Hmmm. Do you know about organic spices? Let me tell you a little bit about organic spices.
In my research, organic spices are significantly better for our bodies than conventional spices because they have no fillers, do not use toxic chemicals or radiation during the sterilization process, and no pesticides are used to grow the spices. Due to these awesome points, the organic spices end up being more pure and in turn, actually provide the benefits we hear spices are so good for.
Why should we buy organic spices?
No Chemical Pesticides & Fertilizers
Chemical pesticides and fertilizers are not used during the farming and harvesting process of organic spices. Otherwise, they would not be called organic spices. According to Why consumers are buying organic spices? (Mark Harris, 2001), the organic spice process includes other methods such as crop rotation, composting and biological pest and disease control.
Organic spices do not contain fillers such as artificial colours, artificial flavours, preservatives and sugar. Next time you’re looking in your spice drawer, read a label. You most likely will find these mentioned in the ingredients list.
Toxic chemicals and irradiation are not used in the sterilization process of organic spices. All spices need to be sterilized due to the possible contaminants such as:
Conventional spices are typically sterilized using Ethylene oxide, a gas that removes the contaminants.
Why are consumers buying organic spices?
Ethylene oxide leaves residues that can be harmful to human health. This gas has also been banned by many European countries and Japan.
Conventional spices also use irradiation to sterilize spices which can change the chemical composition possibly leading to the creation of carcinogens. In the same article, this is further explained.
It involves applying radiation to the spices at a very high level. Apparently, the levels are equal to one billion chest x-rays. This is the highest any food is allowed to be exposed to and most likely changes the chemical composition of the spice.
Well, that’s nice.
Organic spice farmers use different methods for sterilizing. Two methods typically used are steam heat and dry heat.
Thanks to Organic Spices Inc. In the steam heat method, the autoclave machine is used to abolish contaminants with air pressure and superheated water. Hospitals use it to change highly pathogenic waste material into a by-product which can be thrown away safely. Steam heat cannot be used when sterilizing powders so in these cases, a dry heat is applied by raising temperature levels and applying forced ventilation.
You can find further information on organic sterilizing processes at The Nibble.
More nutritional value & fresher taste
It is fair to say that if you are using 100% organic spices, you are most likely getting more nutritional value than the conventional spices. I say this because there are no fillers, pesticides, and chemicals taking up space in your dish. Less of the crap, more of the pure spice – there to benefit you. Imagine fresh, organic cinnamon sprinkled in your favorite tea or a teaspoon of pure turmeric mixed into your favorite curry dish. The nutrients are more readily available, and therefore more easily absorbed in your body.
Here are some examples of what pure organic spices can do for you and your health.
Can help with digestion
Can help prevent sugar cravings
Can help in lowering cholesterol
Curcumin, one of the curcuminoids in Turmeric, is a strong antioxidant
Can help reduce inflammation in the body
Black pepper increases absorption of turmeric so it’s always a good idea to combine both in a dish.
- Has antibacterial properties
- Can help lower blood sugar levels
- Can help reduce inflammation in the body
- Can improve digestion and circulation
- Has antibacterial properties (think Oil of Oregano)
- Has plenty of antioxidants
- Is a digestive stimulant
- Is helpful against nausea, colds and congestion
- Can help improve circulation
- Has antimicrobial properties
- Has anti-inflammatory benefits
- Has plenty of antioxidants
- Can interfere with the growth of yeast
Where can I buy organic spices?
There are a few companies selling organic spices online. Make sure you find a reputable company you can trust. Find out where the company sources their spices from and what kind of farming practices their sources engage in.
A friend of mine, Christy Varicat has started My Spice Box, an organic spice company that delivers fresh, organic spices right to your door. I’ve been using them and I must say, when you open the package, your nose and the mouth watering that follows can just tell these are the real deal.
How long do organic spices keep?
Imagine your cupboard full of spices. How old do you think most of them are? One year, maybe two years old? Well, before I researched organic spices, I asked myself this question. I’m not afraid to tell you. You guessed it, most of my spices were probably close to 3 years old or more. Ew. You know, you buy a bag of cumin, then you buy another, because you can’t remember if you have any cumin at home. Next thing you know, you have a drawer full of cumin (with no plan to make that much chili) and other repeat spices that have little or no nutritional value left.
It is important to use up your spices within six months, otherwise the flavour and nutritional value are greatly decreased.
Pop quiz, lovely reader, pop quiz. What do you do?
I’ll tell you. You slowly start over. And why not start over with some organic, better tasting, healthier versions of themselves. You can just buy a few spices at a time and slowly increase your organic spice library. If you cook with fresh organic spices, you will notice a huge difference in taste and will be able to live another day knowing that fresh, organic cayenne is ACTUALLY helping with your circulation.
Thank you for indulging me.
EAT MORE VEG (with organic spice)