When we think radiation, we may envision a sci-fi flick where they’ve gotten radiation poisoning and everyone is breaking out with boils and dying. But most of us wouldn’t look in our kitchen and worry that we have radiation lurking in our cabinets.
Radiation in your spices? Whaaat?!!
Sad, but true! I was just as shocked as you to learn this.
We use a LOT of seasoning in our cooking. What can I say? We’re a flavorful bunch. As I went through my spice cabinet I was literally cringing knowing that we had been eating these chemically-contaminated spices. Bagging up a sack-load of spices and tossing them in the trash had me about sick! I HATE throwing out food. . . when we have leftovers, they get frozen for a later use in this house.
Unfortunately, most conventional spices have been fumigated with hazardous chemicals. This process is called irradiation.
Why is it done?
Apparently the process kills bacteria and other contaminants. It also delays ripening and sprouting. Unfortunately, for those eating these spices, it means ingesting a toxic and much less nutritious product.
According to the FDA, our spices are not the only foods approved for irradiation:
- Beef and Pork
- Molluscan Shellfish (e.g., oysters, clams, mussels, and scallops)
- Shell Eggs
- Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
- Lettuce and Spinach
- Spices and Seasonings
- Seeds for Sprouting (e.g., for alfalfa sprouts)
Of course, the FDA claims that it is completely safe. (riiiiggght)
However according to Dr. Mercola’s site, “Irradiated herbs, seasonings and spices are exposed to HALF A BILLION chest X-ray’s worth of gamma radiation.”
Does that sound safe to you? I know I wouldn’t be volunteering for that procedure.
How can you avoid buying these products?
First off do your research.
Always buy organic, if possible.
FDA currently requires that irradiated foods include labeling with the statement “treated with radiation” or “treated by irradiation” and the international symbol for irradiation. However, there are some exceptions which you can see here.
The brand of spices I have been buying is Simply Organic. They are certified organic and free of MSG. I have been slowly replacing my spices via Vitacost.com and Amazon. I found them to be the cheaper than buying straight from Simply Organic’s website or even my local stores.
Simply Organic is a part of the Frontier Co-op. Frontier also offers a line of spices, but they are not certified organic.
However, they do not use irradiation. According to their website, “Frontier has always been against using irradiation for sterilization of spices, herbs and foods, and we do not use any ingredients or carry any products that are irradiated under any of our brands (Frontier, Simply Organic, and Aura Cacia).”
All their spices are steam sterilized (see their site for more information- link below).
You can tell the difference between convention spices and the Simply Organic spices when you open the bottle. The spices have a much stronger and more potent smell. I personally believe they have a better flavor too.
All the information I have provided is just a taste (yes, punny, I know!) of what is being put into your food. Please investigate, read, and educate yourself about the food you are buying. Try to buy from local organic farmers. Put your money where your mouth is and do not buy products from companies that support these practices.
Make sure to check out my Amazon store to see some of the products I recommend and use myself!
Health and Blessings,
Sources for the information in this article regarding Radiation in Food: