Almonds are considered as one of the healthiest foods on the Planet, because of their many health benefits. However, here’s an information to think about the next time you want to buy almonds.
CDC has admitted that propylene oxide is a cancer-causing chemical, and believe it or not, most of the almonds sold in America have been fumigated with this toxic chemical.
Selling raw almonds in America was illegal in 2007. The reason for this law was a Salmonella outbreak in Canada, which was caused by a Californian almond grower. The outbreak was stopped as the California Department of Health Services helped the almond grower to improve the safety of his products.
However, shortly after the first salmonella outbreak, there was a second one, and few government agencies gather together to set a proper treatment to prevent future outbreak of Salmonella. Although it’s quite strange that Salmonella can appear in dry ingredients like almonds, still it’s possible.
To significantly reduce the chances of salmonella, almonds need to be treated in one of the following ways:
- Heat exposure to obtain 200 degrees temperature
- Fumigating kernels with propylene oxide gas in a closed chamber
This was happening really fast, so the cost of compliance has pushed small sized almond growers out of the business. This resulted to almond industry consisted only of big corporate almond producers. Consequently, the ‘organic’ almonds are generally exposed to 200 degrees heat, whereas according to the general rule almonds not labeled as ‘organic’ are fumigated with the gas propylene oxide.
So, what this means is that all almonds sold in America are treated in one of these two methods, and as a result a lot of their life-improving properties have been lost. This isn’t the case with almonds sold in small quantities directly from the grower at roadside stands and local markets, or those shipped from another country.
Propylene Oxide Dangers
In Canada, Mexico, and all of the E.U. there’s a prohibition of propylene oxide (PPO). In America, PPO was banned by the National Hot Rod Associations and the American Motorcycle.
The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals has classified propylene oxide as dangerous to health because of its ability to cause irritation, its acute toxicity, and its carcinogenic and mutagenic properties.
Research Show Which Almond Brand is Best?
Many popular brands of almonds which are selling in stores and online, have been analyzed by the Food Identity Theft. They discovered that:
- Kirkland Signature Costco Chocolate Covered Almonds and their whole almonds have shown to be treated with propylene oxide fumigation
- Almond from the brand Planter (not owned by Kraft Foods) have shown to be treated with heat
- Almonds from the brand Diamond of California are fumigated with propylene oxide
- Almonds from Blue Diamond vary. The whole-nut natural line of almonds is fumigated with propylene oxide, whereas the slivered and sliced almonds are treated with heat
- 365 by Whole Foods Market brand vary. There’s equal chances that the conventional 365 line of almonds is treated or not treated with heat, and the organic 365 line is nearly certainly treated with heat
- Almonds from Back to Nature brand are treated with heat
- Almonds from Superior Nut Company are treated with propylene oxide, except for their organic line of almonds that is selling online
- All almonds from the brand Trader Joy are treated with heat
The treatment of nuts form many other brands is still unknown, and we can’t know the treatment method of almonds used in the content of other products.
The strict standards for almonds might protect a small group of people from Salmonella, but on the other hand, the almonds fumigated with propylene oxide are guaranteeing chemical toxicity for millions of consumers. The imposed treatment methods are a real tragedy regardless of the many health benefits of almonds.
Almond Health Benefits
- They reduce the total and LDL cholesterol
- They protect against cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and weight gain
- They prevent hypoglycemia because they balance the blood sugar levels
- Almonds are high in magnesium, which is good to know as many Americans have magnesium deficiency
- They improve the health of digestive tract since their prebiotic action stimulates flourishing of the beneficial gut flora
- Almonds are high in trace minerals that play important role in the production of the potent antioxidant SOD (superoxide dismutase)
- They are rich in the antioxidant vitamin B which is essential for glutathione recycling
Sadly, the reasons for which almonds were once considered as the leader of all nuts might no longer exist, and we should try to find other nuts which still haven’t felt the power of the heavy hand of the government.