Whoa, Pure Jeevan's Back?!

2016 update: Aha, you noticed?! Welcome. Yes, we wanted to bring the site back online again, mainly because it's so packed with articles and information. It will be a work in progress for some time, as we changed web platforms and all sorts of tech stuff. So, a lot of links are hard-coded to old Wordpress-style links... just awful. But, in time we'll get all of it back in shape. For now, enjoy clicking around and reading!

At a recent raw food meetup, I was surprised that so many raw foodies aren't aware of the raw almond controversy. Maybe most of our Pure Jeevan family members aren't aware of the fact that most almonds are not raw. It's sad, but very true. In 2006 a mandatory almond pasteurization ruling was created. The rule was passed sometime in 2007, I believe, and since then it's been near impossible to purchase truly raw almonds. Maybe pasteurized almonds don't seem like a big deal to most people.

Raw almonds are alive, yet dormant until they are soaked. Once soaked (or moistened in the springtime rains when outdoors), they sprout to begin growing into almond trees. Once soaked and sprouted, the nutritional content of the nuts change significantly. They are alive and filled with protein and so much more!

When foods are pasteurized, they are treated in one way or another that eliminates the possibility of molds or bacteria forming on the foods. However, the treatment also renders the foods dead. I don't know about you, but I'm not into eating dead things. Life comes from life!

I'm passionate about the raw food diet, as most of you already know. So, when I heard about the mandatory almond pasteurization ruling, I was extremely upset. I felt helpless and needed to find a way to let others know that they would be eliminating a nutritious food from my diet (and the diets of many others, as well) if they killed the almonds with the pasteurization process. I figured those making the rule probably didn't realize that the almonds would change in a way that wasn't healthy for the human body. So, I sent out many letters, trying to educate others about the precious little almonds. Here are some old Going Raw Journal posts I made at that time about the ruling.

  • Here's a post I wrote at the beginning of my raw journey. It's about the outrageous price of organic raw almonds and why they were so expensive for a long time.

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  • In this old Going Raw Journal post, I announced the mandatory almond pasteurization and individuals to contact about the ridiculous ruling.

I sent out hundreds of emails about the ruling, hoping to bring attention to the harm that was being done to the almonds (and essentially our health).

  • Here, I share a very strange dream I had about the almonds, and my frustration after talking with the chairman of the almond board.

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  • After repeated discussions about the almond pasteurization with the chairman of the almond board, I was saddened to hear that he felt helpless, as well, about the ruling. I wrote a bit about my thoughts on freedom and breaking free from the bonds we, as a society, have created for ourselves.

The sad news is that even with so many other people out there speaking up for the raw almonds, the ruling was passed. It's now nearly impossible to purchase truly raw almonds. Many sellers label their almonds as raw, but in all of my testing 99% of those almonds are not truly raw. I've even contacted some very big name raw food suppliers to ask about (and purchase) their almonds, only to find that their almonds aren't raw, either.

Here's a simple test you can do to determine whether your almonds are truly raw, or not. I learned this from the lovely Rhio, of RawFoodInfo.com last year. At first it brought hope to my life, because I could then test and begin eating raw almonds again. However, it was at that point that I realized truly raw almonds are nearly impossible to find.

RAW ALMOND TEST

  • Place one cup of almonds into a bowl
  • Cover almonds with water and let sit for 12 hours
  • In the morning, drain and rinse the almonds
  • Squeeze the almond to see if you can remove the almond from the skin.
  • If the skin can be removed by the skin kind of sliding off the almond, the almonds have been pasteurized in some way. The easier the skin removes, the more treatments the almonds received.
  • If you have to use your fingers to peel the skin off the almonds, piece by piece, then the almonds have not been pasteurized.

When Rhio told me about this test, I knew it was accurate. I remembered years prior to the almond ruling how it was a difficult job to soak and peel almonds in order to create beautiful white almond milk and almond sour cream. My fingers would feel sore after painstakingly using my fingernails to help me remove the skins of the almonds. The pasteurized ones peeled as quickly as ones that have been blanched in boiling water.

Maybe you're still wondering what the big deal is? Well, I'd like to repeat what I wrote earlier: Life comes from LIFE. If an almond can't sprout, they aren't alive. None of the pasteurized almonds that I've sampled have been able to sprout. They are DEAD. Our bodies thrive on living foods, not dead foods. It IS a big deal to those of us in the raw and living foods community. If others understood the importance of living foods, they'd understand how big a deal this is, as well.

So, there you have it. Go ahead and test your "RAW" almonds and report back on what you've discovered. If you haven't sourced the almonds directly from a trusted almond grower, you're most likely going to be disappointed in what you find after doing the test.

Original Comments

Below, we have included the original comments from this blog post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.

On February 2, 2010, bitt wrote:

my coop finally had REALLY raw almonds.

I have another test, but it only works until after you make milk. if the milk separates, then it's real.

i have switched to hazelnuts most of the time but now there's a recall on those! not long until those have to be pasteurized I bet. but at least i can get local growers on those in the northwest.

thanks for this info.

On February 2, 2010, Joanna_Steven wrote:

Wow! I thought maybe I was nuts or something, because that's exactly what I do to check for rawness. Well, I just noticed that one time when I could not find any raw almonds at all, and I wondered if it would be the case each time. It was, and I'm glad to hear someone else bring up this test!

On February 2, 2010, Joanna_Steven wrote:

How do we know who's writing now? Always Wendi unless Jim says "Jim here"?

On February 3, 2010, Chris wrote:

I know someone who works high up in a very large nut distributer and even they could not get their hands on un-pasteurized nuts. It's crazy.

OK, well if you drink too much water, you can have renal failure. Perhaps they should pass a law to only allow a certain amount of water out of our faucets to make sure we cannot hurt ourselves with it.

Or perhaps if workers handle feces just prior to handling food and someone gets sick, they should outlaw any non-cooked or irradiated (in the package) food so there is no chance we could get sick. It's far too hard to require people handling food to wash their hands.

On February 3, 2010, Patricia Robinett wrote:

now you will know how cynical auntie patricia can be... i spoke to a man once who had an MBA and sold BIG machinery. he did ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to sell that equipment... not always ethical. this smells like that to me. someone had some BIG machinery to sell and figured it could be used to nuke almonds. so they lobbied and petitioned and bribed and paid off officials until nuking almonds (or whatever - substitute any number of big machinery uses) was mandated by LAW... so they could sell their BIG machinery... in this case to people who now have a new business -- nuking almond. neat! i think the same may be true of airport x-ray machines. heck... used to be only hospitals were clients of x-ray companies. how convenient (and profitable) for the x-ray companies that we now are all suspected villains who need to be THOROUGHLY screened. ?! !?!? what a silly world we live in. and now, everyone who flies is being nuked... next they go to the hospital to x-ray them for their new ailments... caused by radiation... and they'll nuke them (radiation therapy) to make them 'well'... but it doesn't work all that well -- but we did everything we could. :( ?! !?!?

On February 3, 2010, Randomguru wrote:

yep. i was aware about the almonds-not-really-raw dilemma a while back. it truly surprised me and frustrated me.

you can still find truly raw almonds but i agree they are scarce. i think i saw some true raw almonds at whole foods. might be wrong though.

but that is why i make raw walnut and raw cashew milk instead of the almond milk.

On February 3, 2010, hihorosie wrote:

Interesting and love the cool tip! Thanks for the info as I love my almonds very much. :)

On February 3, 2010, Mary wrote:

Thank you! Simple and invaluable. Love and Peace xx

On February 3, 2010, TerriDactyl wrote:

I'm one of those who was not aware. What else can we do except believe it when the label, or the sign, or the employee says it's raw? Now we have to look for the words "truly raw" and even then, maybe we still have to contact the owner of every company to find out if it is "truly raw." Geeeez.

On February 3, 2010, lunamama wrote:

hmmm...i have heard of this 'not really raw' issue as well. I have had interesting results in regards to the 'test'. Recently have had a few batches of almonds that within the same soaked batch, some skin slipped off really easily and others I had to hurt my fingers to remove the skins! But all of them were sprouting! Any thoughts?

On February 3, 2010, Ruthann wrote:

What about cracking the almond shell? Surely they don't mess w/the almond before it's shelled? Lot of work, but maybe worth it.
Maybe someone should come up with a "sheller" gaget so we can shell our own nuts?

On February 3, 2010, pwyll wrote:

The NW is blessed with many nut farms--striking up a relationship with them is very worthwhile to get unadulterated product. Glad to read i wasn't the only one sending letters to the almond board in Ca.

On February 5, 2010, inkartinc wrote:

Almonds are to be pasturized now and that is in effect here in California for all major companies. But the local farmer and farmers market sellers are not under this restriction. An awesome local company I get my almonds from is called Hanson Orchards. Their phone number is 530-893-0222. They are cheaper for their bulk prices and the almonds are very good.

On February 5, 2010, WendiDee wrote:

Bitt! When the ruling first came out, I substituted hazelnuts for almonds in everything, too. I didn't know about the milk separating. Thanks for sharing that!

*blows kisses*

On February 5, 2010, WendiDee wrote:

*Giggles* I guess we never thought much about this subject. For the most part it's Pure Jeevan talking...a mixture of both of us. ;-) We'll see about implementing some way of letting you know, though. XOXOXO

On February 5, 2010, WendiDee wrote:

It's sad, but true. One day we shall grow everything we need and finally know what we're eating! :-) XOXOXO

On February 5, 2010, WendiDee wrote:

Oh, Chris! I completely relate to your sarcastic comment. It's extremely frustrating. The most we can do at this point is work toward owning land where we can grow what we need on our own. We'll have to be careful about cross polination from GMO plants, of course, but at least we'll eliminate a lot of the other concerns.

*blows kisses*

On February 5, 2010, WendiDee wrote:

Patricia,

What I read about the pasteurization of the almonds is that the shelf life is longer, therefore the almonds are able to generate more income.

It's frustrating, but I'll be growing my own produce soon and continue encouraging others to do the same. :-)

*blows kisses*

On February 5, 2010, WendiDee wrote:

Yes, it's all so very frustrating. :-( I've never tried raw walnut milk...don't know why I never did. Hmm...maybe I'll try that soon!

*blows kisses*

On February 5, 2010, WendiDee wrote:

You're very welcome, Heidi! Are you able to get almonds that are grown near you? I'm not sure how far up the coast people are growing almonds. I'm looking forward to living on that side of the state very soon! :-)

*blows kisses*

On February 5, 2010, WendiDee wrote:

You're very welcome, Mary! Thanks for your comment! :-) XOXOXO

On February 5, 2010, WendiDee wrote:

Terri,

Jim and I need to remember to share information more often. It's really important for those new to the raw lifestyle to learn as much as possible. We'll work more on sharing info that maybe we take for granted.

It's frustrating to not be able to trust labels, but it's a reality in the way the world is right now. If you have questions about the rawness of something, go ahead and ask. If I don't know, others may be able to help out. :-)

*blows kisses*

On February 5, 2010, WendiDee wrote:

Yes, that's possible. There are some almond farmers who are treating the almonds at the bare minimum of what's required. So, some of the almonds will be able to pass through without fully being heated, therefore allowing the skins to stay in place and be able to sprout.

http://tinyurl.com/naturalzing sells almonds that are labeled as "sproutable" since they receive this lighter pasteurization treatment. I didn't have success with them sprouting, but others have had some luck with the almonds.

What I love about Natural Zing is that they are honest and make sure in the product description to note that the almonds have been treated. Not all companies are doing that.

It sounds like you found a company that is selling the lighter treated ones...not as great as the ones that haven't been treated at all, but at least you are getting some live almonds there! :-)

XOXOXO

On February 5, 2010, WendiDee wrote:

I'm not sure about almonds in the shells. I thought I read once that they have been dried (heated) to eliminate the chance of mold growing. I'm not certain about that, though.

XOXOXO

On February 5, 2010, WendiDee wrote:

Yes! We're looking forward to growing all the foods we require when we settle over there in the NW!! Great that you were sending letters out, too!! We didn't get a positive reaction from all the letters, but at least we spoke up and tried to do something.

XOXOXO

On February 5, 2010, WendiDee wrote:

Thanks for sharing the contact. :-) XOXOXO

On February 15, 2010, Elena wrote:

thanks for sharing!

On February 15, 2010, melgrant wrote:

I am confused here. I have been sprouting almonds for a few years now. Soak them over night and in a while the little sprout shows at the pointy end, but while wet they slip out of the skins very easy. How is this? I'm in the UK and the almonds are sourced from Spain or Italy. So according to your test they are pasteurized, yet still they sprout - and taste wonderful. Can you unconfuse me please

Thanks for a great website.

On February 16, 2010, WendiDee wrote:

You're very welcome. :-) XOXOXO

On February 16, 2010, WendiDee wrote:

Sure, I answered a similar comment earlier. Here's what I said:

Yes, that's possible. There are some almond farmers who are treating the almonds at the bare minimum of what's required. So, some of the almonds will be able to pass through without fully being heated, therefore allowing the skins to stay in place and be able to sprout.

http://tinyurl.com/naturalzing sells almonds that are labeled as "sproutable" since they receive this lighter pasteurization treatment. I didn't have success with them sprouting, but others have had some luck with the almonds.

What I love about Natural Zing is that they are honest and make sure in the product description to note that the almonds have been treated. Not all companies are doing that.

It sounds like you found a company that is selling the lighter treated ones...not as great as the ones that haven't been treated at all, but at least you are getting some live almonds there! :-)

XOXOXO

p.s. I also learned that a lot of products delivered from other countries will receive a mild irradiation at the port/location they arrive. The almonds I received from Spain did the same thing as yours...so they were lightly treated, but not fully killed.

On October 11, 2010, mold testing wrote:

Oh Thanks. I really didn't know this. Thanks again for those tips.

On October 29, 2010, Mold Removal Hialeah wrote:

great site.

On November 23, 2010, Mold Removal Hialeah wrote:

Really helpful.

On January 31, 2011, an wrote:

Thanks for the advise, will try it next tiem I buy almonds (in europe).