If you make a small research about spices, you will find out that they are at the top of the list of foods we should eat organic. Why? The main reason is the high concentration of pesticides and unfortunately, that’s not all!
The co-founder and president of an organic spice company in Brattleboro, Vermont, Thomas Fricke, stated that virtually all conventional spices sold in the U.S. are sterilized with dangerous chemicals that are forbidden in Europe.
Sterilizing spices with toxic chemicals and irradiation
Spices could be contaminated with all kinds of junk while transported from the fields (mold, yeasts, insects, and pathogens). That’s why conventional spice producers choose to sterilize their spices with toxic chemicals. This fact should scare us because ethylene oxide is one of the sterilizing agents which they use. It is a gas that can leave behind a residue that’s carcinogenic.
Also, we must mention irradiation, another method for killing bacteria and foodborne illnesses like salmonella. The spices pass through an irradiation beam and currently are being treated on the highest allowable level according to the regulations of the FDA for radiation amounts of any food.
For certified organic products harmful chemicals are not allowed to be used. Organic spice companies use steam to sterilize their spices which is another reason to choose organic over conventional.
Fillers, Preservatives, and GMOs
Conventional spices also contain fillers and these are some of them:
- Artificial colors
- Artificial flavors
- Anti-caking agents which hold them from clumping together.
- Soy and corn derivates are likely GMO. They are on the Big Eight List of GMO Foods!
How to Buy Healthy Spices
- In order to avoid irradiation, pesticides and chemical sterilizing agents you should buy organic when that is possible. For your information, irradiation is banned in USDA certified organic foods.
- Spices lose their zing after a certain period of time, so remember to buy spices as you need them. Buying smaller amounts enables you to use them up before they go bland.