Pecan Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 11/22/22 •  11 min read

Want to see pecan benefits and side effects every ethical consumer must know? Here are pecan pros and cons and how buying them will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers. 

pecan benefits and side effects

Food is something we consume every day and 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 pecan benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about pecan benefits and side effects such as pecan health benefits and/or risks, pecan water footprint and/or pecans carbon footprint, pecan sustainability, if pecans are vegan, and more. 

After learning if pecans are good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be prepared to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about pecan benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Must-Know Pecan Benefits And Side Effects

Health

Pecan benefits may include:

Pecan side effects may include:

Additionally, pecans are…

Environment

Water footprint: high, it takes 9,063 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of nuts / 1,086 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of nuts

Carbon footprint: low, 1.61 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of pecans, a car driving equivalent of 3.75 miles or 6.5 kilometers

Destruction: low, pecan production is relatively sustainable, there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc.

Pecans are…

Animals

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

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

Indirectly kills or harms: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from pecan 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

Pecans are…

Laborers

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

Pecans…

Where do most pecans come from?

The United States produces 80% of pecans on the world market. The top pecan-producing states are Georgia, New Mexico and Texas. Pecans are also produced in Mexico.

Are pecans good for you?

Yes! Pecans are high in healthy fat and a good source of fiber and protein.

pecans are acidic.

acidic foods and alkaline diet benefits that improve ph levels

Are pecans alkaline or acidic?

Pecans are acidic.

What is the pH level of pecans?

Pecans have a 5.5 pH level once digested. Some nuts like hazelnuts and walnuts are acidic, while others like almonds and chestnuts are alkaline.

When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

pecans are gluten free. pecan benefits include fitting into a gluten free diet.

glutinous foods have side effects but a gluten free diet can help

Are pecans gluten free?

Yes, pecans are gluten free. Pecans do not contain gluten when unseasoned. Pecans are a type of tree nut, therefore making it a naturally gluten free food. 

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

pecans are a common food allergen: tree nuts.

side effects of common food allergens like milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Are pecans a common food allergen?

Yes, pecans are a common food allergen: tree nuts. Many people experience allergic reactions to pecans.

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

pecans have a high water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Do pecans have a high or low water footprint?

Pecans have a relatively high water footprint compared to other foods.

What is the water footprint of pecans?

It takes 9,063 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of nuts / 1,086 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of nuts.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource? Once it’s gone, it’s gone!

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

We need to be aware of something referred to as 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

pecans have a low carbon footprint. pecan benefits include not requiring too much energy or emitting pollution.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Do pecans have a high or low carbon footprint?

Pecans have a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of pecans?

It takes around 1.61 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of pecans, a car driving equivalent of 3.75 miles or 6.5 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…

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

pecans are moderately sustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, are pecans eco friendly? Are pecans sustainable?

Pecan production is moderately sustainable due to the high amounts of water required. Aside from this there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been 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?’

pecans are vegan. pecan benefits include not killing, harming or using animals.

benefits of vegan food to eat on a vegan diet which helps save animals

Are pecans vegan?

Yes, pecans are vegan. Pecans are tree nuts and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

According to Sentient Media, “more than 200 million land animals are killed for food around the world every day. Including wild-caught and farmed fishes, we get a total closer to 3 billion animals killed daily.”

Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives. 

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

pecans may or may not have labor issues.

benefits of buying fair trade, labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Are pecans a product with laborer concerns?

At this time there are no major concerns with pecan production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening! It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may be associated with specific brands.

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

Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can face harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks.

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

Conclusion

Pecan pros include:

Pecan cons include:

This post was all about pecan pros and cons, benefits and side effects.

Sources:

Nuts, pecans – FoodData Central

986 American Pecan Council – Agricultural Marketing Service

Shelled Pecans Grades and Standards – Agricultural 

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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