Hold the phone; did I just say engine fuel?
Yes, yes I did.
Sorry if you were expecting a mouth-watering recipe…
It seems the small mountain of raw almonds I’ve eaten over the past couple of years weren’t so “raw”, after all. Much to my dismay, I found out two days ago that most raw almonds are coated with PPO (Propylene Oxide), a chemical that is so harmful, it was banned by both the National Hot Rod and American Motorcycle Racing Associations. In fact, here is the breakdown straight from the MSDS:
Potential Acute Health Effects:
Very hazardous in case of eye contact (irritant), of ingestion, of inhalation. Hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant, permeator). Inflammation of the eye is characterized by redness, watering, and itching.
Potential Chronic Health Effects:
Very hazardous in case of eye contact (irritant), of ingestion, of inhalation. Hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant,permeator). CARCINOGENIC EFFECTS: Classified 2 (Reasonably anticipated.) by NTP. The substance is toxic to lungs, mucous membranes. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage.
Apparently, our esophagus, stomach, and intestines don’t get any preferential treatment here.
So, how and why did this happen? There was a great salmonella scare some six to ten years ago where people became deathly ill after consuming raw almonds. It was discovered that salmonella was the culprit. So the government, ever our knight in shining tin foil, decides to pasteurize all raw almonds. And the cheapest, preferred method is a simple coating of engine fuel.
Yes, it’s an outrage. This should further cement any questions you have about the USDA’s concern for our health. Adding insult to injury, an appeals court rejected a challenge to the controversial raw almond treatment regulation.
Where to Get Raw Almonds, for Real
Here is a link to Amazon.com:
Or, you can ask for Sicilian almonds (grown in Italy), at Whole Foods. They have them in their specialty nut section.
If you don’t have a Whole Foods nearby, you can ask your local food co-op or Organic grocer about their almonds.
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