Small almond growers in the U.S. have been able to sell raw almonds to customers from roadside stands and through internet sales for some time. This is perfect for consumers who desire the benefits of almonds without the impact of pasteurization. Yet the Agricultural Marketing Service of the USDA seeks to change this.
At the moment, these small growers are able to operate exempt from a host of expensive and burdensome regulations and sell raw almonds directly to their customers. Customers report health benefits and improvement of the gut biome from eating raw almonds that do not undergo the pasteurization process.
Large, commercial producers either pasteurize almonds through a chemical or heat pasteurization process. Even if smaller growers were willing to do this, processors demand a volume that small producers cannot meet to treat the product.
The proposed change would likely drive small growers out of business, lead to imported almonds from Europe not subject to the same regulations and deny consumers the health benefit of this simple nutritious product from sustainable growers.
Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund has filed a public comment with the Agricultural Marketing Service objecting to the proposed change.
“Producers should be able to grow and consumers should be able to choose to obtain unpasteurized almonds, from sustainable growers, as part of their health routine,” says FTCLDF Executive Director Alexia Kulwiec. “The USDA wants to prevent distribution of the simple nutritious almond and yes, raw almonds for consumption. FTCLDF is monitoring this rule making and will keep readers informed.”
For more information, or to get involved in protecting food sources from small, sustainable producers and artisan food makers, please visit The Campaign for Raw Food.
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