Is There Engine Fuel on Your Almonds??

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Is There Engine Fuel On Your Almonds? Find out here.

What – almonds and fuel?  What’s wrong with this picture?

Everything.

Did you know that the “raw almonds” in the grocery store, health food store, or at Costco, are most certainly not raw almonds at all?

And did you know that they are most likely coated with a fuel additive.  Jet engine fuel additive, to be specific.  As in for racing cars and motorcycles.

I know.  I couldn’t believe it either.  Ick.

I first heard about this problem about 3 years ago when visiting another whole foods friend in a Chicago suburb.

My friend told me something about a chemical called PPO being sprayed on almonds.  Like many new scary-sounding bits of natural information (like heavy metals, mercury in vaccines and fish, personal care products in water), I thought, “Oh yeah, sure.”  Then I asked her to show me proof.  Just in case she was right, you know :-).

Well, she produced a copy of an article outlining the problem.  I got home, did my research, and found out that she was right.

Yes, Virginia, there just might be engine fuel on your almonds.

Why is There Engine Fuel on My Almonds?

Basically, it’s another case of government regulation run amuck.

In 2001 and 2004 there were two outbreaks of salmonella poisoning that were traced back to almonds.  33 people became ill, but no one died.  (Contrast that to the thousands of deaths caused by prescription drugs each year, yet the government continues to laud their safety over and above natural supplements and diet change.)

As a result, tons of almonds were recalled.

The Almond Board of California (ABC) panicked, started pasteurization of all almonds and asked the USDA to mandate it.

If you guessed that the governmental agency was all-too-thrilled to comply, you were right.

As a result, all almonds in the US are now pasteurized either by:

  • steam
  • freezing (this is rare) or
  • PPO (propylene oxide).  According to Local Harvest, PPO is “a chemical so nasty that it was banned by both the National Hot Rod and American Motorcycle Racing Associations, where it had been used as a fuel before being deemed too dangerous.”  (why is it not safe enough to be used as a racing fuel, but it’s OK to spray our almonds with this??

Just so you know, I called Costco and they verified that their almonds are sprayed with PPO.  A Midwest natural foods supplier, Country Life Natural Foods, said that typically their almonds are steam pasteurized, but it is best to inquire whenever ordering from them (I have since heard from a reader that Country Life’s conventional almonds are treated with PPO :-(.)

By the way, I am not a total raw foodie, but keeping your nuts raw gives them added nutritional value.

You can read more about raw foods and how to make nuts and seeds more digestible in my post on How and Why to Soak Nuts and Seeds.

How to Get Really Raw (or at least “fuel-free”) Almonds

Unfortunately, there aren’t many options out there.

1.  You can purchase “sproutable” pasteurized almonds.  I haven’t done enough research into this to know if they are really more nutritionally beneficial than the steamed almonds.  I have seen these in our local health food store and they are really pricey (about $11 per pound).

2.  Purchase imported almonds from Spain.  My most recent internet search for these yielded shocking prices of about $13.99 per pound

3.  Find a raw almond buying group that buys almonds direct from almond farmers.  There’s a little loophole in the pasteurization law that makes it an option to get truly raw almonds as long as you buy them direct from a farmer.  I had one of these out of my home and we bought loads of almonds every fall.  Not sure if I will keep going it as it was a boatload of work this last year. 

4.  Become friends with an almond farmer :-).

5.  Grow your own almonds (not an option here in Michigan :-).)

6.  Contact the Almond Board.  Maybe if enough of us do, they’ll stop pasteurizing almonds.  One can only hope.

7.  At the very least, contact your current almonds supplier to make sure that they aren’t spraying engine fuel on your almonds.

8.  Read my review on Just Almonds, a seller of delicious almonds that are pasteurized with steam.  You can get 10% off your order with CODE WNM as long as their ad is in my sidebar :-)!  We LOVE these almonds!!!

Can’t believe this?  There has been so much news of the government over-reaching its reasonable bounds that it simply makes my head spin.

More Posts on the Government and Food

You can read more about some of the more egregious moves of the government in the “Land of the Free” here:

US Moves Closer to Banning Natural Supplements

US Government Says, “Don’t Take Probiotics – Take Arsenic Instead!?”

Government S.W.A.T. Team Shuts Down Raw Milk Farm

California Government Recalls Raw Milk Despite Lack of Contamination

Mothers In Jail – Parental Rights, the Government and Medicine

Is your head spinning yet?

Take a deep breath.

Share this alarming information with others and do what you can to wake others up to the need to protect our food freedoms and keep toxic chemicals off of our foods.

How about you – did you know that “Raw Almonds” aren’t really raw?

Where do you buy your almonds?

Source:  Local Harvest

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Comments

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  1. From what I’ve read, if you want to soak and dehydrate your almonds before you eat them, it won’t work with pasturized almonds. Sad.

  2. Thanks for the info! Still new to the raw diet thing, but I’m trying to incorporate more. Thanks for sharing, have a great weekend!

    • Hi Chelsea. Actually, I do not advocate a lot of raw foods, but nuts are important to keep raw. I am working with a practitioner who says that lots of raw veggies can actually be a problem. And especially the cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli, cauliflower, kale,etc.) – they damage your thyroid when eating raw. Glad I’ve never been a fan of raw veggies :-).

      • Doubtful. What is the mechanism that supposedly damages the thyroid?
        Mike

        • Cruciferous greens are apparently goitrogens. Check out the internet on it :).

          • I was just wondering if this remains true (in terms of Kale) if it is massaged first??

            And – you don’t mention anything about organic almonds – are they still treated with this fuel??

            Thanks!

            • Sorry, but could you clarify about massaging kale? I can’t tell what comment you were replying to. And organic almonds are not sprayed with this.

              • Well there’s the missing logic: if you are fine with pesticides and herbicides on your almonds why aren’t you fine with PPO? Sounds like you’ve made the case for spending a few bucks extra and going organic on this.

                • I am not find w pesticides and herbicides but I think the issue it mitigated by the thick shell – a much different situation than lettuce and other fruits and veggies that you can’t peel. So that is my logic.

                  Organic almonds are also way more than conventional which is why I don’t choose to buy them. I have to be selective about what things I spend on in order to get organic.

                  I hope that helps you see my thinking :).

      • The cruciferous family does not damage your thyroid. There is a lot of information shared throughout the internet about how this is a truth. I can confidently say it is not a truth. I actually used these vegetables in their raw form specifically for their goitrogens to help cure Hashimoto’s disease. Thyroid disease is a result of many things, one specifically is fungus. The thyroid (simply) can have a fungal infection as a result of candida overgrowth. Goitrogens can help remove the fungus, and the fact that they interact with the thyroid, can be beneficial.

        • Hmmm….Everything I have read states the opposite. In face, many Hashis specialists say none at all, even if they are steamed. I personally think that they are OK if steamed but that’s just my opinion from what I have read.

        • Kris Daugherty says:

          My thyroid levels were elevated so I stopped eating cruciferous vegetables before my next test and voila I was in range.

      • Paul RN BScN says:

        Thyroid levels at known. To jump around from test to test despite diet. Research today shows that raw veggies are the healthiest and you would need to eat an exceptionally large amount of cruciferous veggies before any adverse effects would be noticed – keep in mind that everybody digests and handles food differently and that a large amount to you could be small to my body.

        Cheers.

        • I’m not sure what you mean by “thyroid levels at known”. Thanks. I have mixed feelings about raw veggies. They are healthy due to enzymes but harder to digest. And I do think that folks can have bad problems w/ the goitogrens still. Thanks much.

  3. Wow, thanks for sharing this! Up in AK where I live, CostCo almonds are really well-priced in the context of generally very expensive food. I don’t eat many nuts at all but my husband and other local friends eat a ton, and I buy them from CostCo. I knew about the not-really-raw part, but the jet-fuel part is really scary and awful.

    I was 100% raw for a half dozen years and agree with what you said about certain veggies actually digesting easier steamed, etc, but that nuts and seeds (especially those, like walnuts, hemp, pumpkin, brazil nuts) with a lot of omega 3 and 6 fats, really need to be raw if poss.

    I’m in Israel visiting family right now and the Israeli almonds are incredibly different and more delicious than I remember almonds being over there…

    • How nice that you are in Israel – I would love to visit there sometime. I will say that the almonds from our almond bulk buy taste MUCH better than Costco. And Costco’s are better than our local grocery store – by far. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Thank you so much for your very informative blog. I’m going to link this to my recent blog on making almond milk from scratch. Lucky for me we have an almond buying co-op and this just makes me more appreciative. I have bought many almonds from Costco in the past…….done with that!

  5. We buy the organic almonds that Country Life Natural Foods sells. They are “steam” pasteurized but they do sprout when soaked so I hope that’s a good sign. I’m emailing you for details on the ones you buy though!

    • I am not sure about the sprouting of the Country Life almonds. That doesn’t make sense to me based on what I have read about pasteurized almonds. Anyone else reading this have any knowledge?

      • Just saw this blog post… eww, scary! I asked at Trader Joe’s, and the employee went back and got the company handbook, and showed me the write-up on their “Raw Almonds.” They are run on a conveyer over steam for a very short amount of time, so they are still considered “raw.” Mine do seem to be ready to start sprouting when I soak them, but I’ve never taken them farther than a 12 hour soak before dehydrating them. I should totally try to sprout some next time though.

        We just started the GAPS intro diet, so I won’t be doing almonds for over week or two, but after that I should give it a shot.

      • Pasteurized almonds CAN be sprouted. I’m sprouting a batch of Costco almonds as we speak, (have done so numerous times before if the cost of the raw ones in our natural health food stores goes up too much). But after checking and learning they are sprayed w/PPO, I think they’re going to the compost :o(. I’m a nursing mother after all and my pre-schooler also doesn’t need jet-engine fuel in her diet :P. Thanks for researching this for us! I’m thinking of starting a petition to Costco on Change.org to have them sell a difft. brand that isn’t PPO’d, but only steam pasteurized. Choices are really limited here otherwise on Kaua’i. Wish I could always afford the organic raw ones, but I can’t.

        • Luci…return them to Costco….you do’;t want that crap in your compost, either, and Costco takes everything back! I just bought a bag that are going back after reading this. Switching to Trader Joes unless I can find reasonable priced organic!

  6. Hi Adrienne ~ I tried to submit an email to you through the contact link but it keeps refreshing the 4 digit code saying I submitted an invalid code. I’d love more info on the almond buy you are making at the end of this month. We live near Milwaukee, WI (but used to live in the U.P. — thus, the email address). Please email me! :)

  7. I read somewhere that sometimes the steam pasteurized ones will sprout so it’s a chance you take buying whether they will or not. So far, those CLNF organic almonds do sprout though. It makes me wonder (to our benefit) if the company just steams them at the lowest temp possible to make the gov’t happy but not kill the goodness of the almonds? I know the organic almond businesses aren’t happy about forced pasteurization…

    • Hmmm.. That’s an interesting thought. Maybe I can ask at Country Life (if I remember :-)) – if you happen to think of it that would be great too – let us all know!

  8. Very informative post, Adrienne. Makes me very upset that we have to be so cautious about the food we buy. Very sad. I feel somewhat like a pioneer since we have to spend so much time ensuring our food is healthy and unadulterated.. and then prepare and cook it!

    • I feel the same way, Chris. Like I need to be a mom, doctor, farmer, investigative reporter, financial planner. No wonder I got adrenal burnout. Oh – and I forgot chef. You should see the bland meals my family has been eating lately :-(.

  9. I have noticed a slight change in the sproutability of Costco almonds since the pasteurization regs went into affect. About 10 don’t make the grade per bag. No bother, but PPO is another matter. Do you think the 8-12 hr. soak in salt water removes that residue? Hope so!

  10. EW!!!! does wholefoods or trader joes sell them REAL raw?

    • Not that I know, but then again, I live in a non-WF and TJ town :-(. From my research, the only ones that are real raw are from Spain. Let us know – anyone else know the answer to this?

  11. Ok, yah, this is extremely disturbing. Now we have to worry about our almonds? NOT knowing whether or not the raw almonds we purchase are actually safe to eat? Hmm, is it just me or does anyone else feel more and more criminal acts are being perpetrated by our very own government? Unbeeelievable! And I assume raw almonds from “Sprouts” (Farmers Market) are in jeopardy as much as the others, if the ‘real’ raw are from Spain. Taking part in the “Almond buying group” is a great concept but what would shipping cost be for San Pedro, Ca? Oh boy.

    • Hi Dana. I’ll email you some information on the almonds. I don’t have the box dimensions yet, but working from memory, the shipping cost isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. And I know what you mean about the government. It is really getting horrible. I have a hard time not getting really depressed an anxious about the current state of affairs in the world and in our country. Things are so much different now than when I was a child.

  12. glad you wrote about this. in the future if you can cite references for your research that would be great so we can prove it to our friends as well. Do you think almond extract is sprayed too?

    • Hi Catherine. There is a link to Local Harvest (my main reference) at the bottom of the post. The Costco research was my own :-). Anything w/ almonds in it is for sure pasteurized. You would need to check w/ every source to see if there is PPO on those particular almonds. Let me know if you can’t find the source :-).

  13. Hi, Thanks for the info. Do you know if organic almonds are treated the same way? Is there any regulations prohibiting this product to be used on organic almonds?

    • According to the article by Local Harvest, organic almonds are not allowed to be sprayed by PPO. However, they will still be steam or freeze pasteurized.

      • Adrienne,
        I had a question about the JustAlmonds place that you recommend. I looked all over their website and nowhere can I find anything about them being Organic. I’m assuming that you cannot get organic almonds from JustAlmonds, but after thoroughly reading their descriptions, I’m assuming they use the H2O steam pasteurization since I see an “(H2O)” listed in the extended description. Anyway, I just wonder how safe theirs might be if they are not organic?

        • They aren’t organic. I choose not to worry about that w/ nuts due to their thick shell. I can’t afford organic everything :).

          • Perfectly understandable, Adrienne. Thank you for your quick reply, too! I try to buy organic, but equally cannot afford everything organic. We all just do our best. :)

            After reading your reply about the thick shell, I can only assume that they do the pasteurization to the outer shell of the almond before they open it? I may have overlooked that part if that’s how they pasteurize them. Whether it is the outer shell or the inner nut, contamination is inevitable when companies do not follow strict protocols; so I’m really glad to hear that justalmonds offers the steam pasteurization! I think steaming things is the absolute best way to clean everything, so if they were forced to do anything, at least they chose the steam! YAY!

            The only thing I don’t understand with this whole pasteurizing ordeal is that if the machines ended up with the salmonella contamination, why on earth are they treating the nuts and not steaming the machinery to clean the machines? It was more than likely one of two things, either the employees weren’t washing their hands or the machines…why not treat those areas instead of poisoning our food? One of the major reasons the USA sucks, I guess… they’d much rather use chemicals & pharmaceuticals for everything to make a few bucks than to use common sense that’s good for our bodies and the environment.

            • I think they pasteurize the nuts after shelling. As for your second question–I have no idea. I think it seems the gov’t just wants to sterilize everything. Sigh.

              • I’m sorry for bothering you once more; but after looking over the JustAlmonds.com site, I have a couple of questions for you:

                1.) Do you purchase just one type of almond and use it as an all-purpose almond for snacking, making almond milk, and baking? Or, do you buy the different kinds they offer for different purposes and keep them separated as such? They have descriptions on there, but it’s hard to determine which would be best in case I just wanted to buy one kind of almond and use it for everything… I really don’t want to have to buy different kinds for different purposes. ;)

                2.) Do you think it’s better to purchase the almonds (or any nut for that matter) with or without that dark brown membrane coating on them (the darker coating over the actual white meat of the nut)?

                2a.) Do you think that dark membrane makes a difference in the taste of what you’re making, like almond milk? In other words, would you think the almond milk might be a little more tart when using the almonds with the dark membrane on them, versus using the white meat almonds without that darker brown membrane coating?

                If you are not sure of the answer to that, I can contact the JustAlmonds people and poke around for their suggestions, but I figured I’d post this here in case anyone else had the same questions I did – perhaps you already know the answer? I already trust you :)

                • Hi.

                  1. Yes, I buy just one kind. I love the non pareils but I would be open to trying the other kinds. The NP’s are sooo sweet it’s hard to not get them :).

                  2. I buy them w/ the coating and then soak and dry them. Always ! I have a post on soaking and drying nuts and seeds. Read that if you haven’t.

                  3. Yes, it does make a slight taste difference but I don’t think you’d notice it w/ almonds milk. I think the only time I’ve noticed the use of almonds w/ o the skin is for blanched almond flour or sliced blanched almonds but perhaps some do it. I don’t think it’s worth the extra cost :).

                  • Yes, I have read and printed many of your posts, especially the soaking & drying nuts. I am one of those lucky people that is sensitive to thousands of things. I like the taste of nuts, but after eating them, they’ve always bothered my stomach, so I quit eating them long ago. Only recently have I begun trying them again and I’m anxious to attempt soaking and dehydrating them myself (just today I feel like I’m armed with enough information to finally try it for the first time)! My nuts have been soaking since 10am, and my dad gave me his Excalabur 4-drawer dehydrator since he doesn’t use it anymore. YAY! I’m going to dehydrate these almonds on 118 degrees for about 24-48 hours testing them after the 24 to see if they’re ready. ;)

                    Thanks to people like you; and Dr. Andrew Weil for his anti-inflammatory diet; and Ellie Krieger for her healthy, well-rounded cooking; and Doug Kaufman of “knowthecause.com” for helping to rid the body of funguses and candida; and a handful of knowledge about sprouts and wheatgrass from the hippocrates institute, I have been getting healthier all the time!

                    So, once again, Thank You so very much for your time! I appreciate you very much so! You are extremely informative and I look up to you for your knowledge!

        • They do use steam pasteurization. :)

  14. Sherry Tester says:

    Thank you for bringing awareness to this issue… I had no idea!

    One question… I always thought the way to keep nuts from going bad was to store them in the freezer. I currently have some chilling for future use. Am I in fact, “freeze pasteurizing” them?

    • You’re welcome, Sherry. Freezing in a freezer does not pasteurize them. Freeze pasteurizing is done at a much lower temperature for a shorter period of time. Good question – I had the same thought myself. Regular freezing doesn’t kill bacteria – it just slows it’s growth down.

  15. Follow your blog regularly, but have never posted a comment. Thanks for a great post! Knew that the almonds we’ve been eating/milking were pasteurized, but didn’t have a clear understanding of the methods. After reading your post, I returned 6 bags of almonds to Costco. When asked “is there anything wrong with them?” I replied, “besides being sprayed with a chemical that is linked to cancer? No.” I’m thankful Costco has such a liberal return policy ;-)

    Thanks again for all the wonderful information you provide!

  16. Wow, I did know that a lot of raw almonds are no longer a living food but I didn’t know about the spray. There is no end to the number of ways that the government is willing to poison us, is there?

  17. What about other nuts, like cashews or pistachios? Do these get pasturized by PPO? Thanks for an enlightening read! LB

    • Lori, as far as I know, almonds are the only nuts affected this way, due to the salmonella outbreak. However, another reader mentioned that PPO has been used on other packaged foods. I looked at the follow up link and couldn’t sort it out. Here is a quote that I found on the Almond Board’s site:

      Propylene Oxide (PPO) treatment: PPO is also a surface treatment which has been approved for use on foods since 1958, and is widely used for a variety of foods such as other nuts, cocoa powder and spices. PPO is very effective at reducing harmful bacteria on almonds and poses no risk to consumers. In fact, PPO residue dissipates after treatment. The effectiveness and safety of this process was revalidated in July 2006, when PPO underwent a stringent re-registration process with the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA confirmed that PPO poses no health risk. The treatment does not affect the nutritional and sensory characteristics of almonds.

      I am not sure what to make of this. spices? cocoa? What can we eat without being concerned? And while they say that it is safe, this is a government agency just like the FDA that said that arsenic in our chickens is safe. I am not apt to trust them. What do you think?

      • ….and who was the person who brilliantly thought “I know, let’s use JET FUEL!” ?

        • Good question :-). I did find that they use this on other foods too. Like cocoa. Might be enough to get me to stop eating chocolate? Hmmm… How about chocolate direct from the farm?

    • By the way, Lori. I don’t recall the details now, but cashews are unusual. They have a coating on them that is toxic, I believe and so they need to be cooked prior to being sold for consumption. They are not considered to be a healthy nut by most whole foodies who know about nuts. I love them though :-(.

    • yes they have the same chemical as poison ivy and can be toxic when eaten raw. but i agree – very yummy

  18. Grrr. I just bought two bags at Costco this weekend! I’ll have to call about the Sprouts and Whole Food distributors. Really, is it so much to ask to have food not coated in PPO? So frustrating. Thanks for the info, despite how depressing it is!

  19. Thanks for sharing this info! To think of all the people using almond flour to make their baked goods!

    I just started reading “Making Supper Safer.” Have you read that yet? So far, it’s been a good read.

    • I haven’t read that yet – I’ll have to put that on my list. I actually get quite a bit of reading done despite being too busy. I read while on the exercise bike :-). Thanks for the recommendation!

  20. Hi Adrienne
    Do you happen to know if the almonds in almond milk, almond butter etc. would likely be sprayed as well? (would factories making almond products be getting the same almonds we buy or from a more direct and cleaner source?)
    Thanks for your blog-I enjoy them all! :)

    • Simone, I think the almonds in milk, etc would be from the same sources as we would get them. Therefore, depending upon where you get them they may be sprayed or steam pasteurized. I guess the best thing to do is call, or just buy the almonds as you would like them and make your own. Did you see my post on How to Make Nut Butter? I make 3 pounds at a time. Let me know if you have anymore questions! I’ll share about almond milk soon! Thanks for your kind words!

  21. Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting! Hope to see you next week!

    Be sure to visit RealFoodForager.com on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!

    http://realfoodforager.com/2011/11/fat-tuesday-novermber-22-2011/

  22. I had to go and refresh my memory from the research I did several years ago when I first found out about the treatment of almonds. In doing so, I found new information that the almond growers will finally be allowed their day in court to try to overturn this horrid regulation.

    What I remember from my past research was that some of the equipment used to process nuts was contaminated. What I read stopped short of blaming the equipment entirely for the outbreak.

    Wouldn’t it have been cheaper & easier to institute rules to keep the equipment clean?

    • I’d love to read that and publish it with my post again. Of course it would, but I guess there was probably money involved. That typically is the instigator. That or control. Or both. Perhaps you should contact the almond board. I just did a quick search on the internet but didn’t find anything about the equipment being contaminated, but if you could turn something up that would be great. I did, however, find a document by The Cornucopia Institute talking about the expense of the propylene oxide (PPO) chamber and how that adds expenses onto small almond producers who were not part of the salmonella problem in the first place. Sounds typical. This way the big almond producers can squeeze the smaller ones out of the market and make more money. Ugh.

  23. I almost gave up finding the information again, remembered it being on the lawyers page, but couldn’t remember the name of the lawyer. Success on page 22 of my search!

    http://www.marlerclark.com/case_news/view/paramount-farms-almonds-salmonella-outbreak-california-nationwide

    During my search, I found this handling guide from the Almond Growers Association. Seems there weren’t any guidelines for safe handling. Could they have figured this out before they started poisoning our food?

    http://www.fishernut.com/haccp.pdf

    • Wow, Kathy. Good job! I only have one question. I see that the salmonella was on the equipment. I guess it could have come from the almonds – but I guess what you are saying is that if they had cleaned the equipment properly then this wouldn’t have been an issue, right? I’ll have to see if I can put this into the post and get it out to my readers again and maybe we can put pressure on The Almond Board to reverse this practice.

  24. There are many different ways that salmonella is transmitted, fecal matter, improper (or no) washing of hands before handling food, etc. and in the case of the peanut butter recall, it was attributed to moisture from a leaky roof.

    It’s only my common sense & logic telling me that proper equipment handling procedures would have been a far less expensive and safer alternative than chemically treating or steam treating the almonds.

    • You are so right. Probably there was something on the shells and the equipment wasn’t cleaned properly. I’d love to follow up w/ the law firm. Wonder if they’d talk to me?

  25. so bummed that i eat a lot of raw poisonous almonds :( they are my breakfast staple. Time to make some changes… darn.

  26. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    UGH. Wish I hadn’t read this – but like so many other things, so glad I did.

    Check back later tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  27. If you soaked and peeled your almonds, would that get rid of the PPO? Or does the chemical penetrate much deeper than the surface of the skin?

    • I don’t know. I just put a call in to the Almond Board. I’ll get back to you after I hear. Not sure if I can trust them, but I will tell you. Maybe I should ask my chemist father in law!

  28. Good info, thanks for sharing with the Hearth and Soul hop.

  29. Wow, I can’t believe this. Raw almonds is one of my favorite snacks. I’ll have to do my homework. Thanks!

  30. Thank you for raising awareness on this shocking subject.

  31. We live in the middle of almond orchards in California’s Central Valley, where 99% of the U.S’s almonds are grown and 80% of the world’s. Across the road, a farmer grows 200 acres of both almonds and walnuts organically. However, the crop dusters spray all around us, scraping so close to our roof (we don’t farm but live on 2 acres) that we duck as they zoom over. To think that the organically grown almonds are untouched by the chemicals being dropped and sprayed all around them is a pipe dream; those chemicals are everywhere, including in the irrigation water run-off and soil.

    I’m afraid we can’t get rid of all chemicals no matter how hard we try, and it’s frustrating to realize that this is the state of our produce. I want to see the regulations regarding PPO change because it’s ludicrous, but still, we have so much work to do to return to a chemical-free farming status in the U.S.

    • Wow, Kendra. Thanks for sharing this. A number of people backed out of ordering almonds with my raw almond order due to their not being organic. Maybe I’ll pass this onto them :-).

  32. FarmSchooler says:

    Alomd trees will grow/produce anywhere peach trees will grow/produce :o)

  33. Gag! I have almonds with my yogurt this morning. I can’t believe what Uncle Sam can get away with when it comes to making our food “safe.”

    • Stephanie – I can’t believe it now either. My husband used to live in China and more and more we are seeing similarities. Sad to say. Maybe yours aren’t covered in PPO?

  34. Yikes! I buy those Costco almonds! Thanks for bringing this info to light. If the government is going to regulate something, why don’t they outlaw all pesticides and chemicals in our food rather than adding them?

    • The whole thing is just horrid. There is a balance in the regulation thing, but one reader gave a link showing that the issue was dirty equipment. Why not just make them clean equipment better?

  35. This is gross! I imagine organic almonds would not be sprayed with PPO and would be steamed instead? I need t find a almond farmer to get some raw almonds…thanks for sharing. I knew that almonds had to be pasteurized now but never knew why.

    • The organic almonds can’t have the PPO on them. You’re right. I couldn’t believe it either, but I didn’t even know about the pasteurization. :-(.

  36. Wow, Thank you for sharing this, I’m happy I know now! I just started a new linky party, and would love for you to join in and let my readers know about this problem! Monday Myriad Blog Hop

  37. Kate Parker says:

    Wow- sounds crazy -We buy our unpasteurized organic almonds from Living Nutz. A lb is around 12.00 & 5 lbs are 11.00 per pound. You an even order 10 or 25 pounds and share it with friends!! Their website is http://www.livingnutz.com

    • Hi Kate. Thanks for the info. You may wish to read the comment one reader in almond country left about organic almonds and pesticides on them. The ones in my order are not organic, but they are only 4.50 per pound :-).

  38. Hi everyone,

    I recently put in an order with a group of friends – prices for organic unpasteurized almonds from Sicily are reasonable, especially if you buy in bulk. I think it was about $8.00/lb

    http://www.tierrafarm.com

    Karen

  39. I just bought two bags of almonds at Costco and my neighbor mentioned to look up the bad stuff that could be on almonds and when googled your site came up with the most information. Just read through all the commnents too. Adrienne, are you still selling almonds on your website? I didn’t see any? I’m in need to order more and I have gotten my inthe past from Living Nutz too. Aloha!

    • Hi Tonja. I don’t sell them on my site – I do a bulk buy out of my home. I don’t know if we’re going to have extras this year. There may be some in August if you keep in touch with me. I need to get my store page running w a real credit card option. Just so many things to do :-).

  40. I was wondering if the person that has a neighbor that grows organic almonds, knows if he is not only spraying some natural product, allowed for organic farmers to use?
    I am not sure if unsafe pesticides or quemicals are allowed for organic produce or nuts, but it also can be only her neighbor that says it’s growing organic and it is not and many others are! It is hard to know. I still think organic is better, but is good to check with the brand you are using, I believe.
    I buy organic produce for example, but I wonder why at least where in Hawaii, organic farmers are allowed to use chicken manure from regular, non-organic chicken, that were probably feed with GMO corn and who know what else,full of pesticides and quemichal fertilizers wich means that if the farm that you buy from uses chicken manure, it is what is fertiling your produce…
    I believe the best thing would be grow your own, when possible!!!

    • Not sure either, Cintia. The organic confusion is something that I haven’t had enough energy to sort through. Local is best, of course, but that can be hard to find. And even when growing your own you need to have your soil tested and remember that the water you are watering with is dirty too. Nothing is perfect! See my post on Is Your Water Safe?

  41. There is a website – grower – Justalmonds.com that uses steam, not chemicals. They are a great place to buy in bulk!

  42. Would any of you happen to know if the almonds from Sams are also sprayed with Jet Fuel? This is just so unreal!! It starts to get so stressing when trying to feed your family well, and sometimes I just don’t have the energy! Im starting to think if I can’t grow it and preserve it then we don’t eat it!
    Joy

    • Joy, maybe someone else called – I would just call them. But my guess is that they have the PPO on them. Costco’s do. I echo your concerns – but get your soil tested for sure!

  43. I love this site! Thanks to this post, I contacted my local Sprouts Farmers Market about their raw almonds on sale (for 3.99/lb!!! :)), and the bulk foods mgr, and the store mgr had no idea that jet fuel could ever be sprayed on our food! The bulk foods mgr. was very nice, and gave me all the info he had, and I then emailed the company that supplies their almonds about their pasteurization process… Eagerly awaiting their reply, and then I will inform the bulk foods mgr of their response.

  44. Adrienne,
    I just wanted to say again how much I appreciate you sharing this information. I just got my 82 pounds of raw almonds from a farmer in California (at $1.50/lb no less). I am so grateful to you that I was able to even do this.

    By the way, I wanted to let you know that I did contact the California Almond Board, and here’s what I said:

    To Whom It May Concern,

    I am a huge fan of almonds. Since, going on a gluten free diet a year ago, almonds have been a staple in my baking (I bake using almond meal).

    Just recently though, I discovered that all raw almonds by law must be pasteurized. I am astounded that grocery stores around America are selling “Raw’ almonds when they clearly cannot be raw. I understand your concern with wanting to keep people safe from salmonella poisoning, but it feels quite underhanded to call something raw when it indeed is not. I wish that you had instead decided to educate the public and provide us with real options, ie: raw or pasteurized.

    Since discovering that most of the food chains where I had previously bought my almonds have PPO sprayed almonds, I have almost completely stopped buying almonds. That is until I found a farmer who was willing to sell me 82 pounds of his almonds pre-pasteurized. I will now only buy my almonds this way and will encourage all of my friends, family and readers of my blog to do the same.

    If you will not give us the option to choose, please at least, let the public know that their raw almonds are indeed not raw.

    Sincerely,
    Kathleen Peters
    http://kathleen.peterro.com (Providence Farms blog)

    I’ll let you know if I hear something back.

  45. Heather says:

    I just started buying raw almonds lately to soak & dehydrate…I get them from TRADER JOES. I was in there the other day and the manager never heard of the jet fuel coating but was concerned. He called California to find out if their raw almonds were coated. THANKFULLY they’re not, but they are treated with steam. I would rather have steamed “raw” almonds than poisoned ones, any day! If you have a Trader Joes near you, they’re PPO free. :0)

    • Way to do your research, Heather! The debate is still out there on the “sproutability” of the steamed almonds so I can’t comment on that. I’ve checked w/ a few “experts” and can’t get an answer. But no jet fuel is a good option.

  46. Hi! Thanks so much for sharing this info – so sad but I would rather know than not. I just came across your blog and have been enjoying so many posts already! One question out of curiousity – where did the idea of PPO get connected to “jet fuel”?

    • Hi Anna and welcome! I just reworded the post so you can see more clearly the link between PPO and jet fuel. Sorry – I don’t always write things as well as I could. Thanks for catching it and thanks for the compliment!

      • Thanks for your comment Adrienne- I appreciate it! I found myself confused between jet fuel for racing cars/motorcycles and aviation jet fuel :-). I realized it would be helpful to know what I was saying/meaning as I am sharing this news with others! Either way PPO is NOT something I want on my family’s almonds!

        • Sure thing, Anna. Ummm…I just dug around more and found out that it must have been one of the sources that I read that was confused or actually confused me. It is jet engine fuel, and can be used in model airplanes, but it appears, not in airplanes. So – guess I need to change my photo :-). Off in search of a new one soon. It is technically jet fuel, just not airplane fuel. Hopefully that clears it all up. For me too :-).

  47. Kathryn Arnold says:

    Adrienne, my favorite nut is macadamia, but since its become so popular I can’t afford them. Does your nut firm handle these?

    • Hi Kathryn,

      Which nut firm do you mean? I purchase nuts from several places. Unfortunately, when Green Polka Dot Box was about to open, they had a great price. But they had supplier issues. I currently purchase them from Country Life Natural Foods where they are a little over $10 per pound. How is that compared to your price?

      • Kathryn Arnold says:

        Definitely better than WF’s. I’ll have to check them out!

        Sorry, I misunderstood that you ordered nuts in bulk and re-sold them.

        • I do a raw almond order in the fall and there are some other nuts available, but just walnuts this year. I am looking into other options, but they would most likely be direct with a contact point through my site. Country Life will ship via UPS but if you live in the right area they will deliver to your house for free!

  48. You can also try Organic Pastures almonds in CA. I usually buy them at the farmers market but I believe they also sell them from their website. Organic Pastures is the largest raw milk dairy in the country.

  49. This is a great post and the comments are well worth reading. I’m so happy to see that a commentor checked with Trader Joe’s. I had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I read this, because my teen went on GAPS and is using lots of almonds. The thought of all those toxins in her diet scared me. I’m so glad that one of your readers checked. Keep up the good work!
    p.s. I read your post on your son’t mercury filling. I flipped out in a dentist office when one ignored my no mercury request, claimed they were “silver fillings”and put one in my daughter’s mouth anyway. I had it removed immediately by a qualified holistic dentist. I really made a scene, but I’m glad of it! Mom’s do know best- I’m so glad you followed your instincts.

    • Hi Patrice. All this stuff is quite ridiculous, isn’t it? I just saw a video on a wholesome blog w/ a blogger claiming that the little bit of aluminum in shots is not a big deal. I liked her blog but really couldn’t believe it. It is a big deal. Alzheimers. Aluminum toxicity. There are other things that can be used. I am going to hopefully do some more research on this. Thanks for visiting!

  50. I live in Austin, TX where Whole Foods is based out of. I called their corporate offices here and asked them about their almonds. They told me they are steam pasteurized and all from California. Thanks for this article… I now subscribe to your feed and have found lots of awesome info!

  51. Azure Standard sells “Truly Raw Organic” almonds and also some organic imported ones from Italy. Any info about these?

    • I would probably just call them. No almonds in the US are allowed to be sold raw unless they are direct from the farmer so my guess is that the former are pasteurized and the latter are raw. Let us know please – Azure isn’t in my area :-(.

  52. Laura Bickmore says:

    Thank you for your post! It is so discouraging, though. Every time I think I find a way to improve our health I find out about more toxic and awful things out there. I am now tempted to throw away all of my “raw” almonds. :( Would you e-mail me some information on the almonds you buy, and how much shipping might be to get some here in Salt Lake City, UT?

    • I have an email list that goes out in the fall. Shipping, of course, would depend on how much you want. I plan to have a good steam pasteurized almond supplier on my site within the next month.

  53. Carole Douglas says:

    hi Adrienne, I like to buy almonds in the shell, at the Farmer’s Market… do you think they are treated also?

  54. And here’s how they do it: http://www.almondboard.com/Handlers/Documents/Pasteurization-Using-PPO-SOP.pdf

    Guess I’ll cross almonds of my Costco list! :(

  55. Thank you so much for writing this post! It was a HUGE education for me and I’m so grateful!! I just called nuts.com this morning and as you may already know, they told me they use the PPO solution on their almonds. I got off the phone with them and wrote a letter to customer service telling them how disappointed I am that they use this cancer causing chemical. If more of us do such things, maybe practices will be changed. Thank you for helping to educate us so we can work together to try and make positive changes in America’s food supply!

    • Wow. Thanks. One of my closest friends buys from them. Thanks for sharing the results of your work. I will have a non ppo spraying options for almonds on my site soon. :-)!

  56. I found out a bit more info. marianinut.com sells slivered almonds at Costco and when I called this week the told me they use the PPO solution. She tried to convince me that it was safe because it was approved by the USDA that they leave the factory with a small (her words “safe”) amount of PPO on them. But, I was pleasantly surprised to discover this morning that the Maranatha (maranathafoods.com) company that sells Raw Almond Butter uses the steam pasteurization method. I will look forward to seeing all of your non ppo almonds options! Thank you for doing that!

  57. Noooooo……..I have been buying my almonds at Costco!!!! :( Heeeeeeeelp!! Oh my goodness. Thank you very much, Adrienne, for opening my eyes!! Purchasing almonds online entails significant shipping costs, but I suppose I may have to bite the bullet on this one. Oh…. I’m so devastated and frustrated :(

  58. Just in case anyone is interested……….. :(

    Hi Carol,

    Our Almonds are pasteurized with propylene oxide (PPO).

    Have a great day, and smile away!
    ~TaNeisha

    The NutsOnline family is now Nuts.com.
    The same nutty family, just easier to find.

  59. Thanks for the lead on steam pasteurized almonds. We make almond milk for dd and our growing dc like crispy almonds. I appreciate the discount code!

  60. Just found your website by googling “coconut milk ice cream recipe” (which I’m going to try yours by the way). Thanks for the info on almonds. I never knew about PPO. I just googled to see if Blue Diamond used PPO (they do) and came across this article which talks about some nut butters and Almond milks. They state that Almond Breeze almonds are blanched and no PPO is used on the almonds for their milk. It gives several brands of nut butters and flours made without PPO if any readers would like to check it out. http://www.naturalgrocers.com/nutrition/almond-pasteurization

    • Great info! Just thinking, I would for sure call the company though as my experience is that this kind of information changes quickly. With my son’s food allergies I learned that and our co-op used to have “non PPO” almonds but now that’s all they have (unless you buy organic, of course). Thanks again!

  61. This is news to me so I took just a few minutes to find out what PPO is. PPO stands for Pure Plant Oil. This is similar to vegetable oil which is sold on grocery store shelves, pressed out of the oil containing seeds of plants we consume. It looks like PPO is used as a Jet Fuel additive to make it more environmentally friendly, think of Ethanol which is partially produced from pressing corn, which is humanly edible. I don’t know any more about this PPO but will continue my quest to discover the truth behind it, and whether or not it presents a health threat to those who consume foods treated with it. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Whether or not this is a dangerous product is still out for judgement, however, it is not acceptable that when we purchase a product which claims to have one ingredient, “Almonds”, when in reality is also is coated with oil, that practice is completely unacceptable.

  62. Popular brands and how their almonds are pasteurized. http://foodidentitytheft.com/trying-to-avoid-almonds-that-are-gassed-heres-a-little-guide/ Not listed: Ann’s House of Nuts. I contacted them, they do gas theirs.

  63. From http://www.epa.gov/ttnatw01/hlthef/prop-oxi.html “EPA has classified propylene oxide as a Group B2, probable human carcinogen.”

  64. Enjoying the site, and appreciate your research.

    This article struck home, as we are hazelnut and almond nut growers in Spain. We are committed to clean agriculture and ecological cultivating, and to a totally organic (non-chemical) way of working.

  65. Can you give me more information on your almond co-op? I’m in Pa solid have to pay shipping fees.

    • Hello. I have to finalize the order on Monday. If you email me at wholenewmom at gmail dot com I can give you the detailed info. Thanks! Look forward to hearing from you!

  66. I love almonds! Or at least I use to. This just makes me so sick to my stomach.

  67. Karen Caruthers says:

    I checked out Azure Standard’s almonds because I get them from there and was worried! Here is what their website says about the organic raw almonds:

    Due to California laws, the “raw” almonds (listed above) have been subjected to a “flash” steam pasteurization process. Although “pasteurized,” these almonds still have the taste and texture of raw almonds and will still sprout.

  68. Heard about this 2 years ago and emailed called all the companies saw on the bags of nuts (on SCD diet). and Costco said all the Kirkland nuts-PPO,dont know if changed if last 2 yrs, also Sprouts almonds(had to call), Fresh and easy-almonds-PPO also, TJ- steam past. if you buy organic then no PPO is what I was told.
    Wonder about the Sprouts almond butter as its roasted and thats considered a pasteurization.
    There is a local California place heard can sell direct.
    Lynn

  69. Just found this site…very informative. Thank you for sharing this information.

    BTW – your “share” little menu/icons that is in the middle and on the left side of the page gets in the way of reading the articles/comments on the page. Is there a way to get rid of it?

    • Hi Lori – have you, by chance, emailed me about this before? I have heard this a few times recently. Could you tell me what you are reading my blog on? I would so appreciate it!

    • check your Zoom settings (The little gear in the top right hand corner of a web page, under the red X). Chances are, your Zoom is set for greater than 100%, which will cause the issues that you describe.

  70. Sorry if you already addressed this but what is your opinion about the store bought Almond Milk from Silk. I drink this every day and value your opinion.

    • I don’t buy any of the packaged milk alternatives since they are pricey and often have additives, plus there is a negative impact on the environment. The Silk appears to have added gums and vitamins. I also am on a specific healing program where taking lots of added vitamins isn’t recommended. Hope that helps.

  71. I posted on the Sahale Snacks FB page after reading this…my family likes some of their mixes. Not only do we have to now look at where our raw almonds come from and how they are treated, but also where the almonds in mixes come from. I tend to make my own nut/trail mix but in a bind I only want to support and buy from a company that isn’t trying to poison me!

    “Sahale Snacks Hi Georgia, NONE of our nuts are treated with PPO. Hope that helps. Have a great weekend!”

  72. Blue Diamond (largest almond growers co-op in the country) has told me theirs are strictly steam-pasturized :-)

  73. Your post inspired me to contact Sprouts (my grocery store) to find out how the almonds I buy in the bulk bin are pasteurized. Here is the response I received:
    “The almonds in the bulk are PPO. The packaged ones in the California Grown bag are steamed. Thank you for your time and for shopping at Sprouts.”

  74. Are you all still doing a buying club? Can you give a general idea how much per pound the almonds are to be participating with you all? I live in Florida and would have to add the shipping which unfortunately adds so much!!

    Thanks mucho.

    Blessings,
    Becky

  75. Will soaking and dehydrating the almonds remove the engine fuel? I have, recently, been using almonds to make almond flour and now I am very concerned.

  76. Hi!

    Just wondering about whether the almond shell protects it from pesticides or the fuel you mentioned. Any thoughts?

    Thanks ,
    Sam

  77. Great article, as always A!

    Yep, the pasteurization is a legal requirement for any *store* to sell almonds in California. That’s why I go to the farmers’ markets every.single.Sunday after Mass to get my walnuts and almonds that no one’s messed with!

  78. I just called Blue Diamond and they do treat their raw almonds with PPO!
    I told the service rep that I would not be buying their product until they
    stopped the usage of PPO!

  79. Wendy Lotito says:

    Found organic raw almonds not sprayed or pasteurized at: http://www.sphinxdateranch.com
    1800-482-3283 not very expensive

  80. Hi Adrienne

    My gosh, is there anything safe to eat! Okay I am into the coconut oil and have just recently started taking raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar due to being sick recently. Even went out and got a shower filter, because apparently it is far worse to take a shower in city water than it is to drink it.

    Trying to eat healthy and never thought such horrors as them spraying raw almonds. Do they do this while they are still in the shell or is it after they are out of the shell?

    No wonder we have so many health issues today.

    Mary

  81. Thanks for this info. I’ve heard about this before also. Is this also true for organic almonds?

  82. What about organic almonds, surely they aren’t sprayed? (Im in New Zealand but hubby always buys the almonds in the US and also all the almonds over here are from the US…..!!!)

  83. AHHHH I totally have almonds from Costco. That’s so intense!!!

  84. Great, just another example of the government exercising too much control and causing more problems! It’s such a shame that something that is no longer safe to be used as a fuel source can be sprayed on our food. When will the madness end?!

  85. If I just cover my eyes can I forget that I just read this? I’m so disturbed the more I learn about how our food is treated. I’ve already made the switch to organic but now I am guaranteeing that my almonds are too. Thanks for the great info! xo

  86. Oh my, this is disturbing. What about almond meal/flour and almond butter; are the almonds used for those products also sprayed with PPO?

  87. I know this is an old post but I see there have been some more current discussions so I’m hoping… First I should ask if any of this info has changed are they still spraying with PPO to “pasteurize” almonds (in particular Costco’s almonds)? If so, how does spraying anything with something (particularly jet fuel) pasteurize it? I always thought pasteurization meant heating. Thank you for bringing this to your readers attention, I never would have guessed or thought to check raw nuts for pasteurization.

    • I haven’t heard of any changes. If anything, more folks are doing it. apparently it kills germs. Yuck.

    • You can also freeze pasteurize so there are different ways to do it. They could dip them in alcohol too……yucko.

      • I suppose the point is to kill organisms on them either way, I guess I just feel like they are hiding behind the term “pasteurize” when what they are really doing by spraying something toxic is using pesticides. Pasteurize sounds more acceptable, safer to the general public than fumigating or spraying with pesticides does. I wish we could let go of the idea that killing all germs and organisms is a good thing and get back to knowing that our bodies need many of these things and are designed to use what they need and dispose of what they don’t for the most part. I really believe that one of the reasons allergies and intolerance’s seem to be so much more prevalent is because we have eliminated the public exposure to so many things that help our bodies build the antibodies they need. Much like what we have done with over using antibiotics both in our food supply and by prescription. Why can’t we “keep it simple stupid”? Again thanks for all your efforts on our behalf on this.

  88. Yes, my head IS spinning, because I lived on Costco’s almonds for the past 10 years. UGH! Would you please share this at Raw Foods Thursdays? My readers would really benefit from this information.

    http://www.glutenfreecat.com/2014/02/raw-foods-thursdays-22014/

    Heather

  89. ScentsofDiffusion.com says:

    Wow, that is scary, but I am not at all surprised. I don’t understand the thinking behind all of these chemicals being add to our foods. People wonder why we are full of diseases like cancer and other problems. It’s not to hard to figure out where all this stems from. It all comes down to money.

  90. Very nice blog post. I definitely lpve this site.
    Stick with it!

  91. While it is true that the FDA approved ppo for pasteurization against salmonella around 2004 ppo has in fact been used as an insecticide and anti microbial on herbs, spices and nuts for well over fifty years. And yes, ppo was an additive to fuel. However, your almonds are still raw despite using ppo as it does not cook them it sprays them – rousted almonds are not raw.

    It is true that ppo is synthetic an unnatural to this earth and it is true that animal studies have shown a lifetime exposure to ppo causes cancer. However, many cancer risk studies have shown that there is no risk with current practices involving ppo to any human across the lifespan (infants, adolescents, adults and geriatrics).

    Again, it is true that ppo was used in fuel which caused a person to have lots of exposure as the gas was burned – inhalation exposure. However the expose on almonds is from ingestion and the and there is a small residual. I am unfamiliar with the FDA regulations on ppo’s residual but in canada the max residual ppo allowed is 300ppm on almonds an 0.1ppm on other foods (spices) – obviously because spices are small and 1million spices is less weight/volume then 1million almonds.

    This means that as of right now ppo is known to be safe for treatment and we should not worry too much but encourage our researches to do more research on the subject to ensure our safety.

Trackbacks

  1. […] know that all US commercially grown almonds are pasteurized? Yes, even the “raw” ones. Here is a link and here is another to confirm that statement. If you buy “raw almonds” from a store […]

  2. […] and Italy that are truly raw. If you are as shocked as I was by the whole PPO thing, you should read Whole New Mom’s post on the topic. Very […]