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Product of the Week: Almond butter

July 26, 2016

So Many Butters, So Little Bread

With peanut allergies threatening people (especially many children) everywhere, alternative nut butters flooded the shelves of supermarkets. Almond butter has risen as the creamiest of them all, and often the most expensive with some people shelling out at as much as $15 or more for a jar – nuts, we know!

 

That’s a lot of money to pay even if almonds help maintain a healthy diet, while reducing the risks of various diseases.

 

What’s the deal with almonds?

First off, technically, almonds are not nuts, they are drupes. Glad we got that out of the way…

 

Though native to southwestern Asia (think the Middle East), over 80% of the world’s almonds are grown in sunny, dry California. Farmers in California use 1 gallon of water to grow one almond, and they grow as many as 25 different types of this delectable snack.

 

These trees provide important economic support to the local communities to the tune of over $10 billion and over 100,000 jobs on the farms and to process the almonds for you to eat. Right now, almond farmers get a little over $3 per pound of almonds.

 

It’s big business, but it can be better by buying organic.

 

Why should I buy organic?

Conventional almond growing requires a lot of gnarly pesticides. The kind that could do the following things to your body:

 

1) Cause cancer

2) Disrupt your hormones

3) Act as a neurotoxin

 

Oh, and they really do damage bee colonies (the same bees that help the almonds grow). These pesticides also can harm water ways in California from which many Americans drink, and which salmon and other creatures rely on for their homes. Organic almonds don’t have these really nasty pesticides.

 

What brands should I buy and avoid?

Green Brands: MaraNatha Organic Almond Butter and Trader Joe’s Organic Almond Butter

Red Brands: Justin’s Almond Butter

 

READ MORE:

 

Jobs and money in almonds:

http://aic.ucdavis.edu/publications/posters/almondsPOSTERfinal.pdf

http://www.mercedsunstar.com/news/business/agriculture/article3296141.html

http://fortune.com/2016/01/29/heres-some-good-news-for-almond-fans/

 

Water and pesticides:

http://www.whatsonmyfood.org/food.jsp?food=AL

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2015/01/california-drought-almonds-water-use

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/08/almonds-demon-nuts/379244/

http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2014/04/california-almond-farms-blamed-honeybee-die

http://naturalsociety.com/discovered-dirty-little-secret-almonds/

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