Almonds have excellent health benefits as most of us know. They are good for the brain and heart, to regulate cholesterol and blood pressure, for bone health, to strengthen the immune system, to prevent cancer, during pregnancy, etc.
And we use them in all sorts of ways – raw, soaked, in cereals, health bars, trail mixes, added to salads and other dishes, almond butter, almond milk, …
How much Almonds are in a perfect portion? Just remember the number 1-2-3! 1 ounce or 23 almonds.
The dirty secret about almonds that most people do not know – Most of the almonds sold in the U.S. have been fumigated with propylene oxide, a chemical that even the CDC and EPA have admitted causes cancer.
A few years back there were outbreaks of Salmonella which were traced backed to California Almonds. To prevent this from happening again, several government agencies got together to mandate that almonds must be treated in either one of two ways – Exposure to heat or Inserting the kernels into a closed chamber to be fumigated with propylene oxide gas.
Propylene Oxide is very toxic and is classified as hazardous to health under the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals, for its acute toxicity, ability to cause irritation, and its mutagenic and carcinogenic properties. It is banned is most countries.
So please check before you buy and consume. And keep in mind all the different ways we consume almonds.
Almonds sold as ‘organic’ are generally treated with the heat process. Those not labeled as ‘organic’ are fumigated with propylene oxide gas, as a general rule.
These links have more information including which process is used on some of the most popular brands of Almonds.