5 Reasons to Always Buy Organic Almond Butter
Every year, the average American consumes more than two pounds of almonds, almond butter, and other almond products.
The consumption of almonds and its products far surpasses walnuts, pecans, pistachios, and almost every other type of nut in terms of annual consumption. Walk down the nut butter aisle in the grocery, and you’ll see far more than the usual peanut butter. In fact, some people even prefer almond butter over peanut butter now. This is not surprising, as more Americans are consuming less meat and looking for a more sustainable source of protein.
However, as with any food, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of eating organic. This article will discuss why you should always buy organic almond butter, how organic products are certified as such, and tips on buying organic almond butter and other organic foods.
What Certifies a Product as Organic?
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), an organic product is one that was produced without the use of “synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering.”
Organic products are therefore produced by using sustainable farming techniques that promotes healthy soil, limiting water waste, making use of compost, using natural fertilizers, using more natural ways to control pests, and using non-genetically modified seeds.
In order to be certified organic by the USDA, farms must go through a demanding certification process to certify that certain conditions are currently being met and that prohibited chemicals have not been used on the farm for at least three years. More information about organic farming and products can be found on the USDA website.
Finding real organic almond butter isn’t too difficult, as there are good brands such as Thrive Market that are available in most leading grocery stores and online as well.
5 Reasons to Always Buy Organic Almond Butter
Non-Organic Almond Butter Contains Pesticides
While there are some food that experts say you can skip on the organic label known as the ‘Clean 15’, as they are the least contaminated by pesticides and other chemicals, almonds are particularly susceptible to absorbing pesticides due to the thin skin surrounding the nut.
Recent data shows that there are nine different chemicals used as pesticides that show up frequently in almonds and almond products. All of these pesticides are known to have negative effects on human health and may damage the environment. (1)
At least six of the nine commonly used pesticides in almonds are toxic to bees. Even though bees can be a nuisance during a nice picnic, the entire food supply chain would crumble without these little pollinators, as few other pollinators are as efficient as bees.
Indeed, even though humans could pollinate the crops needed to feed the world, it would be much more time consuming and prices would increase dramatically, leading to further food scarcity and a limited availability of quality food in poor regions.
Bees are quickly declining for a number of different reasons including loss of habitat and disease, but the increased use of pesticides in commercial farming is largely to blame.
In order to help preserve a healthy global bee population, choose to purchase and consume organic almond butter and opt for organic food whenever possible. (2)
Of the nine pesticides commonly found in non-organic almonds, at least four of them are hormone disruptors. These chemicals disrupt the endocrine system by mimicking naturally occurring sex hormones, estrogen and testosterone.
By preventing the normal function of these hormones or affecting the natural concentration found in the body, studies have shown that this may lead to an increased risk of ADHD, cancers, infertility, sexual related problems, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, obesity and diabetes, and a host of other ailments. (3)
At least three of the nine commonly used pesticides used in non-organic almonds and other non-organic almond type products contain neurotoxins.
Many pesticides kill their intended victims by targeting the central nervous system, and humans, as the unintended victims of these pesticides, are not immune to the negative effects of these certain pesticides.
One of the most common results of the attacks on the nervous system is an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease (4), but can also cause problems in the developing brain of babies and children during pregnancy, infancy and early childhood. (5)
Finally, the pesticides used in non-organic farming are known to be carcinogenic and can cause various forms of cancer with overexposure to these chemicals. These pesticides promote tumor growth and can lead to cancers such as leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, as well as ovarian, breast, and lung cancers. (6)
2. Organic Almond Butter is Sustainable
For years, Americans were obsessed with peanuts and all peanut type products such as peanut butter, chocolate peanuts, and many others.
Almonds, however, are quickly rising to the top as one of America’s most favorite snacks, but with the rispe in popularity, the lack of sustainability in conventional and commercial almond farming practices have come to light.
Almonds demand a high amount of water for optimal growth but are often grown in areas of the United States that generally do not get much water, such as California. (7)
By choosing to purchase and consume organic almonds and almond butter, you can be sure that your almonds are farmed in a more sustainable way than most of the almonds on the market.
Additionally, since more sustainable methods are being promoted by choosing organic, almonds can continue to be harvested for future generations.
3. Organically Grown Almonds Are Higher in Essential Nutrients
While studies have been divided on this subject, more recent evidence has shown that organic food is higher in essential nutrients. This is because the soil they are grown in is not as depleted from its nutrients compared to other types of soil that make use of harsh fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides, leeching the plants of essential vitamins and minerals.
Almonds and almond butter are fantastic sources of protein and healthy fats. Getting in a sufficient amount of healthy fats helps to protect the heart, plays a vital role in diabetes management, and may also help reduce the risk of diabetes in those who are pre-diabetic. (8)
4. Organic Almond Butter Is Not Genetically Modified
Since organic food cannot contain genetically modified organisms, otherwise known as GMOs, organic almond butter does not contain these ingredients along with the health issues GMO products come with.
GMOs tend to rely heavily on herbicides and pesticides extensively, which as discussed above, leads to a host of various health problems including cancers, nervous system issues, obesity, diabetes, and a variety of other problems. (9)
Additionally, GMOs themselves can cause many different ailments including digestive problems, liver ailments, reproductive issues, developmental issues during pregnancy and early childhood, increased allergies, and various types of cancers. (10)
GMOs are relatively new to the world of food production so it is difficult to find conclusive studies on the negative health effects that accompany these organisms.
5. Organic Almond Butter is Fresher
Organic almond butter is fresher because it contains less ingredients, fillers and pesticides. (11)
As a result, manufacturers have no choice but to make sure that their products are rolled out fresh and stay fresh, or they have to be taken off the shelves. With the shorter shelf-life due to the lack of preservatives, you can avoid ingesting unnecessary chemicals from your food.
How to Check If Your Food Is Organic
While the process of being certified as organic can be rather rigorous, packaging can be much harder to monitor. Companies can label their food as organic without actually going through the USDA certification process.
The only way to be sure that a food has gone through the certification process is to see the USDA Certified Organic stamp somewhere on the label. Anything else cannot be guaranteed.
Are Organic Products More Expensive?
Yes, in most cases, organic products are more expensive. However, there are some more affordable options.
One of the biggest obstacles for many people is the perceived cost of organic food. Usually, organic whole food means twice or even three times the price. However, it is important to consider that any additional cost of organic food can be seen as an investment to good health.
The cost of taking preventive measures to stay healthy is far better than paying for different types of treatments and medicines if you’re diagnosed with a type of disease.
Additionally, organic food does not have to break the bank. Joining a co-op is a fantastic way to get discounts on organic and other health food. Additionally, you may be able to save more by buying in bulk from a co-op as well. You can also find local organic farmers in your area and buy directly from them. The best way to find organic farmers is through local farmers markets.
You can also grow your own food organically in your backyard or at an organic community garden. This will help you know for sure what is going into the food you are eating. (11)
Almonds are a fantastic source of many different vitamins and minerals, but almond trees can take between five and twelve years to fully grow.
Therefore, for the sake of the environment and the betterment of your body, it is important to buy organic almond butter and other organic almond products.