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Imported Produce

Do any of you consider that imported produce is irradiated when planning raw meals? I see a lot of recipes for Thai coconuts and durians. All imported nuts are treated upon entry with either pasturization or radiation, some are chemically treated to remove them from their husks/shells. I get concerned because with the effort to get healthy eating what we think is raw, we might be causing ourselves great harm. Do any members of this group eat only local, organic? That is actually my goal, but almonds (although they won’t be raw for long) don’t grow in Texas!

I even see many recipes with raw cacao. It’s not only irradiated, it’s toxic. I think I think too much. How can I live without coconut and chocolate?

Allison

Comments

  • I eat locally and organic whenever possible. With that said, I do enjoy chocolate and coconut. Right now, I (and my body) are fine with eating it, and I don’t have it that often anymore (maybe once every 2-3 weeks), so I am fine with that.

    I think that the longer you are raw, the farther away from those foods you get. Your body gravitates to other, “healthier” foods. At least this has been my experience.

  • I’ve been raw for nearly three years and I’m not gravitating away from sweets! I’m not always perfect either and that may play a role. I will have a garden soon if the weather will allow (in the hottest part of the summer in Texas).

  • I still gravitate towards sweets too…dates especially! Are these really bad? What can I do to cut those cravings a bit….

  • This is such an important topic. We’ve been attempting to move to local produce as well, especially through gardening and visiting local farmers markets. The summer recipes recipe section has been high on my list of resources lately and we’re hoping to grow the seasonal sections of Gone Raw as a support!

  • Indeed. Don’t be afraid to tag your recipes with spring or summer or fall or winter if that helps everyone plan their meals around the season with the freshest, most optimal produce!

  • When I said “gravitate towards healthier foods”, it was in reference to chocolate, and coconut being toxins. I eat sweets, and don’t feel that sweets are unhealthy if they are made with truly raw ingredients. I meant sweets made with chocolate and coconut as these were specifically mentioned in the original post. And, dates for sure are healthy! I believe that if it is raw, and in moderation it is fine to enjoy!

  • I stopped buying and eating the Young coconuts – I now get the Organic mature ones or the Organic dried coconut. Organic foods are not supposed to irradiated. Raw cacao if it is organic should not be irradiated either. Is that why you say it is toxic?

    There are lots of different views about the raw cacao. Mine is that I think it is a healthy food.

    Most of us have toxins in us from so many other sources other than foods. Think about the products you use at home or on your body. Or the water you drink – unless you have a super duper water filteration system (one of the expensive) you are probably still getting toxins in your water.

    If you buy organic you shouldn’t have to worry about irradiation.

    For the almonds, just hang in there – there is a possiblity that an exception might be made to the raw almond rule for organic farmers. It will definatley happen after Sept 1 though. So, you might still be able to get organic raw unpasteurized almonds – but they might break your bank account! The co-op by me sells raw organic almonds that aren’t grown here (they are grown in France – the rule applies to US only). They are expensive but you can still get them. :)

  • Queenfluff, it’s a government thing that all imports are irradiated, even if it was grown organically and comes marked that way. Cacao has toxins other than irradiation. Caffeine and theobromine in cacao are toxic. Both are neurotoxins.

  • 123 – may I ask for a source for your information about the irradiation please ?

    My understanding is that ANYTHING that is organic whether grown in the US or outside is NOT to be irradiated. If the government is doing it anyway, even when it is organic, than it is illegal. And of course, who trusts the government? :) I wouldn’t put it past them but it is still violates the consumers right to believe they are purchasing a pure organic product. I try to buy organic and locally too but coconuts are very important to my health right now so I choose the organic ones along with organic coconut oil. I guess I am going to have to move to Hawaii. :)

    Normally, places that place an importance on organic food like maybe a co-op are pretty careful of their sources of where they get their organic produce from. If you want to buy something that is organic and imported, talk to the people at your store and make sure they have taken pre-cautions to make sure it isn’t irradiated.

    Other than that, the only thing you can do is not buy it I guess. Very true, it is sad that you have to question these things at all. :(

    I am trying to find the laws and rules on organic imported produce (i’ll post it when I do) but for now I found this link below. My bf knows a ton about organic food and he worked at an organic food place and said they are NOT supposed to irrdiated anything organic – imported or not.

    http://www.organicfoodee.com/emails/irradiation…

    As for cacao, well, I guess it is a matter of individual choice. I know that it is said that onions are toxic in some ways too (or I have seen that said on many raw food forums including this one) but I feel that they have nutritional properties beneficial to me. Which is the same way I feel abou the cacao. I guess if you are sensitive to caffeine and whatever else might be in it you would definatley want to avoid it. :)

  • There are many sites with this information on the Internet. Here’s just one of them.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2002/10/22/MN142439.DTL

    You know that this fall when California almonds are treated that they will still be marketed as raw. There is major controversy over this. I signed petitions written by several consumer groups over this untruth in advertising as well as complaining about not having raw almonds available to those of us wanting to consume them. I’ve been stocking up on almonds!

  • Thanks for the site 123! I have read that article before. It is a good article. Although, I am speaking of ORGANIC imported produce. This article doesn’t mention anything about organic imported produce (unless I really missed something) – just imported – so my guess is that it is non-organic which they can freely irradiate (unfortunately). Plus this article is four years old and I know that new things are happening since then.

    I don’t buy non-organic myself. This why I don’t buy the young coconuts anymore. They are never organic. At least not yet.

    For the almonds, I am very aware of what is going on. In fact, I am one of the persons who is responsible for setting up some petitions and sending out information about complaining to the USDA! :) If you saw information for a “blitz” or a post with information to complain to Mike Johanns (preferabley with a cute little Smiling almond on it) than that was me! :) I designed the little almond and the flyers, posts etc. :)

    For the last several months, I have been working with a few others who have been talking to the USDA and many organic farmers. We are trying to get a exception to the pasteurization rule for organic raw almonds. Things are progressing slowly unfortunatley – but our hopes are that if enough people complain and enough organic farmers press for an exception we will get one. It won’t happen for a while though. So, good thing to stock up on your almonds for now though (while there a little cheaper). I actually don’t eat a ton of almonds myself but I am very concerned about issues like this (including the irradiation) because who knows what nut will be next! (cashews are more my nut of choice :)) In some stores, you will still be able to get the ones from overseas but they will be super expensive.

    FYI: Keep sending those emails to the USDA to complain and sign any new petitions too. Ask for exceptions to the almond pasteurization rule!

  • I’m not sure that the USDA/FDA is concerned about foreign produce being organic. They don’t seem to be concerned about genetic modification, so why would they care about any health issues concerning food? They’re only trying to keep the foreign parasites from ruining the GE crops! We can only do so much. I want to grow most of my own food in the future.

    Thanks for keeping the fight in the public eye!

  • ZoeZoe

    I live in the UK so I am not sure if it is the same here, when I last checked they said nothing is irradiated here.

    But anyway, I have been buying young coconuts which still have the hard, smooth green shell on them, they’re called ‘jelly nuts.’ They are half the price of the thai white diamond ones ( 50p each – $1) and they taste totally different, I mean totally and amazingly different they are utterly Divine….I thought they while diamond Thai ones were good, but these are beautiful, a whole world of difference.

    So I thought that maybe if you can get your hands on these in the USA they would be better for you. They can’t mould because their husk and shell is still on protecting them. The white diamond ones get mouldy because their protective shell has been cut off. Maybe even in the USA this type has had less fiddling with than the others. I get mine from Indian/Asian shops. Where I can also buy fresh wet almonds, mmmmmmm, just peel them by hand and munch on them, gorgeous!

  • ZoeZoe

    I live in the UK so I am not sure if it is the same here, when I last checked they said nothing is irradiated here.

    But anyway, I have been buying young coconuts which still have the hard, smooth green shell on them, they’re called ‘jelly nuts.’ They are half the price of the thai white diamond ones ( 50p each – $1) and they taste totally different, I mean totally and amazingly different they are utterly Divine….I thought they while diamond Thai ones were good, but these are beautiful, a whole world of difference.

    So I thought that maybe if you can get your hands on these in the USA they would be better for you. They can’t mould because their husk and shell is still on protecting them. The white diamond ones get mouldy because their protective shell has been cut off. Maybe even in the USA this type has had less fiddling with than the others. I get mine from Indian/Asian shops. Where I can also buy fresh wet almonds, mmmmmmm, just peel them by hand and munch on them, gorgeous!

  • Hey Zoe,

    I think the green ones you are getting are the Wild Young Coconuts and unless you live in Hawaii unfortunatley they are not available here in the US. I agree with you. They are awesome. The only you can get here are Mature (the hairy ones) or Thai coconuts (the white diamond ones).

    Do you know exactly where the green ones you buy come from? I have had them in Jamaica before and they are so good. :) They have them all over the place there. They grow other places too of course.

    They were offering some on Raw Guru and they sold out so quickly I didn’t get any.:( So far, they haven’t had them back in stock again.

    http://www.rawguru.com/store/raw-food/organic_w…

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