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Are Raw Almonds Dangerous to Eat?

Updated: Jul 2


Every now and then I see an article or hear a comment that almonds have cyanide and are dangerous to eat.  This is NOT TRUE for the sweet almonds you buy from a farmer of at the store.  Bitter almonds which are not sold, do contain cyanide or prussic acid or hydrocyanic acid (same compound). We don’t eat bitter almonds.

The almond tree has been on God’s green earth since he made it, however, they yielded bitter almonds. Archeology shows almonds were domesticated since the Early Bronze Age (3000–2000 BC) in present day Jordan. Over time almonds were cultivated to yield a sweet almond which is what we have been eating since then. There are hundreds of varieties.

If you were to eat a bitter almond you would have to consume 50-60 of these almonds as an adult to get serious health problems. With children, the consumption of 5-10 bitter almonds alone can be dangerous. If you were to find a bitter almond tree and eat a kernel, the pleasantly bitter taste of these bitter almonds prevents the consumption of a dangerous dose. Your body will spit it out.

Bitter almonds were used in the dry farming years (30’s – 60’s) in California as root stock, so occasionally you will find a tree growing on the side of a road, try and taste it and you’ll know immediately if it’s a bitter almond. Bitter almond root stock was grafted to sweet almond fruit wood.

The sweet raw almond kernel is a superior nut full of a multitude of health benefits. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends eating 1-2 tablespoons of almonds per day (23 almonds or 1 oz). so, short of some unique health issue you may have, a small portion of nuts should never be missing from your daily menu.

Almonds may not be cheap, but they are cheaper than the doctor or hospital. Eat well, live well, and support your organic famer.

You can buy unpasteurized raw almonds and almond butter directly from the California farmer at Capay Hills Orchard. Order off the website, or by calling or texting 530-507-8222. Talk or text directly with the farmer, Brian Paddock Alternatively email Please share this post with your friends.

Capay Hills Orchard is a small family farm growing the best raw almonds, raw almond butter and smoked almonds. Capay Hills Orchard is Veteran owned, Bee Friendly certified, and of-course Certified Organic using Regenerative farming practices.

truly raw almonds
Young developing almonds


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