Sumac Spice Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 07/03/22 •  10 min read
sumac benefits and side effects

What are sumac spice benefits and side effects every ethical consumer must know? Here are sumac pros and cons and how buying it 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 sumac benefits and side effects.

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

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

Must-Know Sumac Spice Benefits And Side Effects

Health

Sumac spice health benefits may include:

There are no notable or significant side effects or dangers when eating sumac spice in moderation.

Sumac spice benefits also include being…

You Will Love This!
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
08/15/2022 02:39 pm GMT

Environment

Water footprint: likely low

Carbon footprint: likely low

Destruction: low, 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.

Sumac is…

Animals

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

Harms: none, sumac production does require any animals to be used

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

Sumac is…

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, sumac…

sumac is alkaline when fresh. sumac spice benefits include fitting into an alkaline diet.

sumac is alkaline when fresh. sumac spice benefits include fitting into an alkaline diet.

Is sumac alkaline or acidic?

Sumac is alkaline when fresh.

What is the pH level of sumac?

Sumac and other fresh spices have an 8.0 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 found in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

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

sumac spice is gluten free. sumac spice benefits include fitting into a gluten free diet.

sumac spice is gluten free. sumac spice benefits include fitting into a gluten free diet.

Is sumac gluten free?

Yes, sumac is gluten free. Sumac does not contain gluten. Sumac is a type of spice, therefore making it a gluten free food. 

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

sumac spice is not a common food allergen.

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

Is sumac a common food allergen?

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

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

sumac spice likely has a high water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Does sumac have a high or low water footprint?

Sumac likely has a high water footprint compared to other foods.

What is the water footprint of sumac?

It takes 7,048 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of spices / 845 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of spices.

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

sumac spice has a low carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Does sumac have a high or low carbon footprint?

Sumac has a low carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of sumac?

It takes around 1.6 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of spices, a car driving equivalent of 3.75 miles or 6 kilometers.

When calculating product emissions, some factors that may be included are… farm equipment, animal feed production, hothouses (greenhouses), food processing, packaging, transport, refrigeration, freezing, package waste, and more.

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

sumac spice is moderately sustainable.

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

Overall, is sumac eco friendly? Is sumac sustainable?

Sumac production is moderately 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. 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.

sumac spice is vegan. sumac spice benefits include not killing or harming animals in the production process.

sumac spice is vegan. sumac spice benefits include not killing or harming animals in the production process.

Is sumac vegan?

Yes, sumac is vegan. Sumac is a spice 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

sumac spice may or may not have labor issues.

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

Is sumac a product that has known labor issues?

At this time, there are no known specific reports of worker mistreatment regarding sumac farming but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Sumac 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. 

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.

Conclusion

Sumac spice pros include:

Sumac spice cons include:

This post was all about sumac spice benefits and side effects.

Sources:

Pharmacological and Antioxidant Activities of Rhus … – PubAg – USDA

(Syrian Sumac – Rhus coriaria): A review – PubAg

Fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica) Plant Fact Sheet

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.

Keep Reading