Buyer beware: The health benefits of almonds are being destroyed

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almonds(NaturalHealth365) For thousands of years, almonds have been considered one of the healthiest foods on planet Earth. Almonds are nutritional powerhouses – a true superfood.

Even the ancient Egyptians were aware of the health benefits of almonds, and the pharaoh King Tut was said to have taken almonds along into the afterlife.

The health benefits of almonds include:

  • Muscle-building protein
  • Heart-healthy antioxidants
  • Natural fiber
  • Healthy fatty acids
  • Beneficial vitamin B, magnesium and copper
  • A portable, healthy snack
  • Promote satiety and weight loss
  • Reduced risk of gallstones
  • Regulate blood glucose
  • Prevent oxidative damage

The unfortunate truth about ‘natural’ almonds

But, before purchasing almonds today, consumers should be aware of a horrifying fact: most almonds sold in the United States are now treated in a manner that offsets all of these wonderful benefits. Many almonds now are fumigated with a chemical called propylene oxide – something that even the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) admits can lead to cancer.

The year 2007 marked a time in the U.S. food market when it became illegal to sell raw almonds. This occurred due to a salmonella outbreak in Canada that was traced back to a California almond grower. A second outbreak led to the mandate for ‘treatment’ of the nuts. (Many think it’s strange that salmonella even occurred in a food as dry as almonds in the first place.)

Sadly, the treatment processes and government issued compliance standards drove many smaller almond producers out of business. Now most almonds come from big corporate producers willing to either heat almonds above 200 degrees or fumigate then in a closed chamber with propylene oxide gas.

Today, even almonds sold as “organic” are treated using the heating process. Those not labeled as organic are generally getting the fumigation treatment.

Why are today’s almonds so toxic?

The propylene oxide that is used to treat almonds is banned in Canada, Mexico, and the entire European Union. It is classified as a health hazard within the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals – due to its acute toxicity, carcinogenic and mutagenic properties. The American Motorcycle Association as well as the National Hot Rod Association in the U.S. has banned propylene oxide as a fuel due to the dangers of its fumes.

Almond brands treated with propylene oxide include Costco’s Kirkland Signature chocolate-covered almonds, Diamond almonds of California, and Superior Nut Company – except for their online organic almonds.

Companies that sell heat treated almonds include Trader Joe’s, Planter’s, Back to Nature and Blue Diamond sliced and slivered almonds (their whole nuts are fumigated). Whole Foods organic 365 line is likely heat treated, but the conventional line may not be.

The health benefits of almonds are being destroyed by modern processing procedures

Almond treatment methods for many other companies is unknown, and when used as an ingredient in other foods and products, it becomes even more of a mystery.

Clearly, we have lost much due to this ghastly process. The slim risk of salmonella may be gone, but it is replaced by guaranteed chemical toxicity from propylene oxide-treated almonds. The many health benefits of almonds are now tainted, and all too many consumers are unaware of this.

So, be sure to spread the word regarding the ugly truth about almonds sold in the United States and look for better options in the marketplace.

Editor’s note: Since so many people ask me, ‘where do I get my almonds’ – I’ll tell you. I purchase unpasteurized almonds from LivingNutz.com. Their products are delicious and, no, I do NOT make any money by making this endorsement.

References:
http://www.lef.org/magazine/2007/5/sf_almonds/Page-01
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/89-111
http://eatlocalgrown.com/article/14155-the-truth-about-almonds.html?c=nsm

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  • Mary Spink

    How about Almond milk is that using almonds that are toxic

    • Wendy Bays

      I would like to know about almond milk also. I am in Canada and we have those Costco chocolate covered almonds. I wonder if the package has to specify how they are treated. I hope so.

      • tjetta

        They Don’t Show How They Are Treated Especially Kirkland Almonds. As Far As The Almond Milk Is Concerned, I Would Imagine That They Us The Same Almonds To Make The Almond Milk Which Contain Whatever Chemically They Process The Almond With, Unless It’s Organic. I Doubt They Would Use Organic Almonds For Regular Almond Milk Sold In Stores, Again Unless It Says Organic And From A Reputable Organic Distributor…..Just My Two Cents. Have A Great Day….

  • dolce1

    Is this just in the USA?

  • tjetta

    Regarding The Kirkland Brand This Is What I Read. Not Sure How True It Is Though…

    Costco brand Kirkland Signature: Both the Kirkland Signature
    chocolate-covered and whole almonds are fumigated with PPO, which a
    spokesman said he was told doesn’t remain in the nuts, despite the fact
    that almonds containing residues of up to 300 parts per million of this
    chemical, which California regards as a “known carcinogen,” can be
    legally sold.

  • sabretache

    What about almonds in their shell ?

  • thank you – I have wondered for years, and been eating the wrong almonds for years as well 🙁

    special thanks for actually giving an option!

  • Winbig121.

    And I just bought a big bag!
    My wife has Cancer and Almonds were the only nut/seed that is on the alkaline forming food list, I wonder if the organic almond nut butters ) sold at the health food store are treated before processing? No regard for the consumer would it be wrong to want to find the guy that said to the chemist..One more salmonella outbreak and we’re finished Chauncey! Fumigate your nuts tweak it just below the point that brings on nausea!! Are you serious
    Mr Nutsucker!! Those levels could cause cancer in our customers!! Chauncey what do care dont eat almonds!!

    • tjetta

      If It’s A Reputable Organic Health Food Store Then The Should Not Be Treated Before Processing, That’s The Whole Idea Of It Being Organic….

  • K11

    Fortunately,
    almond growers in the U.S. can still sell unpasteurized almonds direct to the
    consumer in quantities less than 50 lbs. I buy 30 lbs at a time from an organic California grower which brings the cost way down. Making your own almond milk is simple and it takes only a few minutes. Search online for organic almond growers.

  • fusion11

    Don’t be duped. I don’t believe for a minute that they had salmonella. The are the nut that has the highest b17 in them and alternative medicines groups were claiming its a cure for cancer. Almonds along with apricot seeds are the highest b17. If they are pasturized then they don’t have any nutritional value. Haven’t you ever wondered why you can’t find a apricot tree?

    • pam r

      Very true

  • Larry Harris

    I think we should actually stop ALL production of almonds until a better method is found. Right now, it takes A GALLON of precious water to grow ONE almond! We are on the verge of a planetary water crisis that’s already affecting California. What’s more important? Waste not, want not.