If you haven't heard, pistachio nuts have been recalled due to salmonella contamination- just like what happened with spinach and almonds a few years ago. And how could we forget the Maple Leaf Farms listeria disaster of this past fall. Now, you'll have to excuse the seriousness of this post when I ask why some recalls are so publicized and most are not. Oops... just got a pistachio nut caught in my tooth.
I used to subscribe to the Canadian Food and Safety Inspection Agency's recall and health hazard list. I subscribed a few months ago as I was being inundated with alerts about e.coli in supermarket meat, milk products in non-dairy yogurts, shards of glass in baby food... It is insane the amount of processed, packaged and mass produced foods that are recalled on a DAILY basis.
Michale Pollan commented in an interview about the problem when all the world's spinach is washed in the same kitchen sink (so to speak). The same is true for any food product. When you don't know the source, you don't know what you are in for!
And the solution that will surely come- to irradiate all imported meat, nuts, seeds, and spices. It is not surprising that this might be the accepted solution as it is the same solution we accept for our health care; band aid the symptom and avoid the root cause. Just like medications are toxic on various organ systems of the body over the long run, so is irradiation. Eating irradiated foods can result in chromosome damage, immunotxicity, kidney disease, cardiac thrombus and fibroplasia. Irradiating food destroys between 20 and 80% of the vitamins including A, B2, B3, B6, B12, folic acid, C, E and K along with the enzymes, essential fats and amino acids. And I just chipped my nail cracking open another organic pistachio nut.
Lets put on our white lab coats for a moment here as I explain how the gamma rays of irradiation break up the molecule structure of the food creating free radicals. These free radicals react with the food and produce toxic by products including formaldehyde, benzene, formic acid and quinoes, which are known human carcinogens. A health building little calcium and protein rich almond, when irradiated, becomes toxic waste.
The problem with our food supply is that it so centralized, one itty contaminated batch of nuts can affect millions of people across the world. That is insane! What is the solution? By local. By organic. Know who grows your food. The other thing to keep in mind is the importance of keeping strong and healthy. Is it merely a coincidence that both the pistachio contamination scare and the meat/listeria scare came about at the change of the season when our immune systems are at their weakest? If our body is strong, no germ or pathogen will harm us. These nuts are making me thirsty.
And what better way to keep ourselves strong than to cleanse out the old and replenish with fresh raw nutrition?
Here is my recipe for Carrot Pistachio Walnut Cake. Of course the original recipe didn't have pistachios but for the sake of my discssion above, I am throwing them in here. And here is another recipe for amazing fruit cake that uses pistachios.
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 1 cup arrowroot flour
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 cup grated carrots (or 2 cups sweet potato or 1 of each)
- 1 cup rice milk or almond milk
- ¼ cup applesauce
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup walnuts, ground
- ½ cup organic, non-irradiated, sustainabley grown raw pistachios (optional of course)
- ½ cup raisins (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Sift flours into mixing bowl. Mix in baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
- Grate the carrots. I use a food processor instead of grating them by hand.
- Add the carrots and the rest of the ingredients except for the walnuts to the flour mixture. Mix until “just mixed.” Last, mix in the walnuts and pistachios.
- Transfer to a greased 13x9x2 pan.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.