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Re: [RawPortland] Almonds...

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  • Jeff Rogers
    Just a reminder, there is a loophole in the almond pasteurization ruling. Farmers may continue to operate roadside stands and may sell unpasteurized almonds
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 7, 2007
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      Just a reminder, there is a loophole in the almond pasteurization
      ruling. Farmers may continue to operate roadside stands and may sell
      unpasteurized almonds there. They can sell up to 100 pounds per
      person per day. I hope, but do not know if, this extends to mail/
      internet/phone orders direct with the growers. Many believe it does.
      So, aside from purchasing spanish raw almonds, we do have a way of
      continuing to get unpasteurized almonds, though far from convenient.

      If and when the time comes and the rules necessitate direct purchases
      of almonds, perhaps we can work out a plan between RawPortland and
      RawWashington (previously RawSeattle) to get our almonds.

    • Robyn Cornwell
      Hi Celeste, Recently I found out I am allergic to almonds - because I ate so many! (This can happen with any food item if you eat it all the time; garlic was
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 8, 2007
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        Hi Celeste,
        Recently I found out I am "allergic" to almonds - because I ate so many! (This can happen with any food item if you eat it all the time; garlic was the other culprit.) So, my naturopath advised me to switch to an alternative for six weeks.
        Hence, I discovered that filberts are not only a great tasting alternate (especially for nut milk), but also cheaper. Just a suggestion. I still don't want to see almonds pasteurized; it's a poor solution to a man-made problem.

        Pamela Melcher <dancingcedar@...> wrote:
        Hi, Celeste,

        I commit to buying 1/2 the bag. Maybe we could meet
        at people's and pay for it. I would prefer not to pay
        for the whole bag. If it comes to that, i can do
        that, but would need people to pay me back soon.


        Many Blessings,
        Pamela Melch
        --- Celeste Tanit <blar@pacifier. com> wrote:

        > Hello all,
        > I just spoke with Kwah at People's Co-op about
        > pasteurization of
        > almonds beginning in September. He says there are
        > some distributors
        > who have product from this year's crop, so "raw"
        > will be available
        > until the new crop happens in Sept and those will no
        > doubt be
        > pasteurized. He also plans to try to get organic
        > almonds from Spain
        > which he says are tastier and cheaper but no word on
        > that yet. If
        > non past. almonds are not available, People's will
        > not carry any
        > almonds. Kwah said that Wild Oats may have and be
        > selling
        > pasteurized almonds and not know as the only
        > indication is on the box
        > and clerks may not notice.
        > I would be interested in splitting a 25# bag now in
        > case there is a
        > time lapse in availability. They are soooooo
        > expensive ($12.95/#) so
        > I could take 1/4 of the 25# bag. We would be
        > getting an 8% discount
        > on the purchase of a 25# bag for $298.77 (a savings
        > of around $50 on
        > the bag).
        > I just split a huge order of coconut oil and put it
        > on my credit card
        > so would prefer to not "front" for the almonds if
        > someone else
        > could. If we can not get 4 people to split, I could
        > go 1/3 or even 1/2.
        > Any takers???
        > All the Best,
        > Celeste

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      • Pamela Melcher
        THANK YOU SOOO MUCH, JEFF!!!! Many Blessings, Pamela Melcher ... http://www.naturalnewswire.com/2007/08/usda-plan-to-pa.html ...
        Message 3 of 5 , Aug 8, 2007
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          Many Blessings,
          Pamela Melcher

          --- Jeff Rogers <jeff@...> wrote:

          > For now, the almonds are safe. They will likely not
          > be pasteurized until
          > 2008. The below press release has more details. The
          > delay affords us
          > more time to petition the Almond Board and the USDA
          > to leave organic
          > almonds alone. For ideas of what you can do to help
          > (letter writing,
          > etc.) see http://saveouralmonds.com
          > Jeff
          > USDA Plan to "Pasteurize" Almonds Has Consumers
          > Going Nuts
          > Mandate Would Require Use of Chemical Fumigant or
          > Heat Treatment on
          > "Raw" Almonds
          > CORNUCOPIA, WI., August 6, 2007 /Natural Newswire/
          > -- Small-scale
          > farmers, retailers, and consumers are renewing their
          > call to the USDA to
          > reassess the plan to "pasteurize" all California
          > almonds with a toxic
          > fumigant or high-temperature sterilization process.
          > All domestic almonds
          > will be mandated to have the treatments by early
          > next year. The plan was
          > quietly developed by the USDA in response to
          > outbreaks of Salmonella in
          > 2001 and 2004 that were traced to raw almonds.
          > "The almond 'pasteurization' plan will have many
          > harmful impacts on
          > consumers and the agricultural community," said Will
          > Fantle, research
          > director for The Cornucopia Institute, a
          > Wisconsin-based farm policy
          > research group. "Only 18 public comments from the
          > entire U.S.-and all
          > from almond industry insiders-were received on the
          > proposal. The logic
          > behind both the necessity and safety of the
          > treatments processes has not
          > been fully or adequately analyzed-as well as the
          > economic costs to
          > small-scale growers and the loss of consumer
          > choices."
          > Last Wednesday, the California Almond Board suddenly
          > requested that USDA
          > delay the treatment mandate until March, 2008-it had
          > been scheduled to
          > take effect on September 1. "We support this request
          > for a delay," said
          > Fantle, "but a delay, due to the industry being
          > unprepared, isn't
          > enough. The USDA must also re-open the rule for
          > public review and
          > comment so that those who have been shut out of the
          > decision-making
          > process can have input into any almond treatment
          > plan."
          > Although foodborne illnesses have garnered headlines
          > in recent years,
          > including contamination of California-grown spinach
          > and lettuce, raw
          > produce and nuts are not inherently risky foods.
          > Contamination occurs
          > when livestock manure or other fecal matter is
          > inadvertently transferred
          > to food through contaminated water, soil, or
          > transportation and handling
          > equipment. Raw foods can also be infected by poor
          > employee hygiene and
          > sanitation practices either on the farm or in
          > processing facilities.
          > "All fresh foods carry some chance of risk," notes
          > Bruce Lampinen, a
          > scientist at University of California, Davis, who
          > studies almonds, "but
          > there is no more risk now than there was thirty
          > years ago."
          > And the fear in the farming community is that this
          > will competitively
          > injure smaller sustainable and organic growers.
          > "This will put American
          > farmers at a distinct disadvantage in the U.S. and
          > abroad," says organic
          > almond farmer Mark McAfee. Fumigated almonds are
          > banned in the EU and
          > many other countries. McAfee worries about the
          > impact of the rule on his
          > business. Seventy percent of California's crop is
          > exported.
          > Several domestic companies that use California
          > almonds are already
          > investigating foreign sources for their needs. After
          > buying almonds from
          > local producers for over 25 years, Living Tree
          > Community Foods, a
          > Berkeley, CA-based natural foods supplier, will soon
          > begin buying
          > almonds from Italy and Spain. Dr. Jesse Schwartz,
          > the president of the
          > specialty retailer, believes the rule, if
          > implemented, will be a
          > travesty for American agriculture. "California
          > almonds are the heritage
          > of the American people," he says, "they are superior
          > in every way."
          > Jason Mahon owns Premier Organics, a company that
          > produces raw almond
          > butter in Oakland, CA. Mahon is also looking to
          > foreign suppliers and
          > believes the rule is an unnecessary "fear-based
          > decision of the Almond
          > Board, that is clearly trying to protect itself from
          > bad press and
          > lawsuits."
          > The equipment to meet the new USDA mandate is very
          > expensive, ranging
          > from $500,000 to $2,500,000. Farms can outsource the
          > pasteurization
          > process, but Hendrik Feenstra, a small-scale
          > California handler of
          > organic almonds, believes that to do so will still
          > be prohibitively
          > expensive for modest-sized growers and handlers.
          > "Because pasteurization
          > companies often charge a flat rate no matter the
          > quantity of almonds, it
          > could be four or five times more expensive for
          > small-scale almond
          > producers to pasteurize almonds than it will be for
          > industrial-scale
          > producers," Feenstra says. And modest-size marketers
          > are concerned that
          > increased transportation costs will also add to
          > their burden
          > Organic farmers also question the science behind the
          > rule. They believe
          > that the sustainable farming methods they use, such
          > as mowing and
          > mulching, rather than controlling weeds by chemical
          > herbicide
          > applications, naturally prevent the spread of
          > harmful bacteria more
          > effectively than treatment after the fact. According
          > to almond grower
          > Glenn Anderson, "An organic farming system fosters
          > biodiversity and
          > creates an environment where Salmonella cannot
          > survive. This rule
          > ignores the root causes of food contamination-the
          > unnatural, dangerous,
          > and unsustainable farming practices on industrial
          > farms."
          > An important segment of the agricultural community
          > feels that requiring
          > small-scale and organic farms to comply with this
          > rule is unwarranted
          > and premature, as Salmonella outbreaks have only
          > been traced to a very
          > large industrial farm, and there is currently no
          > published research
          > pinpointing the causes of the harmful bacteria.
          > "With the costs
          > involved, and the implications on trade, they are
          > recklessly
          > experimenting with the livelihood of farmers,"
          > Fantle added.
          > Furthermore, there is a lack of evidence supporting
          > the use of the
          > chemical fumigant, propylene oxide (PPO), and steam
          > as the only
          > effective treatments to reduce risk of Salmonella.
          > The most common
          > method of sterilizing almonds is by PPO treatment, a
          > genotoxic chemical
          > recognized as a possible carcinogen that is banned
          > in the European
          > Union, Canada, Mexico, and most other countries.
          > Many chemical-free and
          > heat-free alternatives are being researched. "The
          > Almond Board has not
          > released any of the scientific research justifying
          > their treatment
          > choices," asserts Eli Penberthy, a policy analyst at
          > Cornucopia. "This
          > rule should not be implemented until alternative
          > technologies are
          > thoroughly explored."
          > The Cornucopia Institute also contends labeling
          > treated almonds as "raw"
          > is misleading and deceptive to consumers. "People
          > choose to buy raw
          > almonds for a variety of personal reasons, including
          > health, nutrition,
          > and even religious beliefs," Cornucopia's Fantle
          > said. "This rule denies
          > them the right to control their food choices by
          > making informed
          > decisions in the marketplace."
          > In fact, some strict vegetarians who consume only
          > raw foods rely on
          > almonds to provide as much as 30% of their caloric
          > intake, believing
          > that they are a nutritionally superior alternative
          > to meat in the diet.
          > "Raw almonds are increasingly popular for their
          > health benefits," said
          > Goldie Caughlan, the Nutrition Education Manager at
          > Puget Community
          > Cooperative in Seattle, who estimates that the co-op
          > sells 28,000 pounds
          > of raw almonds every year. She said customers are
          > already confused and
          > angered by the implications of the rule, and worries
          > how it will affect
          > sales.
          > Fantle charges that the rule could very well
          > establish a precedent for
          > more governmental control of fresh foods. Says
          > Fantle, "If almonds
          > require pasteurization, what foods will be next on
          > the list of mandatory
          > sterilization, heat treatment, and irradiation?
          > Truly raw, untreated
          > nuts, fruits, and vegetables might no longer be
          > legally available in the
          > marketplace."
          > Public concern about the almond treatment plan has
          > been growing. Over
          > 1,000 comments opposing almond pasteurization have
          > been submitted to the
          > USDA since the plan was approved on March 31, and an
          > online petition to
          > stop the implementation of the rule has garnered
          > over 15,000 signatures.
          > (To learn more about the issue, go to
          > www.cornucopia.org and click on
          > the almond navigation button.)
          > The only exemption to the almond treatment
          > regulations will be an
          > allowance for growers to sell truly raw almonds
          > directly to the public
          > from farmstead stands. Unfortunately, this will give
          > only a limited
          > number of consumers in specific areas of California,
          > the only state in
          > the nation that produces almonds, access to
          > untreated nuts.
          > Diets based on raw foods are integral to some
          > religious denominations,
          > such as Seventh-Day Adventism, so the rule poses a
          > threat not only to
          > consumer choice, but to religious freedom as well.
          > Contact: Will Fantle, 715-839-7731

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