Are Raw Almonds Raw?
Whether or not raw almonds are actually raw has been a hot topic in the raw food community for some time now. In the fall of 2007, the USDA, FDA and the California Almond Board made it mandatory that all commercially grown almonds be pasteurized before they were sold to the public. This not only includes non-organic almonds but organic ones as well.
What is even more upsetting to note is that the California Almond Board has permission to keep labeling the pasteurized almonds as raw, which in fact they are not as they have been exposed to temperatures of more than 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Most raw foodist know that heating foods beyond temperatures of 116-118 degrees Fahrenheit destroys the enzymes and as well as other nutrients making the food toxic to our bodies.
Since the enzymes are destroyed in the almonds, they become more difficult to digest. This can overburden the digestive system resulting in an increase of free radicals and toxins to the body. The sad part is that the almonds actually will turn rancid quicker when they are pasteurized. To make matters worse there is no way to tell how long they have been sitting in storage before being shipped to stores.
Just so you know, most of the raw almonds that you find in stores, especially if they are grown in California have been pasteurized. There may be some smaller farms that don’t but for the most part you will need to buy your almonds that are grown in Italy or Spain to ensure that they aren’t pasteurized and are still “raw”.