Monday, May 5, 2008

Government rapists

One of my favorite jump starts to the day is a breakfast of cottage cheese, fresh fruit and almonds. It's is a simple meal, easy to prepare, and represents a near-perfect combination of protein, carbohydrate and healthy fat. It's the almonds that provide the magic. In addition to a low glycemic index, which curtails a heavy duty insulin response, almond intake protects proteins from oxidative damage while delivering vitamin E and other antioxidants, magnesium, calcium, folic acid, protein, fiber and living enzymes.

The USA has a near lock on almond production. 70% of the world's almonds come from California. I can only thank goodness that raw almonds are readily available in our bountiful land, even at most corporate grocery stores.

Oh, but wait. The FDA recently decided that all California almonds must be either irradiated or chemically pasteurized prior to sale. Not so for almonds exported to other countries. No. This particular punishment is reserved especially for the American people.

What this means is that our pristine, nutritious and beautiful almonds are subjected to gross degradation by FDA rapists. Irradiation exposes food products to extremely high levels of radiation that kill bacteria, parasites and fungi. Never mind that animal studies have shown that irradiation may promote chromosomal damage and cancer. And never mind that toxic radiation demolishes the nutritional value of food.

Chemical pasteurization is even more dangerous. The technique used is called propylene oxide fumigation, which makes use of a chemical compound that the EPA has classified as a probable human carcinogen. Here's another interesting note: Propylene oxide was once used in racing fuel, but in 1993 the National Hot Rod Association banned its use because of cancer concerns. Yet this poison is used to pasteurize almonds and other foods – EPA and FDA approved. Oh yeah, baaaaby, just gimme the purple stamp!

One comforting tidbit, we needn't worry our purty heads over this because it's all being done without our knowledge or approval. Ya'll know that ignorance is bliss. The FDA -- that trusty public servant -- has allowed almond growers to pretend that it's business as usual. California almond growers may still label their almonds "natural" and "raw" even though they've been corrupted by irradiation and chemical pasteurization.

The FDA is tired of being held accountable by the vocal few. They are more than willing and able to fly under the radar. And, obviously, California almond growers are happy to fly with them. One of them should stand tall and expose the FDA for the abusive piece of shit that it is. If they'd take that leap of faith, I'd buy their almonds -- though they be unfit for consumption -- until the poor drugged fallen cows come home!


Jay said...

Oh, that makes me so angry!!! They talked about allowing irradiation here, but there was a LOT of public opposition and in the end it was agreed that it was allowed, but it had to be clearly stated that it had been done, and guess what? No-one bought irradiated goods. I haven't seen that for a long time. Maybe they're just being sneaky and changed the rules on disclosure ...

I'm very glad that it's not for export. Most of our almonds are Californian. Sorry for you guys though. Can't you get Turkish almonds? I guess not.

MsMVNJ said...

That is just evil. I did some work for a large agri-business company (also makes acrylic fibers - is that scary or what??) and during my consulting gig there, they tried to convince me that there are no differences between GMO and organic. After hearing this drivel for a couple of days, I finally had to say what I felt about their insidious bribing of farmers both in the US and Europe, the pressure that they put on organic food dealers, etc. All they did was hide behind the flag of the FDA...made me sick.

suesun said...

I find it hard to be outraged when I've just discovered a new really yummy treat. Devoured cottage cheese, blueberries, and almonds today.
Fucking awesome! :-)

Seriously, though, it really is bullshit.

Question (because I'm ignorant): you seem to be talking about "raw" almonds here. What about roasted almonds? Honestly, I can't stand raw almonds; they make my throat feel funny and they just taste like lighter fluid to me. So, will roasted almonds also need this treatment or not?

Marie said...

Sue, of course it's always hard to find good info when everyone is conspiring to keep us ignorant and, thus, blissful. I did find an article in SFGate that seems to imply -- or at least gave me some reason to infer -- that roasted almonds may not necessarily be subjected to chemical pasteurization or irradiation. Of course, unless you dig a little to find out the policy of a particular grower regarding pasteurization, you can't be sure. The bigger and more corporate the grower, the more likely that they perform every imaginable black magic ritual on our poor nuts.

Good question. I will continue on with my yummy tradition (isn't it surprisingly delightful?) using toasted almonds. Thanks!