Frequently Asked Questions
Are your almonds
irradiated or fumigated?
Our almonds are certified organic. The application of ionizing
radiation or chemical fumigants to organic food is prohibited
by Federal and State law.
Please visit our almond
page for a description of how our almonds are processed.
My child is extremely allergic
to peanuts. Are your nut butters free from peanuts?
We do not sell peanuts. We do not make peanut butter. There
are no peanuts on our premises. This is for a number of reasons:-
First, peanuts are not a nut, they are a legume. Like all
beans, they should be soaked overnight and then thoroughly
cooked. Roasting an uncooked bean and then grinding it into
peanut butter produces something that is indigestible. Also,
unless carefully stored, excess moisture can cause the growth
of aflatoxin, a mold to which peanuts are especially susceptible.
Aflatoxin is a potent carcinogen.
Are your products and facility gluten free?
We do not use any gluten or gluten products in any of our items or at
However, our hundreds of products and ingredients come from a variety
of farms and vendors, and we do not track possible gluten presence in
our suppliers, during transit, or at our production facility. We have
never tested our products or production facility to confirm a gluten
free status and we do not know what parts per million of gluten may be
Which of your products are
Our product directory has a column that clearly marks which of our products are kosher certified. Please check out product directory here.
How much will shipping cost?
Simply place a tentative order. The shopping cart will advise
you of cost plus shipping.
Who does your kosher supervision?
The Vaad Hakashrus of northern California. Rabbi Levy I. Zerkind
is the Rabbinic administrator and Rabbi Ben Tzion Welton is
the supervision coordinator.
items have the longest shelf life?
Dried bananas, coconut butter, agave nectar,
and cranberries. Also vanilla powder and sesame seeds are
quite stable. Our honey will keep for 4000 years, in case
you were wondering.
What about genetic modification?
Genetically modified food cannot be certified as 'Organic'.
How long will the almonds
Our almonds should be kept refrigerated. Freezing is recommended
if you plan to keep them for more than six months. Why not
refrigerate some and freeze the rest?
Are your almonds sprouted
before slicing into butter?
We do not sprout our almonds. We must confess we have never
been able to understand the wonderment of sprouting an almond
and then dehydrating it and turning the deyhydrated nut into
butter. To start an almond into movement of growth and then
to suddenly halt it by dehydrating, is to our mind a way to
produce something more dead than the original almond which,
after all, has the potential to grow. Once it is dehydrated,
that's it. It's completely lifeless.
We heartily applaud, on the other hand, those who sprout
almonds and make them into almond milk or grind them into
butter in the privacy of their own kitchen.
How hot does the machine get
during the process of grinding almond?
We make our raw almond butter in small batches at our plant
here in Berkeley. The machine gets warm during
the grinding process. We slice, let it rest over night and
then slice again the next day. A costly, labor intensive
I use your tahini on a regular basis.
I would love to use more of your products, but many of your products contain honey.
As a strict vegan, I firmly stand against the use of honey.
Why not omit/substitute honey in your products so you can have a wider audience appeal among vegans?
We use honey instead of sugar because it is alive, and sugar is not. Please note that many of our products do not contain honey, including the following butters: almond, walnut, cashew, pecan, macadamia, milk of paradise, tahini, black tahini, pumpkin seed butter, and our pestos.
Are your fruits sulfured?
All our fruits are organically grown. Sulfuring of organic
fruits is prohibited by Federal and State law.
Have the fruits been sweetened
with sugar or anything else?
Nothing has been added and nothing has been sweetened with
the exception of our organic cranberries, which have been
sweetened with organic apple juice.
At what temperature is your
Our apricots, peaches, nectarines and dates are sundried.
Figs are sundried, refrigerated and then put in a warm water
Bananas are dried at 120 degrees Fahrenheit for 24 hours.
Macadamias are dried at 100 degrees Fahrenheit (to 1.5% moisture)
What is the best way to keep
dried fruits and nuts?
Refrigerate them.If you intend to keep for more than 6 months
we recommend that you freeze them.
A lot of contraversy has surrounded
agave nectar of late. What about yours?
Here are two statements rebutting the allegations
Facts and Truth of Agave Nectar
I notice your nut butters
are kosher certified. What does that mean?
In the case of a nut butter, olives or olive oil, kosher certification
means that a Rabbi or an observant Jew has supervised our
production process to make sure that our products do not contain
That is, no animal fat, meat or dairy is used. In the case
of our roasted almond butter, for example, the oven is checked
to make sure it is not being used to roast meat. The trays
on which the almonds are placed are checked to make sure they
have not been greased with animal fat. Furthermore, animal
fat has not been used to grease the machinery. This avoidance
of animal products has nothing to do with vegetarianism and
it is not based on considerations of health, as ordinarily
understood. Rather it is based upon a unique perspective:-
It is the task of the Jewish people to get on with the work
that was assigned to the Patriarch Abraham:- ...and you
shall be a blessing.. .and all the families of the earth shall
bless themselves by you. Genesis 12:2-3 and to the Patriarch
Jacob ...and all the families of the earth shall bless
themselves by you and your offspring. (Genesis 28:14)
Count Leon Tolstoi, the author of War and Peace,
was not a Jew, yet he spoke knowingly and profoundly when
he said, The Jew is that sacred being, who has
brought down from Heaven the everlasting fire, and has illumined
with it the entire world. He is the religious source, spring,
and fountain out of which all the rest of the peoples have
drawn their beliefs and their religions.
As servants of the Eternal and as a blessing to humankind,
Jews need to avoid eating foods which decrease spiritual sensitivity
This does not mean that a Jew is forbidden animal products
in general, rather a Jew is permitted to eat only relatively
few animals-such as the cow, the goat and the sheep. Furthermore,
these must be slaughtered in a way that will not cause suffering
to the animal. This is in accord with a tradition going back
thousands of years. The topic of Kosher food is very broad.
If you want to learn more may we suggest you open your Bible
to Leviticus 11:1-11:47 and Deuteronomy 14:2-21.
Do you have a Fair Trade program?
Our "fair trade" program consists of working with
California family farmers whenever possible. They grow our
almonds, pistachios, walnuts, peaches, apricots, medjool and
halawi dates. In some cases we have worked with them for years.
Further afield our pecans and golden flax seed come from the
midwest. Whenever possible we buy American. We believe that
American family farmers are the life blood of what is real
and alive in American agriculture. They are the true husbandmen
of this American earth. It is our duty to support them.
Are your cashews raw? Is
your cashew butter really raw?
We offer sundried, organic cashews from Bali. We also offer
organic cashew pieces that are minimally heated. Also, we
offer organic, whole cashews that have been conventionally
processed, using heat to remove them from their caustic husks.
However, they are not roasted.
begun offering Alive Cashew Butter. It is made from cashews
that have been minimally heated.
There is yet more to be said
on this topic:-
Here's a fascinating
insight from Habib Bailey, a leader in the raw food movement
when it was in its infancy:-
I imagine that many of you raw
folks have been told that all cashews are not truly raw,
because they've been heated in the shell before being opened.
Well, I'm here to give you some news that will be very well
received by everyone who loves the rich, creamy consistency
that cashews bring to many delicious raw recipes.
A long time ago, I also heard that cashews are heated in
the shells. I did find out that it is true. But rather than
simply leaving it at that, and never eating them again, I
reasoned that whether they were truly raw or not depended
on whether or not enough heat made it through the shell,
to actually alter the nuts themselves. You see,the reason
they are heated, is that there is a caustic substance
coating the inside of the shell, that will burn the hands
of those who open them for processing. They are briefly heated
in order to disperse this natural, caustic agent. I heard
that the heating didn't need to be very long, in order to
accomplish this. This is what caused me to begin questioning
how much heat actually made it through the shell, and whether
it was of sufficient duration to actually
alter the nut.
So I devised an experiment:
I began making nut cheeses from all different kinds
of nuts I could find, using a very simple recipe I have
devised to make a cultured nut cheese. Whenever I tried
a particular nut cheese, I would make two versions: one
batch I would make from nuts labelled "raw"
and the other batch I would make from nuts that were NOT
labelled raw. For each kind of nut, I gave it several tries,
to see if my results were the same each time. And guess what?
My results were ALWAYS the same...
Nut cheeses made from raw nuts virtually always came
out right. They tasted good, and had the kind of "pleasantly sharp"
taste you get from the growth of healthful, beneficial bacteria.
Similar to the kind that grows in good, live sauerkraut.
On the other hand, the nut cheeses made from nuts which
were NOT labelled as raw, ALWAYS ended up spoiling. There was in every
single case, a bad smell, and a bad taste. They were full of putrefactive
bacteria, and had to be thrown away.
NOW FOR THE CLINCHER: If you make the same conclusion from
these results that I did, you would also reason that if a
nut cultured properly, then it MUST have been raw....
Well, I will tell you: every single batch of cashew cheese
that I have ever made from cashews that were labelled as
raw, ALWAYS cultured properly, and came out tasting and smelling very,
very good... with no putrefactive odor or taste at all. In fact,
whenever I have given samples of this cheese to people who haven't
tasted it before, their eyes widen, and they have to have
AND just like all the other kinds of nuts tested, every
batch of cashew cheese made from cashews NOT labelled as raw, ALWAYS
So the only possibility that makes sense to me, is that
although cashews are most definitely heated in the shells, that not
enough heat makes it through the shell, and not for a sufficient
duration, to detrimentally alter the cashew nut itself.
I have shared the story of my "experiment" and
conclusions with many raw food teachers. Usually they are
very glad to hear of it, because the cashew is an extremely
versatile, tasty nut.