Think You’re Eating Raw Almonds? Think Again!

raw almonds

Did you know, even if labeled “raw” almonds produced in the U.S. are NOT sold in their raw form thanks to new laws requiring they be pasteurized.

I am not sure what the word for it is… alarming, disturbing, infuriating, disheartening? I guess I feel a bit of all those when it comes to the laws on almonds produced and sold in the United States. Here is a quick run down of the law:

Since September, 2007, all almonds produced in the U.S. are required by the USDA to be pasteurized before being sold. Pasteurization is a treatment process that uses high temperature heat or a toxic fumigant to “sanitize” the food, after which the food is no longer raw by definition. Despite this fact, the USDA allows for the almonds to be labeled “raw,” totally misleading consumers. For more details, here is one article, among the countless others out there, from the Alliance for Natural Health.Pasteurized Almond Cartoon

Vegan health & nutrition is my passion so I do research daily to discover and share information like this. Most Americans don’t have the time and energy to spend discovering things like this for themselves. Most people make decisions based on the food labels, assuming that the nutrition facts, regulated by the government, are truthful. This is why I am so up in arms over this topic… its impossible for people to make an informed decision when the information is wrong!

Changing focus, you may be asking, are raw almonds THAT much better for you than roasted ones? After doing the research, I choose, for the most part, to eat organic raw nuts and seeds over roasted ones. This article gives a good run down of the reasons behind my decision. Another good tip is to keep them in the refrigerator instead of the pantry to keep them from going bad (& prevent bacteria growth).

The good news is that it’s  still possible to purchase truly raw, unpasteurized, organic almonds and almond butter. I often purchase mine from Wilderness Poets. They import their almonds from Italy. They also carry a great Nut Milk Making Kit that makes it fairly simple and easy to make your own almond milk.


The following two tabs change content below.
26-year vegan veteran, Ella Magers founded Sexy Fit Vegan® in 2012 to bring veganism into the mainstream. Ella runs a transformational coaching program that empowers clients to build a healthy relationship with food, their bodies, and themselves as they create a fit, vegan life they love! Check out her FREE Master Class:


  1. susan schenckReply

    Who knew! Thanks for sharing. It’s nice to have access to info that really should not be that hard to find. Makes it possible to know that there are choices.

  2. KarinaReply

    Wow – that is so disappointing. This industry needs to get it together and stop cheating us from becoming healthy individuals. Great piece of information. Thanks for posting.

  3. Jennifer Pansa YogaReply

    Great Article Ella! Thank you for sharing your wisdom and being a great leader. I would love to learn how to make my own Almond Milk! I hope in one of your upcoming blog posts you can teach us. The best way to know what is going into your body is to prepare it ourselves.

    Jennifer Pansa Yoga

    • Ella MagersReply

      Almond milk is actually super simple to make! I avoided making my own nut milks for the longest time because I thought it would be tedious and time consuming but once I gave it a shot realized I was wrong. I will definitely put out a recipe!

  4. Martha FioreReply

    i always wondered the difference between the two of them, and instinctively chose raw, just because i thought that if its roasted most have some type of added oil, even though roasted taste better for me. however now the question is how can we pressure the companies to disclosure their sanitizing procedures and have a more honest disclosure on what we are really eating….. i guess we most keep passing on good info like this and take care of it ourselves.

    • Ella MagersReply

      Exactly. We just have to keep spreading the word, exposing the secrets, and putting pressure on the companies and government to make sure we have access to the truth about what we are putting in our bodies!

  5. JaredReply


    I recently found LivingNutz as a place to buy nuts online. I just checked and the almonds are unpasteurized as well. The taste difference from a store-bought nut is amazing.

    Wilderness Poets looks like it’s worth a try too. Thanks for sharing,


  6. StephanieReply

    My husband and I found this out last year when he wanted to try the Caveman diet. It calls for raw nuts and we found that raw nut are nothing of the kind. Great information at your links. Thanks!

  7. Pingback: Favorite Nut Milk Recipe | Sexy Fit Vegan

Leave a comment