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What Would Jesus Pasteurize?
Mandatory almond pasteurization restricts consumer rights and religious freedom!
Seattle, WA, August 1, 2007 - As of September 1, 2007, all almonds produced in California, which are destined for the U.S., Canada, and Mexico will be required to undergo pasteurization, or at least that is the ruling passed by the Almond Board of California with the backing of the USDA. Raw foodists around the world depend on a reversal of this ruling and followers of the Essene teachings may face giving up one of their staples.
The basic reason for this exercise in control over citizen's food is two separate incidents of salmonella poisoning found in raw almonds over the last six years. These incidents involved conventional almonds, not organic almonds. Even though no incidents of salmonella poisoning have been reported from organic raw almonds, the Almond Board has decided that they, too, should be pasteurized. So, while there has been no evidence that raw organic almonds are susceptible to salmonella poisoning, the Almond Board is taking away the major source of one of raw foodists' staples.
Another problem with this ruling is that the pasteurized almonds will not be required to be labeled as pasteurized. Consumers may see pasteurized almonds labeled only as “raw” almonds. If the pasteurized almonds are not labeled as “pasteurized”, this will be misleading to consumers and removes the public's ability to make informed decisions.
If there were a lot of other sources of raw almonds, this ruling might not be as serious an issue. However, California happens to be the only U.S. state commercially growing almonds. In addition, California grows about 80% of the world’s almonds, according to the Almond Board of California website.
If this ruling is not reversed, consumers may unwillingly consume pasteurized almonds. Some raw foodists may become ill as a result and they may have to decide between ending a 100% raw diet and ending their consumption of almonds. A better option may be to help the Almond Board “see the light” regarding raw organic almonds. It is not September yet, and consumers need to know both sides of the story.
Citizens of the United States have the freedom to follow the religion of their choice. This may sound strange when discussing the topic of almond pasteurization. Most pasteurization is a form of cooking. There are, in the Essene teachings, quotes from Jesus (Yashua) that state “…prepare not your foods with the fire of death, which kills your foods, your bodies and your souls also.” Many who follow the raw food diet can understand why Jesus would say such a thing. People have experienced improved, even amazing, health as a result of not cooking their food. Because followers of the Essene teachings, which include eating raw foods, may no longer be able to purchase almonds in their raw state, this ruling is actually treading on their religious rights! The Almond Board may be replacing a raw staple with a pasteurized one. If the Essene followers are unable to find other truly raw sources of almonds, they either turn their backs on the teachings or stop eating the almonds. How can this happen in the U.S.?
This aspect of the almond controversy is addressed on a new website. You may have heard of “What Would Jesus Do?” How about WhatWouldJesusPasteurize.com? There is compelling information on this site about the almond issue and the resulting religious implications. The site also tells visitors some of the things they can do to reverse this ruling. If consumers wish to retain their right to choose raw foods and citizens wish for us all to maintain our religious freedoms, they should act now.
Raw foodists around the world are doing their best to get this ruling reversed. In the mean time, stock up on your raw almonds… while they are still raw!
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