Ghee Comparison Table
Comparison of ghee products for quality and price
This article was updated January 1, 2009. Please make your browser window wide to see the full table.
Ghee is very important in regard to free radicals, health and longevity. I will write more about that in another post. For now, I'l just say that ghee is more than an indulgence. In a healthy vegetarian diet, ghee can be viewed as an essential vitamin supplement (albeit, one that tastes really good). In this post I want to take a look at the products that represent the best value and I want to compare quality. Ghee is so important as an addition to the diet that quality should not be sacrificed -- especially because only a very small amount of ghee needs to be used.
The prices shown in the table are as of today. Shipping rates are for standard shipping. In all cases (except YoGHEE which is shipped from Canada), the shipping charge appeared to be valid for any location in the USA. I also tested the shipping cost when ordering more than one item at a time and entered notes about the final price per ounce. (Because of the large amount of ghee I ordered in this test, I skipped ordering a couple of the products listed in the table below, as noted in the "Purchase or shipping notes" column.)
When I started this comparison, I was primarily interested in finding the best value in organic ghee products. However, I learned that several of the products are more than organic. They are "Vedic Organic". (If the term Vedic Organic is not familiar to you, see the footnotes under the comparison table.) It was a very pleasant surprise to find out that such high quality ghee products are available.
Because Vedic Organic ghees are available, my focus now is on understanding which Vedic process is the most authentic and/or the most correct. So far I can see that some of the ghees are much more authentic than others. The information in the table below reflects that fact.
My blog is not about gourmet cooking. It is about optimum health. Therefore, I am not so concerned with the taste differences in the ghee products. I am concerned with which one product is the healthiest.
I often take a scientific approach when attempting to answer the question of which food is the healthiest. However, when it comes to dairy products, I believe modern science is still catching up with Ayurveda. (When qualified researchers test specific Ayurvedic principles, they often corroborate them.) At this time, there is some preliminary research to support the Vedic Organic concept, but it is not enough. Nonetheless, I have confidence that picking the ghee that is made most correctly according to Ayurveda is a sound way to pick the healthiest ghee.
Another factor to consider may be the color. I discussed Weston A. Price's research on "Activator X" in another article on this blog. We still don't know what "Activator X" is, or even if it represents a valid concept. However, Price claimed that quantitative assay showed the best butter is that with the richest golden color.
|Image||Product Name||Ranking||Reference||Comments||Organic||Vedic||Manufacturing Process||Product Size and Price||Shipping Cost (large)||Price/ounce (large product size)||Price/ounce with shipping||Purchasing or shipping notes||Product Name|
|Ancient Organics Ghee||#1
(#1 rank still holds true in 2009. The more I research ghee, the more impressed I am with this product!)
|ancientorganics.com||The company has two good articles on ghee at their web site. The founders of the company are Ayurvedic practitioners. One told me, "both Dr. Lad and Dr. Mishra (well known Ayurvedic, doctors who were born
into and practice Vedic Vidya) have remarked on the exquisite quality of our ghee."
|Yes. Made from 100% Organic Straus Creamery butter. They told me, "our butter is churned, a very rare way to make butter in todays world. Even most of the organic creameries no longer use churning."||Yes. This ghee sets the standard for Vedic-Organic .
"We make our ghee almost always on the full moon. The Full moon is when the qualities of Soma are at their height and it is also the traditional day of making ghee in the Vedic tradition. Also, we chant and play the Mahamrtunjaya Mantra before, during and after the making of the ghee (all day). We are Ayurvedic practitioners as well as having a spiritual practice in the Vedic tradition."
|Made in stainless steel heavy pots, over a gas flame in a beautiful and positive environment||
14 oz @ $17.50
30 oz @ $29.50
|$9.50 (up to 2 items)||$0.983||$1.300||I purchased 2 of the 30 oz size at $9.50 shipping. The order total was $68.50, making the final price/ounce $1.142.||Ancient Organics Ghee|
|GrassFed Organic Ghee
by Pure Indian Foods
|#2||pureindianfoods.com||This family has been in the ghee business for five generations, since 1889. That's amazing.||
Made from butter from small family-owned farms. USDA-Certified Organic.
||Made in stainless steel heavy pots, over a gas flame in a satvic and peaceful environment.||
7.5 oz @ $8.00
13.5 oz @ $13.50
28.0 oz @ $24.00
|$8.75 (1 item)
2) 5% discount and FREE ground shipping on all orders over $150.
|$0.857||$1.170||I purchased 1 of the 28 oz size at $8.75 shipping. The order total was $32.75, making the final price/ounce $1.170.||GrassFed Organic Ghee|
|Divina Essentials Organic Ghee||In top 5||de.hvi.net||This is one of only 3 products I found that is Vedic and Organic.||Yes, but USDA organic seal is not shown. No inspection information provided.||It is "imbued with mantras." Recordings of Vedic chanting performed by Brahmin priests plays in the background while the ghee is made. I also chant Gayatri or Devi mantra while tending to the ghee after an initial invocation. The ghee is then stored where daily agnihotra (sunrise/sunset yagnas) occur.||
Divina ghee is slow cooked in stainless steel, usually copper clad pots in a BOH approved commercial kitchen.
The whole process was disclosed to me and it is obvious that great care goes into the manufacturing.
|8 oz @ $7.99||$5.00||0.999||1.624||I purchased 3 items and the shipping was still $5.00. The total was $28.97, making the final price/ounce $1.207||Divina Essentials Organic Ghee|
|YoGHEE||no longer available||This is another of the very rare Vedic Organic ghees. The online shopping is primitive. They do not utilize e-commerce. Product available in larger quantities and that might help bring down the cost.||Yes. Our butter is certified organic by Certified Organic Association of British Columbia. The BC Dairy Board sets higher price levels for its organic milk; therefore our product end price is not as competitive in the US market.||Our satvic manufacturing practice creates unique product benefits that put it at the top, with respect to cleanliness and positive energetic.||Handmade in small batches in a traditional manner. We make use of yogic music and mantra chanting for each individual jar of product to provide the best possible healing benefit to all. Our processor is a Yogini who insists on positive intentions, speaking tone, words and appropriate cleanliness at all times during the ghee processing.||
5.3 oz @ $10.00
31.8 oz @ $40.00
|Shipping costs cannot be determined from the web site. My invoice showed $14.25 shipping.||$1.258||
Ordering 3 of the large size brings the final cost to $1.52 per ounce.
To purchase online, you fill out a form and they reply via email with the price and shipping amounts - it took 24 hr. to get the initial reply.
|Maharishi Ayurveda Organic Ghee||In top 5||mapi.com||I have used this ghee and it is good quality. This represents a good value considering that it is the second lowest price. However, MAPI should bring their Vedic-Organic approach to this ghee, as they have done with other foods.||Yes. They state, "made from organic butter that is free of BST." However, Maharishi Ayurveda often uses their own certification agency. No USDA organic seal is visible on the product image.||Probably not||Specifics not given. Some products are imbued with Mantras and Gandharva Veda melodies, but apparently the ghee is not.||
13 oz @ $11.95
28 oz @ $21.95
|0.784||1.040||The final cost is typically around $1.040 because shipping is not flat rate.||Maharishi Ayurveda Organic Ghee|
|Purity Farms Organic Ghee||near bottom of my list for organic ghees||purityfarms.com
|I have used this ghee but I am not impressed by it. I would like to report more about the company's process of making the ghee. However, The company asked me not to mention any details because "if you put what I wrote you on a blog, it will invite MANY MANY more letters to us asking the same or similar questions wanting clarification on this or that. It adds liteally hours to our already long work day".||Yes. Certified Organic - by Oregon Tilth and independent agencies. In addition to a certified organic vegetarian diet, the cows are never given drugs or hormones of any kind.||No mantras are used. This is not a Vedic-Organic product. It is also not made according to traditional Vedic methods, in my opinion.||They claim that, "through a traditional Indian method, we cook the butter until the water and milk solids are removed. The result is 'traditional' Ghee."
However, I have my doubts that this is really a traditinal ghee.
7.5 oz @ $5.65
13 oz @ $8.75
|$5.84||0.673||1.122||I purchased 3 of the 13 oz size and the shipping was $7.52. The total order was $33.77, making the price/ounce $0.866||Purity Farms Organic Ghee|
|Spring Sunrise Organic Ghee||In top 5||springsunrise.com||This is the low price leader among organic ghees currently listed here. With the excellent price and attention to quality, this ghee is one you don't want to overlook. I have a lot of trust in this manufacturer.||Yes. Made with fresh organic butter in kitchens inspected by Iowa Dept. of Agric. The butter is made from milk supplied by the Amish.
No USDA organic seal is visible on the product image.
|Yes, it is Vedic to some extent. The deva sahasranam chants (recorded) are used according to the Vedic calendar. The ghee is also made in a spiritual community. However, it is made with electric heat, not fire.||Virtually all water content is removed--stays fresh longer than ghee made at home.||28 oz @ $15.00||$5.00||0.536||0.714||I am testing this brand now. I like it so far.||Spring Sunrise Organic Ghee|
|Herbs Forever Ghee||not enough information yet||satveda.com||Plastic container. Shopping cart malfunctioned. I would feel better if this was USDA certified and in glass.||Yes.
No USDA organic seal is visible on the product image.
|Probably not||Made from hormone free milk. It does not come from a big commercial dairy, rather it is produced in a “Goshala” in India, which is a small dairy farm that distributes its products to local residents and temples. Made under the guidance of well trained and ethical dairy farmers. The milk comes from cows that are treated with reverence and care. The cows are fed pesticide free foods and the ghee is made under the strictest hygienic conditions. GMP certified unit. Laboratory tested for quality and purity standards.||16 oz @ $11.95||$5.95||0.747||1.119||The plastic jar caused me to pass on this product.||Herbs Forever Ghee|
(from my local Indian Grocery)
|not organic, so rank is below all organic products||amul.com||Comes in metal can. The ghee is very white, which is not good. The ingredients simply say it is made from milk, but it does not say cow's milk. This might be buffalo ghee. It is also not liquid at room temperature.||Not organic||No||Unknown manufacturing process. Meets AGMARK SPECIAL GRADE specification of the Agmark scheme (1938) of Govt. of India. Made from fresh cream. Has typical rich aroma and granular texture. An ethnic product made by dairies with decades of experience.||32 oz @ 11.99||$5.00 for driving||0.375||0.531||I usually purchase 3 at a time, so the final cost would be $0.427 per ounce, assuming it costs me $5 to pick it up.||Amul Ghee
(from my local Indian Grocery)
Product Name - brand name of the product as advertised
Ranking - my subjective opinion about which product is the healthiest. Please don't take this too seriously. In order to make an accurate ranking, one would have to visit each facility where the ghee is made, get to know the people making it, and evaluate the process much more deeply. This is the kind of evaluation our society supports for things like financial investments, but we do not yet have collective support for putting that much research into evaluating a food product like ghee. Hopefully that will change because one should pay more attention to the quality of one's food than to the quality of one's investments. If the investments are good and the food is bad, one will not be around to enjoy the fruits of the good investments. For now, I'm simply asking questions via email about the process of making the ghee and turning the responses to my questions into the ranking shown in the table. As I continue this investigation, and as I use the products more, my rankings may change.
Reference - link to online information about the product
Comments - my own remarks about the product
Organic - Is the product USDA Certified organic? Is it organic by another definition? Is it labeled organic?
Vedic - A perfect Vedic product probably doesn't exist. However, steps in that direction include the use of mantras in the preparation of the product. Other factors would be use of Vedic chants, Gandharva Veda music, and expert knowledge about the exact times (or the day or the season) to perform each processing step, including things like utilization of sunlight at sunrise, etc. The detailed processing could even specify the rhythm and direction of mixing ingredients and how the cows are fed and cared for. In general this knowledge is either not available or not applied. However my research indicates that a few companies are taking very important steps in this direction. They may not have a perfect Vedic process, but my impression is that they are doing things that do add value to the ghee. A Vedic Organic food product is superior in quality to one that is simply Organic, and it seems there are a couple companies offering such products.
Manufacturing Process - summary of whatever I could find about how the product is actually made. I was looking for hints of traditional or Vedic techniques being used.
Product Size and Price - a list of each size available together with its price
Shipping Cost (Large) - shipping for a single item of the large size. In general, at the sites I visited, the shipping was flat rate for any location within the USA. I included notes in the table above on actual shipping for quantities larger than one item for my test purchases.
Price/Ounce (large product size) - price divided by size for the large sized product (shipping was not included) with no quantity discounts applied. I did not research quantity discounts, but I do know that at least one company (YoGHEE) offers them for larger quantities.
Price/ounce with shipping - price per ounce with standard shipping factored into the price. This is based on one unit of the large sized product.