Many do not know it, but with a large portion of the Almonds eaten daily, you’re consuming what once was an additive to racing fuel. Yuck! It all started back in 2001 and 2004 in California where most of the US almonds are grown. During those years there were two outbreaks of salmonella and 33 people became ill with no one dying. As a result the Almond Board of California panicked and asked the USDA to mandate pasteurization. In 2007 the USDA mandated that all Almonds grown in California be pasteurized using one of the following processes.
• Oil Roasting Cooks Nuts, adds unhealthy oils
• Dry Roasting Cooks Nuts
• Blanching Cooks Nuts
• Steam Treating Partially Cooks Nuts
• PPO (propylene oxide) gassed Racing Fuel!
Almonds labeled as Organic by definition are not gassed and most likely steam treated. Most non-organic almonds, because of the lower cost factor of spraying, are usually sprayed with PPO. The manufacturers are not required to place on the product label how they are pasteurized, if they were sprayed, or even partially cooked. Sprayed and steamed almonds still are allowed to be labeled as ‘raw’.
Here’s why PPO gassed almonds are so dangerous. PPO is one of the most dangerous chemicals around. If fact it is so dangerous, it was banned by both the National Hot Rod Association and the American Motorcycle Association. Though many no longer use it as a racing fuel additive, it is still used in brake and hydraulic automotive systems. The reason it was banned is because the EPA has declared PPO a carcinogenic chemical. Even fumes from PPO are a danger to human health. Neurological, gastrointestinal, respiratory, immune system dysfunctions, and liver disease are all symptoms of being exposed to PPO. It’s no wonder that Mexico, Canada and the entire European Union have banned the use of PPO. Of course those who gass almonds with PPO say there are only trace amounts left on the almonds and because of that it’s OK. Think of all the almonds you eat, now think of how each small bit of PPO accumulates in your tissues over the years. Then ask yourself; do you really want to be adding this kind of carcinogen to your diet?
Steamed almonds as well have their own set of concerns. Even though they may be labeled as raw, they are really partially cooked. These almonds are hit with steam at around 160º F. It is believed that any temperature above 118º F will destroy much of the nutritional value of the almond. There are a few organic sources that have developed a more complex steam process that assures the almond will still be able to germinate, demonstrating that only part of the nutrition is lost in the process. Then one needs to consider that heat applied to almonds creates harmful levels of acrylamide. This chemical is known to cause cancer and reproductive toxicity. Lastly there is the issue of partially cooked oils in the almond. Some suggest the steaming process reduces the shelf life of the almonds, causing the natural oils to go rancid that much quicker.
As a side note concerning almonds, one cup of almonds contains only 5.7mg of Omega-3 fatty acids and a whopping 11,462mg of Omega-6 fatty acids. As a comparison, one cup of really raw macadamia nuts contains 276mg of Omega-3 fatty acids with 1,737mg of Omega-6 fatty acids; a much better ratio.
How does this relate to Prostate Cancer? Simple, the less carcinogenic compounds you put into your body, and the more high-quality, high nutrient foods you consume, the faster you will heal. Remember when your body becomes overwhelmed with outside toxins, cancer will develop and grow. So what do you do regarding almonds? First, if you love to eat them, eat only ‘organic’ almonds that are free of PPO. Better yet, consider Italian almonds that are neither gassed with PPO or heat treated. Also if you live next to an almond farmer, you may purchase untreated small quantities directly at the farm.
As you shop, you also need to be more conscious of your purchases. Almonds are in much of the snack food your currently eat. If there is a particular product you can’t do without, write the manufacturer and make sure the almonds used are not gassed with PPO. As of this posting, almonds known to be gassed with PPO include such brands as: Costco Kirkland Signature, Diamond of California, Blue Diamond Whole, Superior Nut Company non-organic, Country Life non-organic, and Nut Thins. Almond sources known to be steamed include: Planters, Whole Foods 365, Back to Nature, Trader Joes, and almond butters such as Maranatha, Arrowhead Mills, Kettle, Justin's. Remember, it’s your life, contact the supplier and do the research yourself, verify everything, and make good choices.
Do you stop eating almonds entirely, or do you go steamed organic? The choice is yours. Personally I choose to snack on macadamia nuts as a healthier food.