You may already be aware of the dangers lurking in those little spice packets that they sell at the grocery store, such as taco seasoning, but did you know that the herbs and spices you have in your cupboard might also be harmful?
What is Wrong with Your Herbs and Spices?
Conventionally grown herbs and spices turn something that was once medicinally valuable into something that is an additional toxic burden on your body.
- Herbs and spices that are conventionally grown are loaded with pesticides. Your body has enough hard work to do detoxing from our world we live in today. It doesn’t need the added burden of detoxing your spices as well.
- They are irradiated. Herbs and spices (as well as other foods) are irradiated to kill bacteria and other contaminants. Sounds like a good idea, right? Well, the process of irradiation depletes the vitamins and minerals significantly. So, that oregano that was such an antiviral and antibacterial powerhouse is now reduced to just a bit of flavor.
- Some herbs are genetically modified and some spice blends include genetically modified ingredients.
- They often contain synthetic ingredients to avoid caking.
- Many of the herbs and spices in those bottles have already lost whatever potency they had left after irradiation simply because they have been on the shelf for so long (or in your cupboard for so long).
Why those spice packets are especially dangerous:
- The spice packets are particularly harmful because they often contain neurotoxins such as monosodium glutamate
- Often, they contain dextrose, which is just another name for processed sugar.
- Some contain the ubiquitous maltodextrin. (Go here to learn 5 dangers of Maltodextrin).
- They usually contain “natural flavors” which sounds harmless enough. Unfortunately, a natural flavor isn’t what is sounds like. The term can hide anywhere from 50-100 ingredients!! (source) Most natural flavoring is a lab-derived flavoring that at one point in time in history had been taken out of a real food. They can then be chemically modified. After that, they add solvents and preservatives that you most likely wouldn’t want to consume if you knew they were in there.
How to be sure your herbs and spices are safe:
- Buy organic! The only way to be sure that your herbs and spices are not loaded with chemical, have not been irradiated, and are not genetically modified, is to buy organic.
- Buy from the bulk section of your grocery store or co-op. Herbs and spices lose their potency, both in flavor and their medicinal qualities, quite rapidly. Only buy what you need as you need it. The bulk section allows you to buy a couple of tablespoons at a time to ensure that your herbs and spices are always fresh and potent.
- Store your herbs and spices in a cool, dark place. I use these metal jars.
- Grow and dry your own. It is very easy to grow herbs, even if the only space you only have windowsills. If you grow your favorite herbs, simply harvest the extra and dry in your dehydrator (this is the one I have and love!) on the lowest setting or in your oven on the lowest setting. These will be the freshest and most potent herbs you will get!
- Make your own spice blends to have on hand. Spice blends take only a minute to prepare. If you have never made your own, you will wonder why you haven’t been doing it all along! Also, when you make your own blends, you can customize them to your taste (or that of your children).
Homemade Spice blends:
These are so simple to make. You can mix up your seasoning mix far faster than jumping in the car to pick up one of those toxic spice packets.
- Go here for my homemade taco seasoning recipe. I have kid-friendly and adult versions.
- Go here for my steak seasoning blend.
- Go here for a great “Old Bay” seasoning copycat recipe from the Spruce. This is great for seafoods!
Do you make your own spice blends? What are some of your favorites?