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Nuts and Seeds, Organic VS. Non-organic

Which type of nuts and seeds should you buy? Organic or Non-organic?You have probably noticed that a number of the vegetarian recipes use seeds and nuts.  These versatile ingredients actually make you feel like you are having meat in your vegetarian recipe.  There are a number of recipes for raw nut pates that are great to serve as a vegetable dip or as a part of a filling salad.

Nuts have been an important food as a part of a raw food diet.  Nuts contain healthy, unsaturated fats which can help lower the risk of heart disease. They also provide magnesium, which helps maintain bone structure; and chromium, which helps to ensure proper insulin function. Nuts contain zinc for growth and wound healing, and manganese, which protects against free radicals. All nuts are a good source of vitamin E, an important antioxidant. Like all plant foods, they are high in fiber and phytochemicals—both of which help protect against cancer and other chronic diseases. .  But it is important to know whether you should buy organic or non-organic nuts.

Let’s take a look at the different types of nuts and seeds:

Almonds are not actually raw unless you purchase them from the grower.  The USDA pasteurization laws require them to be pasteurized before they are sold in the super market.  These nuts easily absorb pesticides because of their high oil content so it is best to purchase organic almonds.

Cashews have been treated with endosulfan which is a highly toxic to humans and animals.  They are also not actually raw since part of the process to bring them to market requires they are heated.  Purchase organic cashews!

Pistachios may be treated with phosmat.  Cornell University completed a study that indicates phosmat causes liver tumors and carcinoma.  And on top of this, phosmat is extremely toxic to honey bees. Again, buy only organic pistachios.

Sunflower Seeds like almonds have a high amount of oil and fat content that absorbs pesticides easily so it is best to buy organic.

Walnuts have a lot of pest issues and as such are saturated with pesticides and more chemicals than any other nut.  Their fat content allows them to absorb these chemicals so again buy organic.

Sesame Seeds are grown in Africa and Asia where pesticides are not monitored so it is best to buy organic

Macadamia Nuts are treated with atrazine which has been shown to harm aquatic organisms and there is some evidence that it has a negative impact on human reproduction.  Buy organic only.

Peanuts are not really a nut; they are a legume and are grown in the ground where they have ample time to absorb all of the pesticides.  Along with this, peanuts grown in certain regions where there is high humidity grow a mold that produces aflatoxin which is a potent human carcinogen.  Organic peanuts are grown in the South West where the humidity is not a problem.

So in a nutshell, it is extremely important to purchase organic nuts and seeds.


Jean Sumner, author of “52 Tips to be Healthy” and co-founder of World Wellness Education has been involved with the health and wellness industry since 1996.   An avid runner, she is passionate about exercise, eating healthy and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Jean was diagnosed with cancer in May, 2009 this only served to fuel the flames of her passions.

Jean pursued alternative methods of treating cancer and met countless individuals who had great stories to tell regarding how nutrition, spirituality and exercise helped them to overcome their various illnesses. Since these stories were moving, motivating and timely she thought that each of these stories may make a difference in others’ lives. With the knowledge that we learn from stories more quickly than other teaching methods, an organization was born in hopes to make a difference in the well-being of every individual on the planet. That organization is World Wellness Education.

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Comments (9)

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  1. Kathy Chiavola says:

    very distressing and depressing news about nuts and seeds. will buy organic from now on.
    Thank you!!!

  2. Bette Jane says:

    It is distressing about the walnuts, they are very hard to find organic, and I always assumed the hard shell would protect them from sprays.

  3. staci says:

    what about pecans?

  4. paz says:

    what about brazil nuts do they have to be organic ?

  5. james says:

    How is it possible for walnuts to be covered in pesticides?? They have a large thick husk around the hard outer shell itself. It’s a pain to even get the husk off. These seem pretty protected.

  6. […] 3. Mark’s Daily Apple has put sourced information to put together a great read about Nuts and Phytic Acid. […]

  7. Tamara says:

    Yes, please explain how the pesticides reach the nut when many nuts are protected by a hard shell. This would be very helpful in progressing our understanding.

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