Nuts – BEWARE!

I love nuts.  I love them alone, in salads, encrusted on foods, blended with other ingredients as in pestos and just about anyway you can think of.  The only nut I’m not fond of on their own are walnuts.  I think they taste dry.

Over the past few years though I’ve encountered some problems with nuts.  I thought I had blogged about it before but apparently not.  After reading a friends blog the other day it prompted me to share my findings with you.

Several years ago I purchased raw pecans from The Wine and Cheese Place in St Louis.  A favorite place of mine to get wine, cheese and fresh nuts.  I’ve never had an issue with anything there as I’m sure you’ll agree if you’ve ever shopped there.  However, what happened was out of their control although a disclosure statement would have been helpful.

I purchased the pecans around the holidays to make a large batch of my candied pecans to give as gifts.  I made several batches but had some left over that I kept in my cupboard for a week or two.

I happen to be out running errands and my husband called to say that the cabinet containing the pecans was covered with maggots and bugs and they were coming from the bag of pecans.  I was on my way home and when I arrived I couldn’t believe my eyes.

When I spoke to the gal at The Wine & Cheese Place she told me that all raw nuts harbor insect eggs.  If left raw after a certain period of time the eggs will hatch.  If you eat the nuts prior to the eggs hatching, the acid in your stomach will kill them, so you never see these bugs.  I nearly vomited after hearing that.  How disgusting!  I immediately went online to verify and found several sites that mentioned insect eggs on nuts.  This is one of them.

I could have avoided this calamity had I put the nuts in the freezer or cooked all of them.  Too bad I didn’t find this out sooner.  A warning or instructions with the nuts would have been helpful!

Has this ever happened to you?

Another incident occurred 4 weeks ago while vacationing in the mountains of Colorado.  I purchased almonds on sale at the City Market grocery store that came from a local producer.

Upon arriving home, I ate a handful of almonds and one of them tasted rancid so I tossed the bag out.    Later that afternoon and for the next 3 days I was so sick I couldn’t even stand up.

After doing research I found this to be a common occurrence among almonds.  The clue should have been that they were on special and packaged in zip lock baggies.  Blue Diamond shares important information about maximizing the shelf life of almonds that I found useful the next time I decide to purchase them.

The majority of nuts are said to be heart healthy which besides loving them makes them more attractive.  Some offer greater benefits than others but overall they’re said to help lower your LDL, low-density lipoprotein or “bad,” cholesterol level in your blood, they’re rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, contain fiber and Vitamin E along with a host of other benefits.  Yet, caution must still be taken.

(photo from Frieda’s)

My most recent revelation was when Dianne blogged about pine nuts, a nut I use often especially when making pesto. She came down with “pine mouth”.  I’ve never heard of or experienced this however, it appears the key factor here as well as other nuts, is quality.  Rather than purchasing on sale or inexpensive nuts it’s best to splurge, for safety and quality.  If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is!

Buyer beware!  Next time you decide to purchase some nuts it’s best to do a bit of research.

Have you encountered a negative experience after purchasing nuts?  If so, please share it with us, so that we can all become better consumers!

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  1. These are great tips! I keep most of the nuts I buy in the freezer- they’re so expensive I try to keep them where they’re the least likely to spoil! When I forage pecans, I try to crack them as soon as possible and then freeze them, because I’ve had problems before with worms in them. Eeeww. And pine nut mouth? I had it a year and a half ago and I haven’t eaten a pine nut since. I bought them at a reputable grocery store, and they weren’t the “cheap” ones either. I had a horrible soapy taste in my mouth for about ten days. The only good thing was that I lost a few pounds because the taste was worse when I ate. 🙂

  2. Oh heavens, worms! That’s revolting. Were your nuts still in the shell or out of the shell? It just takes one time for something like that to happen and you’re sure to take every precaution the next time.

    That’s a great idea to make it a habit to forage through them but sometimes it’s difficult to tell. The almond I ate looked and felt just like the others but maybe I didn’t look close enough. I will next time.

    However even with the pine nuts you ate, it’s just not always that easy to tell. Maybe a sniff test might help! Sorry you had to go through that. I can’t imagine losing my taste for 10 days, that must have been rough.

    Thanks for your post.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Great tips thank you! I just love pistachios and hazelnuts my favorite!!

  5. Sorry the message left before I finish I hit the wrong thing. Anyway, I have seen worms in pistachios and they were canned. I now have always refrigerated them. Some I have used after a year old and still just as fresh as the day i bought them tasting, hopefully they will never make me sick but I dont use almonds much and pinenuts by the tiniest bag and use the same day… thanks again sorry you got so sick
    🙁 !

  6. Wow – I have to say that’s shocking! I never knew that! Nuts don’t last long at our house and I always freeze raw nuts…. I’m glad I do! This post is something everyone should read!

  7. Hi Ann,

    Typically nuts don’t last long at my house either but on that one instance I had bought a large batch and didn’t use it all. Who would have known. However, based on some other posts apparently it’s common.

    Please feel free to pass this on or forward to your friends.

    Thank you for your post!

  8. Even I freeze raw nuts…but, let me tell you, this is a great post…something which we all should be knowing. Thanks!

  9. I learned my lesson. I usually use them up so quickly it’s never been an issue, until that time. Live and Learn.

    Thank you for your post Purabi Naha!

  10. Oh my god – I never knew this either! Usually the nuts I buy are already roasted so I probably wouldn’t have a problem, but I will definitely keep this in mind if I decide to buy any raw ones.

  11. I recently ate some Fisher Pecan Halves that let my mouth feeling weirdly coated with dust and extremely dry.  Soon I came down with a respiratory infection that i assumed was moutain cedar allergy or a viral cold.  Terrible cough for one week that is better now at ten days out but still there.  I stumbled onto reading and realized its no cedar allergy or viral cold that hit me; instead i have indeed been POISONED by aflatoxn from bad pecans!  Then last night SUDDENLY I noticed a painful weird irritation/pain far in the back of my mouth and tongue.  Today the pain persisted and when I finally bothered to look into my mouth i was stunned to see a red inflamed knot the size of a nickel on my right side submandibular (the soft tissue beyond my last moler approaching my throat).  Upon further reading today my suspicion of aflatoxin poisoning from the bad Fisher pecans was absolutely confirmed because such toxins are known to not only leave the dry dusty feeling in my mouth, respiratory illness with congested persistent cough…but also to further infects these glands!  I’m seeking medical attention asap.  This illness is NOT due to a food allergy, it is due to POISONING from dangerous fungi.  Read-up on it…it’s obvious that food industry pushes the public’s blind acceptance of food-borne illness as being caused by ALLERGIES when actually these illnesses, that can be deadly, are caused by extremely dangerous POISONINGS from all kinds of mycotoxins from molds, fungi, bacteria in TAINTED FOOD.  Read up on our food supply in our supermarkets and you too will soon learn that the vast majority of foods on the shelves, processed or not, are not just unhealthy choices but actually choices that contain toxins that are known carcinogens and killing us.  Believe me, only the uninformed and find nancially-challenged are continuing to mindlessly feed from the crap sold to us in our industrial supermarkets.  There are other sources for REAL FOOD worthy of consumption but unf the vast majority of society cannot afford the HIGH DEMAND COMMODITY that is safe old-fashioned real nutritious food.   DO NOT EAT SOY…IT IS NOT A PLANT MEANT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION.  Read-up on SOY LECITHIN…it is a byproduct of industry with no nutritional value or purpose…but instead of incurring any cost for proper disposal of it…you will find it is instead added as an “ingredient” in the vast majority of food “product” sold to us for our consumption…then OUR BODIES “silently” dispose of this waste product for “free.”  But at what real cost to us?  My eyes are wide open now after this POISONING.  Damn, I splurged $11 on that bag of Fisher pecans thinking I landed on a healthy snack…now I’m completely turned off of all nuts after all my recent reading…even peanut butter!   Want to lose weight?  Read-up on MYCOTOXINS in food because you’ll lose your appetite.

  12. I have this bag pf organic walnuts and have been eating them on salads. I noticed hair looking things on the walnuts inside the bag. I am truely trippin. I thought this happend one other time with a previous bag. What the hell are these things?

  13. I have consumed nuts (Almonds, Cashews, English Walnuts, Pecans etc) by the pounds I will go through about 10 lbs a month. I usually buy the Blue Diamond branded Almonds, Fisher Branded Pecans, and then Planters mixed nuts without peanuts. I found that a few pecans had dropped down to the floor under my big comfy chair that rarely gets moved and we found worms all over the remains of several almonds! I estimate they were there for maybe 2 months. Ewwww! We cleaned up the mess and sprayed the rug to kill any remaining eggs.

    My question is: Can I Microwave the nuts prior to me mixing them together to kill any eggs in the nuts as I don’t have room in the freezer to freeze them? Anyone who can answer this I welcome all comments.

  14. I ask the Lord to bless the ingredients on the food l eat, you never know what’s in the food, even fresh food when I’m saying grace and blessings at mealtimes and smack times (when l remember).

  15. OK just ate a whole walnut full of larvae and no one talks about if it’s safe or not because I ate it long time ago so no point on puking. All I want to know if there is any dangers on eating them. So gross I’m literally tripping ballz. Now my belly is making weird continuous vibrations. Must be the weedbutter I used to cook my omelettes this morning.

  16. Recently I found tiny insects/worms? in mixed, unsalted nuts from Costco. They had been roasted. I have been eating these for the health benefit-now I cannot fathom eating nuts again! They had been kept sealed in my pantry. The creepy crawlers we found in a small sealed plastic container I had in my car. My question? Was the larvae in the nuts all along g and then hatched from the I tense heat in the car (souther summet)

    • What I was told is that all nuts have insects and yes the larve will hatch if not put in the freezer. However typically if the nuts have been roasted that shouldn’t be an issue. It’s when the nuts are raw. It took me a year before I ate nuts again but now I just stash them in the freezer. It’s so disgusting! Thank you for commenting. I hope you browse my site. Have a great weekend!

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