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HomeHealth & Fitness5 Questions About Almonds - Answered

5 Questions About Almonds – Answered

Almonds are one of the most researched foods in the world, but due to the amount of complex information that exists, facts about this nutrient-dense nut can be misinterpreted. So we want to set the record straight. Let’s crack the nuts (well, technically, the seeds).

Question #1: Are almonds high in calories and fat?

“There are about 175 calories in 30 grams of almonds [about 20 nuts],” Juliette Almond Council Advisor Kellow RD explains California. “This may seem like a lot, but in almonds, there’s plant-based protein, fiber, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.”

On the subject of fat, study suggest that eating almonds as a mid-morning snack rather than a carbohydrate-rich snack can help limit the number of calories consumed throughout the day. “Protein and healthy fats are associated with keeping us fuller for longer,” Kellow said. “Almonds are also high in energy-boosting B vitamins,” she continues. “They’re a great pre- or post-workout snack.” If you stick to a handful or two a day, the benefits outweigh the calories and fat.

Question #2: Are almonds bad for bees?

Almond Pollen to Bees Very nutritious for the almond orchard, they always leave California almond orchards stronger than they arrive

Dan Goldberg

Almond trees naturally

provides bees

with the first of their growing season A major food source. The flowers contain nutritious pollen rich in 10 essential amino acids that bees need to survive.

A Recent studies

have shown that the nectar of almond flowers contains a compound called amygdalin, It reduces the incidence of certain viral diseases in bees and supports their gut health. “Due to these factors, bees typically leave an almond orchard stronger than they arrive,”

California Almond Council


Almond growers recognize the importance of bees. Many companies are partnering with green non-profits such as

Pollinator Partnership

Organizations to Improve Their Sustainability Efforts , the world’s largest non-profit organization dedicated solely to protecting and promoting pollinators and their ecosystems. Currently, the Pollinator Partnership has certified 110,000 acres of almond orchards as bee-friendly, representing 85 percent of all certified bee-friendly farms in the United States.

Question #3: Are almond farms monocultures?


Cover crops are being planted to boost biodiversity

Ross Thomas

Many California almond farms have introduced cover crops (plants that cover the soil but not for harvesting), which is another form of support for bees. “Cover crops are a great way to support pollinators because they provide additional forage,” Lewis said. “Like people, bees need a varied diet, and the cover crop seeds we use provide that and benefit the farm.”

“We definitely grow the staple crop (almonds), but with cover crops we’re adding incredible diversity to the system,” Habitat Program Director Rory Crowley explained in

Project Apis m.

, responsible for the Bee Seed Program, which creates and distributes these diverse cover crop seed mixes to build biodiversity on these farms. “We’re doing this with brassicas including radishes, which facilitate water penetration and put a lot of organic matter into the ground, and legumes, which add nitrogen back into the soil.”

And, this extra forage doesn’t just help the bees . “Cover crops benefit a lot of wildlife,” Crowley explained. “They support other pollinators like native bees, moths and butterflies, as well as the good bugs that eat the bad bugs. The density, duration and variety of forage available…that’s what we’re trying to achieve with mixed seeds.”

Question #4: Almonds Does growing use a lot of water?


82% of California almond farms use water-efficient micro-irrigation

Dan Goldberg

This is one of the biggest, toughest problems facing the almond growing community. Almost everything needs water to grow, but in California (where 80 percent of the world’s almonds are grown) and many other places with drought-prone, Mediterranean-style climates, water is a precious commodity.

“Water saving is important to us It’s very important for the industry,” said Danielle Veenstra, a third analyst with a generation of California almond growers. “Since the 1990s, we have reduced the amount of almonds we grow by 33% – and our goal is to reduce it by another 20% by 2025.” farmer They are a way More efficient use of water

is achieved through ultra-precise micro-sprinklers dispenser or dripper. In fact, 82 percent of almond farms in California use this method when irrigating. Another method is to cut down old almond trees and return them to the fields in an almost “life cycle” fashion. “When an almond tree is nearing the end of its life, we can turn it into wood chips and put them in the soil to improve its quality,” Veenstra explained. “Less water is needed because it improves the soil’s durability. Water capacity. Studies show it can also increase our yields.” water Cutting-edge technologies are also being explored when it comes to water conservation, including installing smart technology around the trunks of almond trees to let farmers know when and how much they need to water – thus avoiding unnecessary waste .

almond Growers have other sustainability goals they are working towards including sequestering carbon by recycling old trees and becoming

zero waste

, which upcycles almond by-products. “A lot of almond shells are used in cow feed, and the shells are used in livestock bedding, but we’ve recently experimented with other ways we can make better use of these things,” Veenstra explained. “One way is we take the sugar out of the hull and use it to make delicious beer.”

Question #5: Isn’t almond farming run by big corporations?

Danielle Veenstra working on her family orchard
Ross Thomas

not at all. In fact, more than 90 percent of almond farms are family-owned, according to the most recent USDA Census of Agriculture. For example, Veenstra’s grandfather planted his first orchard in 1965, and her family continues to grow the same land today. “Family is a big reason why I work so hard to make almond farming sustainable,” she explains. “I want to pass my farm on to future generations in the best possible condition. That’s what drives me.”

farmer Learn more about

California Almond Farmer’s Sustainability Initiative



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