Look around your kitchen, if you can't remember when you last purchased those stale bottles of dehydrated stuff it's about time to revamp your spice cabinet. Spicing up your foods with good quality herbs is a great way to add interest to an old dish. Try adding some curry powder to your Chili...yup, curry in chili, it's fantastic. Or a little Cayenne to your hot chocolate.
Herbs and spices not only add great flavor to foods but high quality ones have many medicinal purposes. It is very important to buy the best when buying herbs and spices for your health and for the freshest flavors.
Ah, I know what you're thinking...but herbs and spices are surely pure and all natural…
When most people purchase herbs and spices they are under the impression that they are getting a pure and all natural product, but in many cases this is very far from the truth.
Let me take you on a journey of the typical herb or spice…
First of all seeds that are often genetically modified are set out by underpaid farmers in artificially fertilized depleted soils then sprayed with numerous applications of chemical insecticides, herbicides and fungicides.
Once this crop has grown to its maximum size it is then harvested and set into large bins to go on to the processing.
The drying is often done at high levels of heat, which reduces flavor, color, fragrance and any medicinal value.
The herbs and spices are then placed into large open containers in warehouses ready for shipment.
Because of the expense of proper handling and storage this is often replaced by chemical fumigation using chemicals such as Ethylene Oxide (ETO) Ethylene oxide reacts with herbs and spices leaving harmful residues of ethylene chlorohydrin and ethylene bromohydrin on the herbs and spices. Ethylene chlorohydrin is a known carcinogen that persists in the spice for many months.
Often herbs and spices are irradiated with high levels of radiation again, because of unsanitary handling.
As if all of this was not enough, a barrage of additives can be used in the final processing.
Just as some people are allergic to certain foods, some people can also react to additives, some people in a very quick and violent way. Many of these additives do not have to be listed
Anti caking agents make the product more free flowing
Bulking Agents adds bulk to the product to reduce the cost ( often contains gluten)
Flavor enhancers (the most well known is monosodium glutamate (MSG))
Stabilizers helps stop foods from separating
The only way to ensure that your herbs and spices are free from all of these treatments are not genetically modified, harvested at peak freshness and are handled with the strictest sanitary methods are free from pesticides, chemicals and irradiation is to buy certified organic herbs and spices.
Throw that old sawdust you call spices in your compost bin and spice up your kitchen and your health with some new fresh organic herbs and spices...
My favorites are:
Whole hot chilies
Store your spices in a cool dark place away from heat and sunlight, I store mine in the freezer.