This website says:
"2003 Codex Alimentarius General Standard for Irradiated Foods: no longer any upper dose limit. Seriously? So they can go all out with the radiation!
Wrap your head around this. Every banana you have EVER eaten was dosed with radiation! Now irradiation is federally mandated for ALL imported food. So all produce from Mexico, apples and beef from Japan, and food from Canada. Those are your most common imports. Check your sources. Especially on produce."
This was quite a shock to me, and gave me pause about eating all imported produce. Mind you, the irradiation does not mean that the almonds are radioactive by the time we get them. And irradiation, by my book, is not necessarily a bad thing.
I thoroughly researched the health benefits of exposure to low-level radiation, and documented this profoundly beneficial healing effect in my first-edition book co-authored with Jay Gutierrez, Because People Are Dying, and my documentary film by the same name, and the re-edition of the book with new material added, now called The Hormesis Effect.
As a result of the research I did, I now irradiate my water (as well as my dog's water) with a radioactive stone before I drink it. But the level that food is irradiated with is exponentially higher than the level of the radiation stones I use. Jay measures each stone he mines, and we know that they emit a low-level therapeutic dose.
Meat, on the other hand, is irradiated with a dose that is 15 million times higher than the radiation amount of a chest x-ray, or 150 times higher than the dose that will kill a human being. While the food is no longer radioactive by the time you are eating it, nevertheless it is no longer a living product. Irradiated foods can no longer reproduce. As my first holistic health teacher, Bernard Jensen, would say, once you take out the reproductive system of any entity--animal or plant--you have removed the life vitality. He talked frequently about benefits of seeds because in seeds, we find all the minerals and vitamins, all the building material to build every cell needed for growth.
So, this information on irradiated imported food would be a vote against imported almonds. Then I saw a product advertised on SunFood.com (a popular website presumably owned by holistic health guru and big-time chocolate proponent, David Wolfe) that sounded yummy: JEM. It's an almond butter, touted as raw and organic with delicious-sounding spices and herbs added. I emailed SunFood, and asked where their almonds came from. They said either Spain or Italy. I wrote back and asked if they were irradiated.
Response from Rick Blair, client services:
"It is illegal to irradiate Organic food when being imported into the United States under US Federal Law, volume 65, section 205.105(f) which prohibits the irradiation of organic products, as well as section 205.661(g) which states that civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation may apply.
We place the DO NOT IRRADIATE stickers on all domestic shipments, which reminds any courier and educates others who see and read those stickers of this fact."
They said no--that when imported produce is labeled as organic, there is no need for radiation. He further said that all their almonds had big stamps on them specifying to not irradiate. That sounded great.
Then I found out, through further digging by myself and my reader, Mary (we had a lively email interchange about our various findings) that SunFood has not been owned by David Wolfe for over a year, and that the present owner is Doug Harbison, whose father ran Monsanto for 10 years. Thus, I wasn't sure whether to trust the advice coming from SunFood. I looked up the regulation that Rick Blair had given me the number for. It was long and tedious to read, but I could find no reference to the specific issue of exempting imported organic produce from irradiation.
Our research, however, led to an interesting finding: there is one exemption to the law mandating that all U.S. grown almonds be treated. The sole exception is if the farmer has a road-side stand. We found one California nut farmer who, indeed, has a road-side stand, and is able to ship out almonds (and other nuts) that are truly raw and organic--Bremner Family Farms.
According to federal regulations, they are limited to shipping 100 lbs. a day to any individual--quite enough for most anyone's needs. I got my first shipment, and the almonds taste fresh and are the most delicious I have ever had. Then I made my next order, and got walnuts, too.
So, the moral of the story is that I am back to making my rosemary crackers in full tilt. And by the way, a few of my readers have asked for the recipe. I don't cook with recipes or measurements. I pretty much wing it every time I prepare food, so every batch of any foods I make always tastes a little different. But the ingredients and rough measurements are:
*Somewhat fewer soaked almonds (I find that when the proportion of almonds is too much, the cracker gets too dense and not as tasty, so I use about 2/3 the amount of almonds to flaxseeds)
*Lots of fresh or dried rosemary (I can easily go through 3 or 4 fresh sprigs)
*Some rosemary essential oil (usually about 6 drops will do it--the stuff is strong and can overwhelm the taste if too much is used)
*A fair amount of nutritional yeast (the amount will depend on how "cheesy" you want your cracker to taste but I use, all in all, about a cup)
*Either Celtic or Himalayan salt to taste.
I mix all ingredients in the VitaMix, but this is a bit of an art. It is important to put some water in the bottom of the VitaMix first because the mix gets quite thick, and will kill the machine (temporarily shut it off) if I put in too much at one time. So I mix in batches. It takes about 4 batches to make enough to fill all the trays of my dehydrator. Drying takes 2-3 days. And whilst they are "cooking," your house will smell deliciously aromatic with the scent of rosemary. Guests will comment, and ask what fantastic food are you preparing.
Dr. Jane Goldberg, interviewed at the NAVEL (Nutrition, Aesthetics, Vitality, Efficacy, Life) Wellness Expo, held in Melville, New York on October 26th, 2014. Here Jane explains the importance of embracing ALL thoughts and feelings -- both positive and negative -- for the sake of each individual's personal health and growth. The NAVEL expo is an annual event, dedicated to promoting health and well-being.