What are almond flour benefits and side effects every ethical consumer must know? Here are almond flour pros and cons and how buying them will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers.
Food is something we consume every day. If you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on almond flour benefits and side effects.
You are going to learn all about almond flour benefits and side effects. This will include almond flour benefits for your health and potential risks, almond flour water footprint and carbon footprint, sustainability, if almond flour is vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more.
After learning if almond flour is good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be able to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.
This post is all about almond flour benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.
Top Almond Flour Benefits And Side Effects
Almond flour is…
Water footprint: likely high, it takes 16,095 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of shelled or peeled almonds / 1,929 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of shelled or peeled almonds, high, (with shell), 8,040 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of almonds with shell / 963 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of almonds with shell
Carbon footprint: high, 3.56 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of organic, dry almonds, a car driving equivalent of 8.25 miles or 13.25 kilometers
Destruction: high, almond production is relatively destructive, disruptive to ecosystems involving a severe strain on bee populations
Almond flour is…
Kills: none, no animals are required to be killed for almond flour or almond production
Harms: potentially bees, many bees are harmed during USA cross-country transportation for intense pollination practices in the name of almond production, which can also lead to spreading diseases and illnesses to other colonies
Indirectly kills or harms: ecosystems and wildlife, potentially bees, may be killed during cross-country transportation for intense pollination practices in the name of almond production, which can also lead to spreading diseases and illnesses to other colonies and ultimately effecting ecosystems and wildlife
Almond flour is…
- Pollinator intensive
Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible
Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation
Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits
- May have labor issues
What is an almond flour substitute?
Gluten free, almond flour substitutes are amaranth flour, buckwheat flour, cassava flour, chickpea/garbanzo bean flour, coconut flour, oat flour and rice flour.
almond flour is gluten free.
Is almond flour gluten free? Yes, almond flour is naturally gluten free. Almond flour does not contain gluten and is often used as a wheat flour substitute.
While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…
Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include: recurring abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, constipation, tingling, numbness in hands and feet, chronic fatigue, joint pain, unexplained infertility and low bone density (osteopenia or osteoporosis).
There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.
Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List
almond flour is a common food allergen: tree nuts.
Is almond flour a common food allergen? Yes, almond flour is a common food allergen: tree nuts. Many people may experience allergic reactions to almond flour.
A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:
- crustacean shellfish
- tree nuts
These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States.
Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.
Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.
Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List
almond flour likely has a high water footprint.
Does almond flour have a high or low water footprint? Almond flour likely has a relatively high water footprint compared to other foods.
What is the water footprint of almond flour? It takes 16,095 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of almonds / 1,929 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of almonds.
Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?
We must do what we can to conserve fresh water and a major way to reduce needless water consumption is to change the way we eat. That’s not to say we need to reduce our water intake….quite the opposite. It’s important for our health to drink lots of water and eat foods that hydrate. The kind of water conservation we’re talking about here is behind the scenes.
How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?
We need to be aware of “water footprints”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.
Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List
almond flour likely has a high carbon footprint.
Does almond flour have a high or low carbon footprint? Almond flour likely has a relatively high carbon footprint compared to other foods.
What is the carbon footprint of almond flour? It takes around 3.56 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of almonds, a car driving equivalent of 8.25 miles or 13.25 kilometers.
Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.
When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…
- farm equipment
- animal feed production
- hothouses (greenhouses)
- food processing
- package waste and more
There are a number of steps we can take to reduce energy output. According to Oxford Martin School researchers, if the world went vegan, eliminating animal-derived products, it could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds and avoid climate damages of $1.5 trillion.
But that’s not all!
It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:
- shopping locally reduces transportation emissions
- food without packaging reduces waste as well as the carbon footprint
- refrigerated and frozen foods increase carbon emissions
- seasonal foods reduce carbon emissions from hothouses (greenhouses)
- growing plant-based foods at home is the most environmentally sustainable method with zero carbon footprint
Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List
almond flour is unsustainable.
Overall, is almond flour eco friendly? Is almond flour sustainable?
Almond flour production is relatively unsustainable. This ingredient has a high carbon footprint, high water footprint and ecosystem consequences due to intense pollination practices.
A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.
Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.
A 2010 United Nations report said that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world the worst impacts of climate change.
Read more about ‘What Makes Food Sustainable Or Unsustainable?’
almond flour is vegan but pollinator intensive.
Is almond flour vegan? Yes, almond flour is vegan. Almond flour is not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. However, almond production requires intense pollination practices requiring high volumes of bees, some of which consequently die in the process.
Go vegan for animals!
It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.
Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non Vegan Foods List
almond flour may have labor issues and human rights concerns.
Is almond flour a product that has known labor issues? At this time, there are no known specific reports of worker mistreatment regarding almond farming but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Almond flour may or may not have labor issues.
Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized.
Sadly, many labor concerns exist around the world in both developed and developing countries. We must be vigilant to ensure what we buy is not contributing to industries that are unfair to their valuable workers. Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death!
Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation.
Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards.
We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade.
Be sure to read up on this list of ‘Foods You Should Always Buy Fair Trade‘
This post was all about almond flour benefits and side effects.
Harvard, The Nutrition Source, Almonds
Economic Research Service U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Driven by Almonds, Pollination Services Now Exceed Honey as a Source of Beekeeper Revenue
USDA Bees, Pollination and Almonds Protecting a Crop and Protecting the Pollinators
Almond Board Of California