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My life's purpose is best described by: Be the change you want to see in the world: Gandhi. Smiling is my "botox"-FORGET THE DRUGS AND SURGERY. I spice up my life, not my diet, which is SIMPLY DELICIOUS on its own. KISS: I Keep it simple sugars-from whole, fresh, ripe, raw, organic fruits (veggies,some nuts/seeds too). The 811rv motto is: simplicity at mealtime, variety throughout the year. My motto is: I live in my own little world, but it's ok they all know me there. At some point, you have to realize that some people can stay in your heart, but not in your life.


Ciao Cashews Nuts

Why I've said good-bye to cashews. I used to love these nuts, but now I don't touch them-literally.

Years ago, when I first started coming down to Costa Rica, I was introduced to the cashew tree, fruit and nut-which is attached to the bottom of the fruit. My neighbor at the time had a tree in her yard. I had always enjoyed the nut, but I knew nothing about it. The fruit and nuts are in season when I am in Costa Rica and they are very prolific around my village.

One day, as I was enjoying a swim at my neighbor's pool I decided to investigate these beautiful fruits and nuts. I figured that since they were such a widely available product that they must be harmless. Yikes! Was I ever mistaken! (Nudge, nudge this is true of many, many widely available products).

I decided to open up the cashew nut to see it in its natural state. Grabbing a nearby rock, I cracked the shell open. Some of the juice squirted onto my belly and my son's belly too. I fingered the gooey substance surrounding the nut. It felt unctuous. Then, I had to sneeze and I touched my nose and face with my cashew covered hand. Five minutes later the pain began! What a horrible burning sensation that was. Everywhere the liquid touched was screaming with pain. Next came the inflammation, swelling and finally oozing liquid which lasted for many weeks. My face looked like Mohammed Ali had used it for practice. I thought I would be scarred for life, but surprisingly and happily the scars eventually faded and there's no trace left.

I have since learned that the nut is covered with a highly caustic acid. Cashews must be either chemically or heat treated simply to be removed from the shell. Cashew workers must wear gloves, goggles and even masks to avoid breathing in the toxic fumes which will burn the lungs. This is definitely not a natural food for humans or many other creatures either for that matter! Apparently, "raw" cashews/butter can be found in health food stores, but I don't trust that they're truly raw or that they haven't been nutritionally harmed to make them edible-so I've said good-bye to cashew nuts.

BTW, it is for this reason too that I've given up olives as well. My grand parents had an olive farm in Italy and I can attest that raw olives are very bitter. They must be treated in some way-usually with salt-to remove the bitterness. Ian, on vegsource posted of a Peruvian olive that is supposedly only sun-dried. But, quite frankly, I'd rather enjoy some sweet delicious fruit than waste my money and probably my health on an expensive product that apparently still tastes bitter and is still very high in fat.

Cashew fruit, on the other hand, is a different matter. Maranon, as they are called in Costa Rica are very popular, especially in fruit drinks. So far, I find them too astringent to truly enjoy. But many people say that combined with another sweet fruit like dates in a smoothie they are delicious. I have yet to try them this way, but I will eventually since I have a tree growing on my property and would hate for the good fruit to go to waste.


Green said...

I totally agree with you. I did the same thing as you when I was in San Jose last April. I bought a cashew nut apple and tried to remove the nut from the shell. The skin on my hands started to peel and they were like that for weeks. I didn't even try to taste the nut as it was covered in the toxic liquid once I had it opened. The fruit itself seems to have some of the toxin in it as it burned my throat as I swallowed. It tastes something like a bell pepper but the burning sensation takes away from the pleasure in eating it.

There are so many kinds of wonderful nuts out there like macadamias, almonds, and walnuts. We don't need to eat cashews.

Ecodea said...

It's also a pity how much of the fruit goes to waste because people removed the nut to sell (which is worth more). I still eat cashews nuts sometimes, but only a few at a time - my body just can't take too many anymore.

badash said...

I remember durianrider mentioning the burning from the cashew nut, but i have never heard a personal experience like this. Wow.

I love the taste of cashews, but after i saw durianriders video where he mentioned it, I quit eating them (except for one time after that)

It looks like I will never be touching a cashew again either! Thanks for sharing!