Pasteurized almonds update


In a previous tip I discussed the problems with the proposal to pasteurize almonds. And for a while there I thought we were going to get a reprieve – that they would delay the mandate to have all almonds sterilized until March 2008, giving us time to change their minds about this bad idea. But, no, the rule that all US almonds, whether organic or not, must be sterilized went into effect Sept. 1st, which means that ALL ALMONDS SOLD THE US AND CANADA have either been doused in the carcinogenic chemical propylene oxide or have been heat treated, even if the label says the almonds are raw.

So, Sept. 1, 2007, marks another day where our food supply was further degraded. The Almond Board of California assures us that the nutrition in the chemically or heat treated almonds has not been altered, but as Mike Adams states so eloquently in his article Food Scam: Almond Board of California to falsely label “pasteurized” almonds as raw, "Except, of course, for the fact that they are dead. Stating that live, raw almonds are the same as dead, cooked almonds is equivalent to stating that a living human being is the same as a corpse." So, that means that if you were to plant the almond, it won’t grow. It means that the enzymes in the nut that spare our pancreas from the extra work of manufacturing and secreting those enzymes needed for digestion, have been destroyed. Maybe "enzymes" are not considered "nutrients" officially, but there is no doubt that enzymes in the raw food that we eat reduces the workload of our digestive system.

Heat also damages most water-soluble vitamins, and oxidizes polyunsaturated fatty acids.  Raw almonds are an excellent source of omega 6 polyunsaturated fats, but once the almonds are heat treated, those omega 6 fats are rancid.  And if the "raw" almonds you happen to buy are the ones that were sterilized with propylene oxide, you are now consuming a toxin that your liver is saddled with trying to detoxify.  Neither of these options are good for our health!  How the Almond Board of California can say that the nutrition and quality of the almonds remains unaltered is a mystery to me.

So, further down the slippery slope we go.  What is next?  Are we soon only going to be able to buy hard-boiled eggs? Cooked vegetables and meat?  Already it is next to impossible for most of us to obtain uncooked milk from pasture-fed cows. As more and more of our food is sterilized in the name of food safety, we will get sicker and sicker as the nutrition in our food supply is further eroded, and our digestive systems go into overdrive trying to provide enzymes that used to be in the food.  Our immune systems will further erode due to the lack of "good" bacteria, making us sitting ducks for disease.

I am not suggesting that food-borne illness is not an important issue that needs to be addressed.  I simply think that the way to deal with it is to discourage commercial farming methods that tend to have a bigger problem with contamination. Solve the problem at the source rather than try and cover one’s butt by sterilizing everything afterwards.

If we wish to avoid almonds that have been doused by the carcinogenic chemical propylene oxide or have been heat treated, we have two choices. If you are lucky enough to live in California where the almonds are grown, you can purchase them raw from roadside stands. For the rest of us, we must turn to European almonds.  We can order them from and also I believe is no longer selling US grown almonds, and is getting raw ones from Europe. I would ask them though, as their website is not clear on this topic. Or we can buy walnuts instead – they are still a raw choice, and they are high in omega 3 fatty acids, which is a bonus. If enough people stop buying US almonds, the almond industry will respond. It is important to keep making a fuss about this, rather than accept this as a done deal. So do sign the petition call, fax and email the almond producers, the USDA and the FDA. A list of names and addresses is at the bottom of this page for whom to contact on this matter.

Related Tips:
“Pasteurized” almonds labeled as raw
The hygiene hypothesis
Deceptive food labeling
Food, our raw material
It’s not what you eat but what you digest that counts
Maintain bone mass by preparing grains, nuts and seeds properly

Online at Almond Board of California

Online at Mandatory Almond Pasteurization Weston A. Price Foundation

Online at Food Scam: Almond Board of California to falsely label pasteurized almonds as "raw"
Online at the Cornicopia Institute Almond Fact Sheet

Koenig A. et al. Immunological factors in human milk: the effects of gestational age and pasteurization J. Hum Lact 2005 Nov. 21(4): 439-43

Gaya P. et al. Proteolysis during the ripening of Manchego cheese made from raw or pasteurized ewe's milk; seasonal variation J. Dairy Res. 2005 Aug. 72(3): 287-95

Silva FV, Gibbs P. Target selection in designing pasteurization processes for shelf-stable high-acid fruit products Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2004:44(5): 353-60

Dos Anjos F. et al. Gamma-glutamytransferase as a marker for the pasteurization of raw milk J Food Prot 1998 Aug. 61(8): 1057-59.

Copyright 2007 Vreni Gurd

1 Comment

  1. Otha Froehlich said,

    May 29, 2013 @ 9:01 pm

    Almond milk is a very common preparation from almond. Grind blanched almonds to a smooth paste; add sugar and cold boiled water — giving it the consistency of milk for a nutritious, healthy drink rich in vitamins. It is easily digestible than cow’s milk making it an ideal wholesome drink for children. Almond butter is another variation prepared from almonds, beneficial for older people who don’t get enough proteins in their diets. Besides the intake of high calorie protein, other ingredients contained in almonds are easily digestible.,,..

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