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Are Pasteurized Seeds Good for You?

There are a lot of amazing benefits to eating nuts and seeds. Eating chia seeds, for example, provides a lot of fiber, protein, omega-3 fats, and vitamins and minerals. Chia seeds are made up of 19% protein, 6% water, and 34% fat. The last 46% is carbohydrate, which is 83% fiber. The best chia seeds are also high in antioxidants. Pumpkin seeds are also bursting with nutritional goodness, and raw pumpkin seeds have very few carbohydrates, lots of protein, a good amount of fiber, and high levels of important essential and trace minerals. But pumpkin pastuerized seeds and other nuts and seeds that are pasteurized may not have the same kind of health and nutrition benefits as the raw ones.

Pumpkin Pastuerized: What Does it Mean?

There are a lot of rules and regulations when it comes to food safety in the United States. Toxins and dangerous bacteria that get into the food supply can be deadly. Because of this, the government has mandated food quality control measures for pasteurizing nuts and seeds in order to ensure that the end product that reaches the consumer is completely safe. Pasteurization can be done by steaming or by fumigation with propylene oxide gas, or PPO.

Pumpkin Pastuerized: Is it Necessary? In 2001, a serious outbreak of salmonella poisoning in Canada was traced back to raw almonds. In the next few years, more and more outbreaks were linked to the nut industry in California. Several different measures were taken to prevent the problem, but nothing worked. In 2007, laws were passed requiring that all almonds grown in California must be pasteurized. Since then, while it is not a requirement, many nut and seed growers and distributors pasteurize their product just to be safe.

Pumpkin Pastuerized: Is it Safe?

The fumigation method most certainly is not. Propylene oxide is a highly flammable and toxic gas that was originally used as a racing fuel. That is, until it was banned. Fumigating nuts and seeds in no way makes them safer or more healthy, and you should avoid any food that comes into contact with PPO. Steaming, on the other hand, is certainly a safe method. The question with the steaming method is whether it diminishes the nutritional value of seeds and nuts.

Pumpkin Pastuerized: What Does it Do?

The main argument against pasteurizing seeds and nuts is the undeniable fact that the process destroys some of the nutrients in your pumpkin seeds, macadamia nuts, and any other food. The nutritional value of nuts and seeds can be greatly diminished by the high heat of the steaming process, and the chemical makeup of the nuts can even be altered.

Pumpkin Pastuerized: What’s the Answer?

Is There a way to enjoy all the nutritional benefits of nuts and seeds without the danger of bacteria and toxins that could be potentially deadly? If you’re buying your seeds and nuts off the grocery store shelf, no. The big nut distributors cannot exercise enough quality control to guarantee the safety of their product by any means other than pasteurization. It’s also not a great idea to buy your nuts and sees from China or Southeast Asia. Though they are often no pasteurized, they are also not subject to the same sort of stringent handling standards as those in the United States. The way to solve this problem is to get your nuts and seeds from other sources.

Pumpkin Pastuerized: Where to Get Them?

There are a couple choices for finding safe, unpasteurized nuts and seeds. Small organic farms with a good reputation will generally be a safe bet. There are also smaller companies that specialize in growing and distributing nuts and seeds, both for media consumption and for you to plant and grow yourself. These companies know what they’re doing and take care to ensure the safety of their end product.

Seeds and nuts provide us with all kinds of micronutrients and trace elements that we would sorely miss without them. Get your nuts and seeds raw and from a reputable source, and you can be sure of getting the benefits while staying safe.

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