Stop Raw Almond Pasteurization
Dear brothers and sisters,
On Friday, March 30th, the California Almond Board passed
a mandatory almond pasteurization order. It requires that
all almonds be pasteurized beginning September 1, 2007.
This is an affront to the live food movement and an insult
to organic farming.
It is all the more poignant that this is coming when an
abundant new crop of California almonds is expected to
be harvested in September. This, after several years of
crop failures and a sharp increase in price. Instead of
rejoicing with the new crop of almonds, what does Big Almond
propose to do? It plans to fumigate them! The order requires
that all almonds be treated either with
steam or propylene oxide, a toxic chemical. Almonds treated
in this delightful way are permitted to be labeled as “raw”.
To be understood properly, this must be seen in the perspective
of a deep trend in the food industry:- Before long,
it seems, all the food sold in the United States will be
genetically modified, irradiated, pasteurized, homogenized,
hydrolyzed and packaged for a two-year shelf life and it
will all be labeled as “All Natural”. It’s
no wonder, then that the United States population demonstrates
the lowest levels of mental and physical health of any
advanced nation. (Mike Adams, The Big Almond Atrocity, NewsTarget.com)
The most remarkable thing is that there
is no distinction between conventional grown and organic almonds.
Both are subject to the same pasteurization order. This, despite
the fact that the standards of sanitation and cleanliness
are higher with organic. Not only is organic thrown into
the same boat, but the California Certified Organic Farmers
(CCOF), the largest body of organic almond growers was
not invited to participate in the hearings on before the
mandate became law. Two weeks ago when we heard of it,
we phoned the CCOF.
It was obvious that they had no prior knowledge. This despite
the fact that, by far and away, organic almonds bring in
more sales revenue than any other organic fruit or vegetable
in California. Seventy-six members of CCOF are either almond
growers or handlers.
The enlightened and progressive CCOF has
the political clout and know how to contest this. They are
the oldest and most reputable organic certification association.
We suggest that you write to the CCOF and
request that they mobilize in protest. At very least, they
should ask for a separate marketing order for organic almonds.
Should CCOF fail to act, they will be crushed. The same
powerful forces that pushed for the fumigation of almonds
are constantly seeking to chip away and erode organic standards.
Moreover, just around the bend are yet more sinister threats,
e.g. food irradiation.
The new regulation to sterilize almonds coincides with the
recent announcement by the Food and Drug Administration that it
intends to relax its labeling requirements for irradiated food.
The FDA proposal will also allow irradiation... to be called pasteurization... (Press
Release,The Cornucopia Institute, 4/6/07)
Then there is the FDA’s long-standing refusal to
require that genetically engineered food be labeled.
There you have it:- fumigated
almonds are to be labeled “raw”,
irradiated food is to be labeled “pasteurized” and
that tomato with pig genes doesn't have to be labeled at
Please address them graciously and respectfully.
Remember the CCOF folks are, for the most part, family
farmers. Speak from your heart, and you’ll know what
Please send a copy
to us. We’ll
collate your letters, send them to CCOF, and publish them on
our site. For letters you’ve
already written please click on Your
For more articles and essays on the Almond Crisis please click here.
Jesse Schwartz, Ph.D.
Living Tree Community Foods