Are Organic Nuts Better For You? [Pesticides..]

are organic nuts better for you

Over the past decade, it’s grown increasingly common to see various food items in the store labeled as ‘organic’, including nuts and seeds. Even though this term may sometimes be loosely placed on food product labels, many food products available to you today are truly organic and are grown and harvested in ways that do not require chemicals and man-made substances.

and if you’re a regular consumer of nuts, seeds, or are generally wondering whether to make a switch from regular to organic then let me answer that for you. So,

Are organic nuts better for you?

Yes. In comparison to regular store-bought nuts, organic nuts are healthier for you.

Most of the hidden dangers that lie within regular nuts come from the contamination of pesticides; a chemical spray that is not used for the growth of organic nuts.

If a nut is grown ‘organically’, this means that it was grown without the use of pesticides, ionizing radiation, genetically modified organisms, or synthetic fertilizers.

This also applies to fruits and seeds. The USDA National Organic Program describes organic as

“food produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water … “.

The topic of ‘organic’ can be a loaded subject, but farmers who practice this method of cultivation are all doing their part toward working for a sustainable future. Organic nuts are a simple snack, but can certainly raise some questions!

What Are The Main Differences Between Regular + Organic Nuts?

The differences that separate regular nuts and organic nuts all lie within the way they were grown and harvested.

As mentioned, regular nuts are grown with the help of man-made chemicals and substances, which include synthetic fertilizer and pesticides; two things detrimental to both the health of us, and our environment.

Chemicals Used In Regular Nuts

As you’re already aware of, there are various types of nuts available to you today.

These include cashews, almonds, pistachios, etc. Surprisingly, each nut is normally treated with its own specific chemical to help preserve it.

The chemicals commonly used to treat different nuts are;
  • Almonds: Even though they don’t use a specific chemical, almonds are high in oil, which allows them to easily absorb any applied pesticides. The USDA also requires them to be pasteurized before going up for sale in a store / market.
  • Cashews: Typically, cashews are treated with a chemical called endosulfan. Endosulfan can be toxic to both humans and animals. Regular cashews are also required to be heated before being sold, so they are not actually ‘raw’ when they hit the store.
  • Pistachios: Pistachios are normally treated with phosmat. Phosmat is a chemical that has the potential to cause liver tumors and carcinoma to arise.
  • Walnuts: The growth of walnuts draws a lot of attention from pests, so more pesticides are used on walnuts than any other nut. Walnuts have a fat content that is easily able to absorb these pesticides.

Organically grown nuts stay away from the use of specific applied chemicals and fertilizers.

Many of the chemicals used to treat regular nuts are known to be adversary to human health.

Smaller Farms

Regular nuts are often grown on large farms that produce them in mass. The use of certain chemicals and sprays allows large-scale farmers to rapidly-produce their crop, and have them ready to be sold in the market as soon as possible. On a larger-scale, controlling pests can prove to be a bit more challenging of a task.

Due to this, heavy application of pesticides is often used.

National Organic Standards

If a food product is to be grown organically, then it has to comply with National Organic Standards. In addition to not using the man-made chemicals and substances already listed, it’s imperative that organic farmers grow their crop on land that has not had chemicals and substances applied to it for, at least, three years.

How High Are Nuts In Pesticides?

Are nuts high in pesticides

By now, it’s not a secret that non-organic nuts, fruits and seeds are almost always treated with forms of pesticides and specific chemicals.

Even though these substances allow farmers to more efficiently grow their crop, it is nonetheless still putting consumers, and workers, at risk.

Certain types of nuts are higher in pesticides than others. This can be due to a few reasons, such as one nut having less of an oil / fat content than another, or a certain nut that can attract a lot of pests during growth.

Whereas some can use more pesticides than others, this doesn’t take away from the fact that massive amounts of pesticides are being used everyday.

The nuts that commonly use the most amount of pesticides during growth are peanuts, pistachios, and cashews. Since peanuts are grown underground, they have a higher exposure to the applied pesticides, and also will be dealing with mold growth.

In a study carried out by Quality Assurance and Safety Of Food & Crops, it was discovered that residue levels from 227 different pesticides were found in walnuts, raisins, dry figs, dry apricots, pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, and a few other types of nuts and seeds.

Eating lots of pesticide-contaminated nuts, in conjunction with other foods treated with pesticides, can lead to acute and chronic health issues down the road.

How To Remove Pesticides From Nuts

how to remove pesticides from nuts

Even though it can be somewhat of a long process, removing the pesticides from your nuts and other pesticide-contaminated food products can be a great way to keep yourself healthy.

Eliminating the pesticides from nuts can especially be beneficial to those who may happen to be dealing with liver issues.

In order to remove pesticides from nuts in this specific way, you’ll need some bins to put your nuts in, some water, and a dehydrator.

After this, all you’ll need is some time.

The steps to remove pesticides from your nuts go as follows;
  • Soak the nuts in water: In order to deteriorate and get rid of most unwanted toxins, the nuts you would like to clean will have to be soaked in water first. Each given nut has a recommended amount of time to soak in water.
  • Almonds: 8-24 Hours
  • Walnuts: 2-4 Hours
  • Cashews: 2-3 Hours
  • Brazilian Nuts: 1-3 Hours

Be sure to check in on them relatively often during the soaking process in order to ensure that they don’t become oversaturated.

This can make them mushy and less appealing. In general, the harder the nut, the more time they will need. Soaking helps to neutralize enzyme inhibitors on the skin of a given nut, as well as the phytic acid on them.

  • Place nuts in a dehydrator: After they are done soaking, dump out the wastewater, and give the nuts one more rinse.
    • After this, place the nuts on a drying rack for the dehydrator. Set the dehydrator to 115 degrees F, and allow them to dry for around a half of a day – 2 days, depending on how many nuts you have in the dehydrator.
  • Place in refrigerator:  After the nuts have fully dried out, place them in the refrigerator.
    • Keeping them in the refrigerator can help to prevent any mold growth from occurring, and also keeps them fresh. After this, your body will much more feasibly be able to absorb the vitamins and minerals found within nuts.

As shown, removing the pesticides from different nuts can be a rather simple process, it just required a bit of extra time.

Even though it takes the longest, allowing them to dry properly may be the most important part.

What Nut Is The Healthiest?

What nut is the healthiest

Nuts are commonly eaten to provide people with a good source of fiber, protein, and good fat.

In addition to this, they are packed with omega fatty acids, tons of minerals and vitamins, can help stabilize blood sugar levels, and overall have the ability to help reduce your risk of chronic disease. Even though most nuts are healthy for you, some may be a bit healthier than others.

The healthiest nut for your consumption has been proven to be almonds. Almonds are hard nuts that come from a tree, and can offer a range of health benefits.

These include;
  • 161 Calories per Serving
  • 6 grams of Protein per Serving
  • 6 grams of Carbs per Serving
  • 37% of your Vitamin E recommended daily intake
  • 3.5 grams of Fiber per Serving

Multiple studies have found that almonds can help to improve heart health in those who have been compromised.

They are able to reduce LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and oxidized LDL cholesterol.

If you don’t like almonds by any chance, there are plenty of other healthy ones to try out;

  • Pistachios
  • 156 Calories per Serving
  • 6 grams of Protein per Serving
  • 3 grams of Fiber per Serving
  • Vitamin E
  • Magnesium
  • Walnuts
  • 182 Calories per Serving
  • 4 grams of Protein per Serving
  • 18 grams of Fat per Serving
  • Vitamin E
  • Magnesium
  • Cashews
  • 155 Calories per Serving
  • 5 grams of Protein per Serving
  • 12 grams of Fat per Serving
  • Vitamin E
  • Magnesium

Conclusion

Yes, organic nuts are better for you than regular nuts.

Even though they may cost a little more, organic nuts do not come contaminated with pesticides and other forms of chemicals that are commonly used to treat and grow regular nuts.

Organic nuts are usually grown on smaller-scale farms, by farmers that have soil, land, and resource conservation in mind.

Next time you’re at the store/market, be sure to check out the organic nut options they’ve got in stock!

Chris Watson

I'm the founder of EatForLonger.Com. I'm an enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuff and lifestyle based insights. Simple food based concepts for optimising your Healthspan, nutrition and all-round well-being. I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes and add some life to your years. Read more About Me here

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