KATE FARMS —A New All Organic “Meal in a Bottle”, Approved for Insurance Coverage

Lilies and hydrangeas courtesy of my own flower garden 🙂

I was excited to learn there is a new option for those who tube feed, and want an alternative to commercial formula.

Kate Farms offers ready to feed Core Essentials, as well as a retail version of their product, called Kate Farms Komplete.

The photo at the top of this post is of the Komplete meals. We were able to purchase them at our local Wegmans grocery store.  An easy way to find their Komplete meals locally, is to utilize the Kate Farms website, as they have a store locator search bar.  Where I live, the two options were Wegmans (which is the main grocer we shop at anyway) and the Vitamin Shoppe.

I contacted Kate Farms, and they sent me the Core Essentials version.  Before I get into that, though, I wanted to talk a little more about the ones we bought locally.

My family says they taste great!  They do need to be shaken very well before use.  But, the taste is excellent, as in “I want another one, and want it right away!” good. There are three flavor choices, Vanilla, Coffee, and Chocolate.

The closest comparison I have, and we buy them regularly, are the Orgain Vanilla Bean Shakes.  These, too, have a great taste, although the household only likes the Vanilla Bean, other flavors have not been popular.  The Orgain has slightly fewer carbs, and the same amount of protein.  Kate Farms is all plant based, and Orgain has milk products in it.  Kate Farms has a slightly thicker texture, and therefore might feel more “filling”.

All Kate Farms products contain  Spectra™ Superfoods Blend.  This is a blend of phytochemical extracts from 29 fruits and vegetables. Phytochemicals are simply the active ingredients that promote whole body health. The extracts do not contain any of the source ingredients’ protein, fat, or carbohydrates. One can only be allergic to protein, so without it, the Superfoods Blend contains no allergens. The blend includes extracts of green tea and green coffee but does not contain any caffeine.

So,  who is Kate Farms, anyway?

Kate Farms began with Richard and Michelle Laver, parents of Kate, who was born with Cerebral Palsy.

At age four, Kate was 16 pounds and failing to thrive. She had been through the gamut of tube feeding formulas and was simply not getting better. The Lavers are very health conscious individuals who were frustrated watching milk-based, casein laden formulas get pushed down their daughter’s tube, only to make her sicker.

As I’ve stated on Tube Chic in the past, ‘clearly if a person is in need of having a feeding tube, the assumption that they are at risk is already established. Food is fuel. It is what keeps us alive.’

The Laver’s knew that.  And, out of desperation, they engaged a vegan chef to help them develop a home blended formula that would deliver nutrients from the superfoods they ate everyday into their little girl.

Well, it worked, and that formula was the first version of Kate Farms’ retail product, Kate Farms Komplete. They quickly realized that there was a huge need for a plant-based nutritional formula on the market, not only in the retail world, but in healthcare. With the help of many doctors and dietitians and their own food scientist, in March 2017, they launched their line of nutritional formulas specifically designed for the healthcare market. This formulation is their Core Essentials.

Core Essentials Vanilla

All Core Essentials formulas truly taste amazing and can be used for both oral and tube feeding. The idea is that they can work for anyone no matter their dietary restriction or method of getting nutrition into their bodies. Kate Farms formulas come in 11 oz Tetra cartons and are shelf stable for 12 months. No need to refrigerate before opening. They all flow very smoothly down the tube.

Core Essentials 1.0 cal/mL, are a ready-to-use oral and tube-feeding formula. Each 325 mL /11 ounce carton provides 325 calories, 18 grams of protein, and delivers 24 vitamins and minerals and 29 antioxidant-rich superfoods.  They are available in Chocolate and Vanilla.

Core Essentials products can be purchased directly from them at katefarms.com. For individuals who qualify for insurance coverage in the United States, the HCPCS code is B4150. They can be accessed through medical suppliers across the US.  Kate Farms does offer assistance finding DMEs that can bill each person’s insurance. Anyone interested may visit their medical website for more information: https://nutrition.katefarms.com/insurance/

Currently, Core Essentials 1.0 is covered by most insurance plans under HCPCS B4150.

What’s more, their Core Essentials Peptide formula now has  HCPCS approval for B4153.  It is  a nutrient dense, unflavored option.  It contains 500 calories, and 24 grams of protein per 11 ounce carton.  https://nutrition.katefarms.com/kate-farms-core-essentials-peptide-15/

Here is a list of the ingredients for this one.  (Their website provides a detailed breakdown for the vitamin mineral blend and the superfoods blend, beyond what is posted here.)

INGREDIENTS: Purified Water, Organic Hydrolyzed Pea Protein, Organic Agave Syrup, Organic Brown Rice Syrup Solids, Organic Sunflower Oil, Medium Chain Triglycerides (from Coconut Oil), Organic Inulin, Organic Flax Seed Oil, Tricalcium Phosphate, Vitamin and Mineral Blend, Sea Salt, Rosemary Extract, Dipotassium Phosphate, Organic Sunflower Lecithin, Choline Bitartrate, Spectra™ 100mg Superfoods Blend, Organic Quinoa Flour, L-Carnitine, L-Taurine, L-Cysteine, Milled Chia.

I have not yet tried the 1.5 version, but I intend to.  500 calories and 24 grams of protein in one serving is great!

All Kate Farms products are completely plant-based, made with organic ingredients whenever possible. All of their products are under review for USDA organic certification, many already verified non-GMO. Each formula is made without any major allergens (milk, wheat, soybeans, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish) or corn products and contains a blend of phytonutrients from 29 superfoods and 24 vitamins and minerals.

They will be releasing a blended food formula later this summer as well.  This is something I’m really looking forward to trying.

Individuals interested in trying their formulas for tube feeding can have their doctor or dietitian request samples at nutrition.katefarms.com.

I am located in the US, but there are many of you who read Tube Chic who live in other countries.  Kate Farms has an Australian website.  You can find it here: http://katefarms.com.au/ 

Richard and Michelle Laver with their Kate

***

My thoughts, looking at it from a personal use standpoint, along with comparisons to other products on the market:

This is a completely dairy/corn/soy free ,vegan, non gmo certified, organic option for those of us who tube feed.

It is suitable for everyone else in the household too.

It is joining very few other players in this field.  None of the other options are very similar to Kate Farms or to each other, so it’s not like I can compare apples to apples.  But, below I will touch a few differences between Kate Farms, Liquid Hope, and Real Food Blends.

Real Food Blends are great.   They are blenderized meals rather than “formula” and they have several meal options.   Having a choice of meals, due to the variety of aromas and colors has a positive impact for me.  But, they are not organic, and are pretty thick, so they do require thinning before use.  They are handy, but not ready to gravity feed.  Unless thinned, I even had significant difficulty pushing with syringe plunger (but my hands are not strong).   Although they have received a medical billing code, they do not as far as I know, have a department dedicated to helping patients gain medical insurance approval, but they will help locate DMEs in the area one lives, that are suppliers of their products.

Liquid Hope is an organic whole food formula, it is thinner than Real Food Blends, but still pretty thick.  It is plant based. Functional Formularies, who makes Liquid Hope, does have a free service to help patients secure insurance coverage for their products.

Due to  having a thinner consistency than the others, Kate Farms products are truly ready to gravity feed. From a standpoint of evaluating as an organic formula, Liquid Hope has an edge, in that is blended whole foods.  But, a drawback (for me) is that a large percentage of Liquid Hope is chickpeas, and I have issues with high histamine foods, which, of course includes chickpeas.

I’ve been using Kate Farms in my morning coffee blends for breakfast, and have not found the idea of using Liquid Hope or Real Food Blends in my coffee as appealing from  a familiarity/emotional perspective.

***

The out of pocket cost comparison:

Without medical insurance, a case of 12 of Kate Farms Core Essentials at present time costs $46.00 USD which works out to  $3.83 per individual serving.  However, they offer a subscribe and save option where each  case is only $41.40/ $3.45 per meal.  SHIPPING IS ALWAYS FREE

A case of Kate Farms Peptide Essentials costs $108, equaling $9.00 per meal, and with subscribe and save, that goes down to $97.20 / $8.10  per meal.  SHIPPING IS ALWAYS FREE.

I did not price out the Kate Farms Komplete, as they are available in stores nationwide, and pricing may vary.

Real Food Blends cost $49.95 for a case of 12 meals, and has an auto delivery option that brings it down to $44.96.  Shipping for one case is $8.95, and incrementally gets less per case the more that is ordered at a time, but, there is no free shipping option.  The greatest discount is when four or more cases are ordered, all ship for a flat rate of $25.

Liquid Hope costs $95.88 for a 12 pack, plus $15.73 for the most economical shipping option.

***

I’m happy to have found Kate Farms, and will continue to use as part of my breakfast.  Each morning, I mix some fresh brewed coffee with  a carton of Kate Farms, and a pouch of baby food fruits (of late, it’s been Plum Organics Peach Banana & Apricot. It  smells soooo yum!)

I like that their liquid meals are something everyone in the household can enjoy.  Even though I do not plan to stop blending the majority of my meals, Kate Farms will definitely have a place in my daily diet, and for when I’m on the go?  I love the  fact that they need no refrigeration, and are ready to gravity feed, without having to be thinned beforehand.

 

Submit a comment