Cashew Butter Benefits and Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 01/03/23 •  10 min read

What are cashew butter benefits and side effects? Is cashew butter vegan? Gluten free? Acidic or alkaline? Low fodmap? Good for you? Healthy? Sustainable? Here are cashew butter pros and cons: all the info on cashew butter that every ethical consumer wants to know…

cashew butter benefits and side effects

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 cashew butter benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about cashew butter benefits and side effects. This will include cashew butter benefits for your health and potential risks, cashew butter’s water footprint and carbon footprint, sustainability, if cashew butter is vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if cashew butter 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 cashew butter benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Cashew Butter Benefits And Side Effects

Health

Cashew butter benefits for health may include:

Cashews butter is…

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Environment

Water footprint: likely high, it takes 14,218 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of cashews / 1,704 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of cashews

Carbon footprint: likely moderate, 2.0 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of tree nuts, a car driving equivalent of 5 miles or 8 kilometers

Destruction: likely low, cashew production is moderately sustainable, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc.

Cashews butter is…

Animals

Kills: none, cashew butter production does not require any animals to be killed

Harms: none, cashew butter production does not require any animals to be used

Indirectly kills or harms: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from cashew butter production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Cashews butter is…

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Laborers

Health and safety: dangerous conditions, anacardic acid is present in the fruit that cashew nuts grow which burns the skin, Human Rights Watch reports by suggest in Vietnam drug addicts are in forced-labor ‘rehabilitation’ camps for cashew production and processing, those who refuse to work are beaten with truncheons, given electric shocks, locked in isolation, deprived of food and water, and obliged to work even longer hours

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: poverty-line wages are typical for cashew workers some reports of only a few dollars per month, India’s cashew workers (mostly women) are employed without contracts, no guarantee of steady income, no pension or holiday pay

Cashews butter is…

Is cashew butter gluten free?

Is cashew butter gluten free?

Yes, cashew butter is gluten free. Cashew butter does not contain gluten when no other ingredients are added.

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:

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

Is cashew butter a common food allergen?

Is cashew butter a common food allergen?

Yes, cashew butter is a common food allergen: tree nuts. Many people may experience allergic reactions to cashew butter.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

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

Is cashew butter low fodmap?

Is cashew butter low fodmap?

No, cashew butter is typically high fodmap, a food you should eliminate if on a low fodmap diet. However, if cashews are first soaked in water before they are blended, the process leaches oligos, reducing their overall FODMAP content. Therefore, some cashew butters may be low fodmap. It all depends on how the cashew butter was made.

A low FODMAP diet may help those with bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).

It’s all about knowing your body. Observe what works and what doesn’t. You body might even react negatively to a low-FODMAP food simply due to intolerance. Everyone is different! Be mindful and patient. Take time to get to know what’s best for your physical health and overall wellbeing.

See this High FODMAP and Low FODMAP List of Foods

Water footprint of cashew butter?

Water footprint of cashew butter?

Cashew butter likely has a high water footprint compared to other foods.

It takes 14,218 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of cashews / 1,704 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of cashews.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of a “water footprint”. 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

Carbon footprint of cashew butter?

Carbon footprint of cashew butter?

Cashew butter likely has a low carbon footprint compared to other foods.

It takes around 2.0 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of cashews, a car driving equivalent of 5 miles or 8 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 that may be…

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

Is cashew butter sustainable?

Is cashew butter sustainable?

Cashew butter production is moderately sustainable. Aside from a high water footprint, there is no significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides are not used. Be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative 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.

Read more about ‘What Makes Food Sustainable Or Unsustainable?’ 

Is cashew butter vegan?

Is cashew butter vegan?

Yes, cashew butter is vegan. Cashew butter is made from blended tree nuts and often salt but no animal products or byproducts, therefore making it a vegan food. 

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

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

Does cashew butter have human rights issues?

labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Yes, at this time, there are reports of worker mistreatment and exploitation regarding cashew production.

Regarding health and safety, cashew production involves dangerous conditions. Anacardic acid is present in the fruit that cashew nuts grow which burns the skin. Human Rights Watch reports suggest in Vietnam drug addicts are in forced-labor ‘rehabilitation’ camps for cashew production and processing. Those who refuse to work are beaten with truncheons, given electric shocks, locked in isolation, deprived of food and water, and obliged to work even longer hours.

Regarding payment, cashew production involves poverty-line wages. There are some reports of only a few dollars per month for India’s cashew workers (mostly women) who are employed without contracts with no guarantee of steady income, no pension or holiday pay.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

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 cashew butter benefits and side effects.

Sources:

Nuts, cashew butter, plain, without salt added – FoodData

NutButtersNutSpreads.pdf – Agricultural Marketing Service

Adriane Marie

Hi, I'm Adriane, creator of HEALabel! I organize info for you to comprehensively see how purchases impact health, environment, animals and laborers. Stay aware because you care! Subscribe below to get my weekly newsletter with tips, new info and other ethical consumer insight.

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