“The reality is, our planet, our human bodies and our spirits have been harmed by the use of artificial chemicals in this world. Many are unconsciously using such chemicals to produce food without realizing the damage they are causing, as that is how they have been taught. We are at a turning point in our world where it’s time for us to use less harmful ways of producing food and to not sell low quality products simply for the sake of mass producing and making money. That’s why, at Pure Living CR, we feel we have a responsibility to offer organic or the best quality products we can find to do our part in restoring the earth and helping to heal the human population.” – Melanie Redford, Founder of Pure Living CR.
The best way to get food that is free of artificial chemicals, and is both nutritionally dense and energetically potent, is to grow your own. The second best way is to source food from a local grower whose practices you know and trust. Failing both of those, we have to rely on the standards for organic certification.
Take nuts, for example. Nuts are high in many nutrients, such as manganese, zinc, vitamin E, and protein, they’re tasty, and they make a great snack. It’s easy to grab a handful of nuts if you just need a little something. While we might love to have a producing nut tree of our own, they are a long term investment, most taking years to produce. And the kind of nuts we prefer may not grow in our area.
Harmful Impact of Non-Organic Nuts on the Body and the Earth
Purchasing non-organic nuts can be risky. In order to produce enough nuts to be commercially competitive at a large scale, big, conventional growers use pesticides, fumigants and insecticides to spray down their crops.
Because nuts (and seeds) are high in fats and oils, they absorb a significant amount of toxins from the parent tree, and then also accumulate those fumigants sprayed on after harvest. This happens even with a hard sell on the nut.
According to a study by Quality Assurance and Safety of Food & Crops, residue levels from 227 different pesticides were discovered in many nuts, including walnuts, pistachios, almonds, and hazelnuts. Many of these pesticides are also harmful to bees, wildlife, the soil and water systems.
A popular fumigant is called propylene oxide or PPO which is the same chemical that is used for racing fuel. According to Wikipedia: “Propylene oxide is both acutely toxic and carcinogenic. Acute exposure causes respiratory tract irritation, eventually leading to death . Signs of toxicity after acute exposure include salivation, lacrimation, nasal discharge, gasping, lethargy and hypoactivity, weakness, and incoordination.”
We are sometimes assured by various institutions that the amount of toxic material from pesticides (for example) that has been measured in our food is not enough to cause harm. Even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency –EPA– has classified glyphosate as not likely to be carcinogenic, though recently a US Federal Judge has ordered them to re-examine the evidence. In any event, what is not tested is the effects of the accumulation of these toxins in our bodies and also the unknown harm they may cause when combined for ourselves and the earth.
You Get What you Pay For
Yes, buying organic is more expensive. The biggest reason for this is because of the amount of manual labor that goes into keeping up an organic farm. As organic farms cannot use pesticides and other chemicals they have to do lots of weed picking, pest control and more.
Organic nuts are also more expensive because of the excessive fees they have to pay to get organic certifications. That’s why at Pure Living CR, we work with some suppliers and farms that are “uncertified organic,” meaning they do not use any chemicals but do not have an organic certification due to the regulations and fees involved in doing so.
While non-organic and organic nuts when put side-by-side may not look any different (and sometimes, may not even taste different) when it comes to the amount of chemicals on and absorbed by non-organic nuts they most definitely are.
Toxins Found in Popular Nuts
Almonds are high in protein and a favorite of many. Unfortunately, conventionally grown almonds are usually sprayed with propylene oxide, as a preservation and pasteurization method. As described above PPO can cause “headaches, nausea, vomiting, pulmonary edema, burning skin and eyes, and respiratory distress.”
Read more about this here: Why Organic Almonds? Because of the Super-Toxic Fumigant Propylene Oxide.
Also, conventionally grown almonds are also often sprayed with glyphosate which is the main ingredient in Monsanto’s “RoundUp” and a known carcinogen. In fact, 85% of conventionally grown almonds are sprayed with this chemical. It’s so prevalent that recent measures have shown that over 80% of Americans have glyphosate in their urine, says a recent CDC study .
This popular spray can create ‘glyphosate poisoning’ which according to WebMD can after long-term exposure cause cancer, liver and kidney damage, reproductive and developmental issues, and can harm pregnant women and children.
For more information on toxicity in glyphosates see:
- Epidemiologic studies of glyphosate and non-cancer health outcomes: a review
- Epidemiologic studies of glyphosate and cancer: a review
- Developmental and reproductive outcomes in humans and animals after glyphosate exposure: a critical analysis
- Glyphosate induces human breast cancer cells growth via estrogen receptors
- ‘Disturbing’: weedkiller ingredient tied to cancer found in 80% of US urine samples | US news | The Guardian
Other toxic components may be present in non-organic almonds as well including BHT which according to Living Maxwell stands for toluene, a solvent that is carcinogenic and a neuron disruptor.
Cashews may be sprayed after harvest with endosulfan, a “ highly controversial agrichemical due to its acute toxicity, potential for bioaccumulation, and role as an endocrine disruptor.” Endosulfan is apparently being “phased out” and yet still allowed for some uses.
Pistachios may be treated with phosmat, which is shown to cause liver tumors and carcinomas.
The truth is, we are not perfect and for sure have eaten our fair share of non-organic foods for the sake of convenience and, to be honest, appetite. But, now that we know about the harm they are causing to our bodies and the earth we do our best to avoid conventionally grown nuts.
At Pure Living CR we choose to offer foods and supplements that also value our health, and the health of our planet. Which means, in this case, organically grown nuts and seeds.
Featured imaged taken by Kyla Houbolt