Raisin Benefits and Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 01/03/23 •  11 min read

What are raisin benefits and side effects? Are raisins low fodmap? Gluten free? Acidic or alkaline? Vegan? Good for you? Healthy? Sustainable? Here are raisin pros and cons: all the info on raisins that every ethical consumer wants to know…

raisin 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 raisin benefits and side effects.

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

After learning if raisin are 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 raisin benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Raisin Benefits And Side Effects

Health

Raisins benefits for health may include:

Additionally, raisins are…

Environment

Water footprint: moderate, 2,433 liters of water used to produce 1 kilogram of dried grapes / 292 gallons of water used to produce 1 pound of dried grapes

Carbon footprint: likely low, 0.8 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of grapes, a car driving equivalent of 2 miles or 3.25 kilometers

Destruction: low, raisin 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.

Raisins are…

Animals

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

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

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

Raisins 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

Additionally, raisins…

Where do most raisins come from?

The United States and Turkey are the top raisin producing countries worldwide.

Iran is also a top exporter of raisins. In the United States, California leads in raisin acreage.

The world’s top raisin exporting country is Turkey, followed by USA, South Africa, Uzbekistan, Greece, Chile, Germany, China, Netherlands and UK.

Are raisins nutritious?

Raisins are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, potassium, lysine and iron.

Are raisins alkaline or acidic?

Are raisins alkaline or acidic?

Raisins are alkaline when fresh.

What is the pH level of raisins?

Raisins have an 8.5 pH level once digested.

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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Are raisins gluten free?

Are raisins gluten free?

Yes, raisins are gluten free. Raisins do not contain gluten. Raisins are a dried fruit, 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

Are raisins a common food allergen?

Are raisins a common food allergen?

No, raisins are not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to raisins but it is relatively rare by comparison.

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

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

Are raisins low fodmap?

Are raisins low fodmap?

No, raisins are high fodmap, a food you should eliminate if on a low fodmap diet. However, you can eat up to one tablespoon of raisins per serving for raisins to be low fodmap.

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 raisins?

Water footprint of raisins?

Raisins have a relatively moderate water footprint compared to other foods.

It takes around 2,433 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of dried grapes / 292 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of dried grapes.

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

Carbon footprint of raisins?

Carbon footprint of raisins?

Raisins likely have a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods.

It takes around 0.8 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of grapes, a car driving equivalent of 2 miles or 3.25 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…

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

Are raisins sustainable?

Are raisins sustainable?

Raisin production is relatively sustainable since there is no 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.

Are raisins vegan?

Are raisins vegan?

Yes, raisins are vegan. Raisins are a dried fruit and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

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

Do raisins have human rights issues?

labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

At this time, there are no known specific reports of worker mistreatment regarding grape farming but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Raisins 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 akin 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 raisin benefits and side effects.

Sources:

Raisins – FoodData Central – USDA

Raisin Grades & Standards | Agricultural Marketing Service

Raisins: World Markets and Trade – USDA Foreign 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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