy to clarify this for you!

Jordan says …

Hi- i was wondering if this product is offered at all locations. I am near the Sandy Springs and Buckhead locdations in Atlanta, GA. Please let me know if they would carry them. Thank you in advance, Jordan

Kelly Wittmers says …

I am in tears that I have finally found what I'm looking for! My under 2-year-old daughter has Cystic Fibrosis, and the greatest indicator of lung function over her lifetime is her weight to height ratio in her first five years. Hers is suffering right now, but she is in otherwise good health. The doctors have recommended Ensure-like products, but I have told them I will not give them to her because of their horrible ingredients. I am beyond thrilled to find this product! Patients with CF need 2/3 more calories than the rest of us, so that means over 1700 cal/day for my daughter and between 5000-6000 for an adult with CF because of the body's inability to process nutrients properly. I am going to order some Orgain right now! Thank you, Andrew Abraham and Whole Foods Market!!!

Lorrie says …

Just wondering where the Orgain organic nutritional shakes (creamy chocolate fudge) is made?

Karl Daniels says …

We have a little 6 pound chihuahua who survived distemper when he was puppy. Unfortunately though the disptempter has caused him to have many chronic medical problems--including diabetes and chronic pancreatitis. Whenever he has a flare-up, it has been difficult to find him an easily digestable, high protein, low fat nutritional supplement that is not loaded with sugar, corn syrup, aspartame, or other ingrediants that may be potentially harmful for him. This product has been wonderful for him as it provides him with a palatable meal that does not throw his blood glucose out of control, and helps him to maintain his weight, his hydration and energy when he is not able to eat his regular diet. I know that this product is not intended for our canine friends, but let me tell you-- Webster is very grateful, as am I :)

Pam Brown says …

Thank you for creating Orgain! It is a blessing to have a drink that is so nutritious and so delicious be so good for us -- and convenient. Orgain tastes so good I almost feel guilty drinking it. Thank you again!

Petra says …

Amazing story!! Our son started chemo just a week ago a we are so happy with your product!

Kerry Oneil says …

I think this product is excellent. However, it is too expensive which isn't helpful to the masses and certainly will not serve the majority's health.. A truly great product not only needs to be effective but also needs to be affordable.

Martha says …

I discovered Orgain quite by accident while rushing to a massage appointment one day. I was hungry but did not want to load up on a meal right before a massage. I stopped at the co-op and saw it in the cooler and grabbed it. It was SO GOOD I was hooked. Frequently have one for breakfast, but they saved my life when I had my most recent hip replacement. Had a rough time with the painkillers and Orgain was the only "food" I could face for a few days. When I had my pre-op the hospital of course was pushing Ensure, but I said "no thanks, I have something better on tap" and took a few to the hospital with me. When compared, the SMALLER serving of Ensure has MORE CALORIES and LESS PROTEIN than the larger serving of Orgain. Thank you Dr. Abraham!

Florence says …

I went to your Cambie whole foods today & they said whole foods USED TO carry Orgain. I couldn't find any on the shelves. Asked 2 sales personnel but both said they don't carry it anymore. Is this true? If so, why? Any medical recall or something I should know? I am in a hurry to buy some to bring abroad. A dear friend has acute leukemia & needed liquid nutrition after chemotherapy. I fly out in 5 days. HELP!!

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@FLORENCE - Our buys is done at the store and regional level so it's possible that the store or region decided not to carry this any longer. You can buy this on their website at http://shop.orgain.com/.

Josephine Cains says …

My sister is 65 she is in a nursing home and recently was told that she has SILENT ASPIRATION and doctor inserted a tube in her stomach due to she cannot eat by mouth because particles of food would go into her lungs. The problem is they are feeding her horrible GLUCERNA SHAKES AND i read that such product IS NOT A MEAL REPLACEMENT NOR IS FOR TUBE FEEDING. I LOVE YOUR PRODUCT & WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF IT IS SUITABLE FOR TUBE FEEDING FOR MY SISTER. If you would reply as soon as possible i would appreciate it. I'm concert that my sister may suffer a heart attack with the Glucerna can shake they're giving her. Also if you would give me a price to give to the CONVALESCENT HOME WHERE MY SISTER IS SO THEY CAN ORDER IT IF IT IS SUITABLE FOR TUBE FEEDING. Thanks very much and God Bless you for creating such an extraordinary product.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@JOSEPHINE - My thoughts go out to your sister during this time. I would suggest that you reach out to Orgain directly to answer your questions. You can find their contact info at http://www.drinkorgain.com/. You can also purchase through their website.

Debbie Crawford says …

Will you/can you make a dairy-free (without whey) option, please???

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@DEBBIE - Since we don't make this product I would suggest getting in touch with Orgain to find out!

Ria says …

But I am left wondering if this product is good for people with cancer! Why? Because it has sugar, and we all know that Cancer cells thrive on sugar.

Debby SJ says …

These shakes are delicious! My family of seven loves them! We are all on the taller side, the shortest person is 5'2 and he's 12. We are also all very slender and have very fast metabolisms. For the females that is great, but for my boys trying to put meat on their bones' it is extremely difficult! The Orgain nutritional shake is the only ready to drink shake that my picky boys like and that I feel comfortable giving them. I'm so happy when I can find it in the store and it's on sale. :-) However, I buy it even without the special pricing. I am inspired by Mr. Abraham's story. I remember when I was diagnosed with Chronic Anemia at the age of 15 and had to have two blood transfusions. I, too, remember drinking nutritional shakes from metal cans that tasted like the metal cans no matter how you disguised them, or trying to eat raw eggs and spinach. My diagnosis made me more aware of what I put into my body and caused me to severely change my family's and my own eating habits. I became a crusader of all natural and organic foods and dabbled in Homeopathic Medicine for a few years. That being said I would like to sincerely thank you, Mr. Abraham, we greatly appreciate you taking it that extra step and sharing your creation with us! Debby

kenny smith says …

I have cancer squmacell carcinoma its in my mouth ,my jaw my tonsil ruff of my mouth I will be starting chemo this week my mom found some protein drinks organic fruit flavor.i can't work because I am in so much pain.i don't have any insurance. my mom has been buying me what she can. I was wondering if you had any extra of your product you could send me . I can't talk well my mom does my talking for me.sounds like this helped you to get better and I sure need something thanks Kenny smith

Pam says …

When will erythrotol and Carrageenan be removed from Orgain products? Thank you.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@PAM - I would suggest reaching out to Orgain directly to see when/if they plan to remove those ingredients.

beth says …

just bought orgain healthy kids from my local Whole Foods and it was very chunky and curdled. The person I talked to in the store said it was supposed to be that consistency and that I didn't shake it enough. Just curious If I'm missing something here. My daughter refused to drink it. Sadly, my two year old drank half before he spilled it out (that's when we saw the huge white chunks). We poured out a few other containers in the sink and all chunky. Did we buy a bad batch?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@BETH - So sorry about that. I would suggest reaching out to Orgain directly as they will be better fit to answer questions about their specific product. If they say that this is not how it is supposed to taste, let your local store know and they should be able to switch it out for you or offer a refund. You can reach out to Orgain at http://www.drinkorgain.com/.

Angela says …

@Josephine Yes, Orgain is completely fine for use in a feeding tube. We did this for months with great results. The doctors were impressed. Hope this can be helpful to your sister. Good luck!

Gretchen G says …

I drink Orgain Protein Powder as a meal supplement for my lunch 5 days a week. It is usually very difficult to stick with a shake supplement because you get bored with it or it doesn't taste good. I haven't gotten bored with Orgain and I have been drinking it for the past 3 months. Thank you for making a delicious, nutritious protein powder that tastes great!

Cindy says …

Hi, I'm having a hard time finding Orgain Vegan Shakes in NYC. Any suggestions?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@CINDY - I would suggest reaching out to Orgain directly to find out why there is a shortage in that area. They should also have online ordering on their site as well.

patricia estes says …

My son told me about your product. Because I also am on chemo for cancer. I love your organ shake vegen. because I am allergic to diary. But I have to drive to whole foods. the store is the only one that carries the vegan one. Is there anyway I can have it sent to me...sometimes I do not have the energy to drive to pick it up. It really helps me when I am on chemo.and makes me feel so much better. thanks so much. I would love a response. other wise I have to keep driving 20 minutes to buy it. no other store or on line sells the vegan one. which is what I prefer. thanks again.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@PATRICIA - You can order Orgain on their website at http://www.drinkorgain.com/ to have it delivered to you!

Vlad says …

Organic and healthy, huh? Yet it still contains carrageenan, which has been linked to cancer. Care to explain? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrageenan#Health_concerns

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@VLAD - A review of all existing scientific literature indicates that food-grade carrageenan is safe for all food uses. It is neither toxic nor carcinogenic.

Rebecca says …

My 14 year old son has been drinking these (Orgain Vegan Nutritional Shakes) since he got out of the hospital in April. He has eosinophilic gastritis an delayed gastric emptying. He lives with chronic headaches, stomachaches, nausea, and daily vomiting. He decided to start with drinking one of the shakes per day in April and now he is up to three per day. He loves them and that they fit into his very restrictive diet (no wheat, dairy, or soy). My husband and I went to the three Austin, Texas Whole Foods stores and got all of the shakes that the had in stock because we live 90 miles away. The Whole Foods store employee told us that they can special order as many of the shakes as we need, they just needed two days notice. Our lives just got a lot easier that day. : ) Thank you Whole Foods for carrying Orgain Vegan Nutritional shakes. The are the best!!!!

Alicia says …

Sooo happy to have found this powder. Its so yummy and clean that I make my 14 month old daughter her own shake as a snack too! Thank you for taking the time to make this available to the community!

Beth Ojeda says …

I have Gatroparesis. Often, I can keep food or other liquid supplements down. Orgain vegan blends are gastro-friendly for me. Thank you for developing such a great product.

Robin says …

I just wanted to know if this product is just to help you gain weight or can you use it for weight loss also?

pat Harrison says …

I like your product, but as soon as I open it, the container leaks from the yoke around the bottle. it's very messy so if I don't pour it right away in a glass, it's on everything.

Cheryl Skidmore says …

Oh my gosh! thank you sooo very much for coming up with this product. I was just diagnosed with colon cancer and am eating total organic. Wehn my husband came home with Ensure I almost puked looking at the ingredients. thank you and God bless you.

Emma F says …

Orgain is the first protein powder that I've come across that does not upset my stomach. I'm still waiting for my local WF store to start carrying Orgain ready-to-drink shakes, but the Orgain protein powder that I purchased from Costco is dairy free and gluten free. Great product!

Terri Kionka says …

I read about Orgain on the Web. It says it helps people lose weight. How does it help me lose weight? Thanks

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@TERRI - I would suggest reaching out to Orgain directly to find out.

Jason says …

Thank you, Nikki! I just read most of the comments here, and I love how responsive, informative, and helpful you are. Many staff allow 'company blogs' to slide, but this one is super impressive. Like Barry, I live in Toronto, and now I'm inspired to swing by Whole Foods and see if they have some Orgain.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@JASON - Thanks for the kind words. Personally, I would like to know an answer if I ask a question so I try to make sure to find answers for others! :)

Pages