What are sumac benefits and side effects? Is sumac a nightshade? Acidic or alkaline? Low fodmap? Is sumac vegan? Gluten free? Good for you? Healthy? Sustainable? Here are sumac pros and cons: all the info on sumac spice that every ethical consumer wants to know…
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.
Sumac Spice Benefits And Side Effects
Sumac spice benefits for health may include:
- metabolic and cardiovascular health
- reduced muscle pain
- blood sugar control
- better digestion
- boosted immunity
- detoxification (ranks high on the ORAC chart)
- liver health
- lowered high cholesterol
- reduced inflammation (sumac spice is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory spices there is!)
- skin inflammation treatment
- weight loss
- combats free radicals that can cause cancer, heart disease, and signs of aging
- beneficial for those with type 2 diabetes.
There are no notable or significant side effects or dangers when eating sumac spice in moderation.
Sumac spice benefits also include being…
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.
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
- Harmful to wildlife and ecosystems unless organic
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
- May involve worker exploitation, laborer issues, human rights concerns
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
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:
- recurring abdominal pain
- chronic diarrhea
- numbness in hands and feet
- chronic fatigue
- joint pain
- unexplained infertility
- low bone density (osteopenia or osteoporosis)
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 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
Is sumac a nightshade?
No, sumac is not a nightshade. Sumac is a spice you can eat if you have a nightshade allergy.
Nightshade allergy reactions include:
- digestive issues
- dry mouth
- visual disturbances.
- hives or skin rash
- shortness of breath
- tightness of the throat
- pale skin
Nightshade vegetables provide excellent nutrition, so there is no need to stop eating them unless you suspect you are sensitive to nightshade foods. If so, eliminate them from your diet to see if symptoms disappear.
See a Nightshade Foods List
Water footprint of sumac spice?
Sumac likely has a high water footprint compared to other foods.
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
Carbon footprint of sumac spice?
Sumac has a low carbon footprint compared to other foods.
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:
- shopping locally reduces transportation emissions
- food without packaging reduces waste as well as the carbon footprint
- refrigerated and frozen foods increase carbon emissions
- seasonal foods reduce carbon emissions from hothouses (greenhouses)
- growing plant-based foods at home is the most environmentally sustainable method with zero carbon footprint
Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List
Is sumac sustainable?
Yes, 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.
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
Does sumac have human rights 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.
Sumac spice pros include:
- numerous health benefits
- gluten free
- not a common food allergen
- low carbon footprint
- low water footprint
Sumac spice cons include:
- possible laborer exploitation (as with most foods)
- pesticide ingestion and contamination if not organic (as with most produce)
This post was all about sumac spice benefits and side effects.
Pharmacological and Antioxidant Activities of Rhus … – PubAg – USDA
(Syrian Sumac – Rhus coriaria): A review – PubAg
Fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica) Plant Fact Sheet
Adriane MarieHi, 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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