As you may know, California’s raw almonds are no longer truly raw. The USDA, at the request of the Almond Board of California, has been requiring that raw almonds be treated using a process that the industry generously describes as “pasteurization.”
The rule mandates either the gassing of almonds with a toxic fumigant (propylene oxide) or treatment with high-temperature steam-heat. The scheme imposes significant financial burdens on California small-scale organic and conventional growers, lacks scientific justification, damages domestic almond markets, and does not address the agricultural practices used on the industrial-scale almond orchards where the only documented Salmonella outbreaks have occurred (the rule has been justified as a food safety measure).
And the treated almonds can still be deceptively labeled as “raw”! No labeling in retail outlets is required to alert you to the treatment process.
A group of committed almond growers in California is challenging the treatment requirement in federal court. These farmers are seeking to overturn the rule and return truly raw California almonds to the American marketplace.
The Cornucopia Institute has been helping the California almond farmers involved in this fight. Cornucopia has prepared educational materials on this issue, including a fact sheet available on Cornucopia’s website, www.cornucopia.org.
But the California almond farmers challenging this regulation need your help.
• They need you to help spread the word about this issue and their fight, and help educate other consumers about the changes made to a favorite nutritious food eaten by so many health conscious consumers.
• And for those of you able to do so, they need your donations to help with the incredibly expensive legal fight against the USDA.
Supporters of the California almond farmers have established this web page which further explains the status of their momentous legal fight. The quirks of federal regulations exclude anyone but farmers from fighting this ill-thought-out rule in court. Please help out if you can and care about truly raw almonds.
Help Save California's Truly Raw Almonds!
By Cornucopia Institute
January 8, 2012
Straight to the Source