Pine Nut Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 08/03/22 •  11 min read
pine nut benefits and side effects

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

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 pine nut benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about pine nut benefits and side effects. This will include pine nut benefits for health and potential risks, pine nut water footprint and pine nut carbon footprint, pine nut sustainability, if pine nuts are vegan or impacts animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if pine nuts 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 pine nut benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Must-Know Pine Nut Benefits And Side Effects

Health

Pine nut health benefits may include:

Pine nuts 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, 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: low, pine nut 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.

Pine nuts are…

Animals

Killed: none, pine nut production does not require any animals to be killed

Harmed: none, pine nut production does not require any animals to be used

Animals indirectly killed or harmed: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from pine nut 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

Pine nuts 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

Pine nuts…

Korea is often the main pine nut producing country followed by Russia China, Pakistan and Afghanistan. China ships pine nuts mainly to Germany and to the USA.

The world’s top pine nut exporting country is Mexico, followed by USA, China, Germany, South Africa, Russia, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Netherlands.

Yes! Pine nuts are high in vitamin K, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, manganese, polyunsaturated fat, vitamins B1, E, and minerals such as iron and copper and contain fiber, potassium, vitamins B2 and B3.

pine nuts are acidic.

acidic foods and alkaline diet benefits that improve ph levels

Are pine nuts alkaline or acidic?

Pine nuts (most) are acidic.

What is the pH level of pine nuts?

Pine nuts have a 6.0 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

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pine nuts are gluten free. pine nut benefits include fitting into a gluten free diet.

pine nut benefits include being gluten free

Are pine nuts gluten free?

Yes, pine nuts are gluten free. Pine nuts do not contain gluten when unseasoned. Pine nuts 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

pine nuts 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 pine nuts a common food allergen?

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

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

pine nuts have a high water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Do pine nuts have a high or low water footprint?

Pine nuts have a relatively high water footprint compared to other foods.

What is the water footprint of pine nuts?

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?

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

pine nuts have a low carbon footprint. pine nut benefits include not requiring too much energy or emitting pollution.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Do pine nuts have a high or low carbon footprint?

Pine nuts have a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of pine nuts?

It takes around 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.

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

pine nuts are moderately sustainable.

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

Overall, is pine nuts eco friendly? Is pine nuts sustainable?

Pine nut production is moderately sustainable since 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.

pine nuts are vegan. pine nut benefits include not killing, harming or using animals.

pine nut benefits include being vegan

Are pine nuts vegan?

Yes, pine nuts are vegan. Pine nuts 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 farms and the livestock industry 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. They’re also injected with growth hormones to become fatter faster and live short lives, being slaughtered as soon as they finish growing and are killed prematurely, well before their natural lifespan.

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

pine nuts are a product that may or may not have labor issues.

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

Are pine nuts a product associated with labor concerns?

At this time there have been no major concerns associated with pine nut 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 even be subjected to 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 has been likened to 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. 

This post was all about pine nut benefits and side effects.

Sources:

Pine Nuts (Dried) – FoodData Central

Pine Nuts: A Review of Recent Sanitary Conditions

Adriane Marie

Grocery Guru, Material Maven, Conscious Consumer Connoisseur. I organize ethical info for us to comprehensively see how purchases impact people, animals and the planet. I hope you find HEALabel helpful! Use it for personal and global improvement and empowerment.

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