Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Solutions to the problems with Nuts


— Avoiding Pesticides —The way to minimize your intake of pesticide residues and to induce nut farmers to turn to organic production is to choose organic or wild nuts. Unfortunately, less than 1% of US farmland dedicated to producing tree nuts is certified organic, and as of 2001, there were only 19 states that produced organic tree nuts. Additionally, small farmers may not have large enough production numbers to receive USDA certification.

The good news is that larger organic nut farmers will carry the USDA certified organic seal (or the seal from one of the USDA-accredited certifying agents), and your local store may stock organic nuts imported from other areas.

If your favorite store does not carry organic nuts, please ask them to do so. You can also buy organic nuts online; some shopping suggestions are included below.

— Tips and Alternatives —Nuts are sold in many different forms. Whole nuts, still in their shells are less expensive and will last up to a year without going rancid; just be sure to keep them in a cool, dry place. Shelled nuts—especially if they're roasted—may last longer if they are kept in the refrigerator. If you plan on storing them longer than six months, consider putting them in the freezer.

You can purchase nuts sliced and chopped. This may save you some work but it will also ensure that those nuts will go bad faster. Whenever possible, purchase whole shelled nuts and cut them up yourself.

Always discard any nuts that look moldy. Choose tree nuts more often than peanuts—they are less likely to have aflatoxin. Delicious nut butters can be made from pecans, walnuts, almonds and many others.

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