So I'm starting to get into spices as an alternative to salt and sugar. Do organic spices make a difference in the diet? It would be a lot cheaper to buy spices in bulk at Costco, except they're not organic.
I'm already eating organic veggies, fruits, and meat...
asked byJimboDude (90)
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on November 02, 2011
at 10:00 AM
The reasons to buy organic herbs and spices are the same as the reasons to buy organic produce. However, I would resist the urge to buy bulk herbs and spices at Costco for a different reason. Herbs and spices lose their potency and should be replaced once a year--at least (some sources recommend replacing after six months). Your best option for optimal flavor--organic or not--is to buy small quantities from a source with high turnover and replace them frequently. If you don't have a good local source, Penzeys is a popular option.
on November 03, 2011
at 03:12 PM
It depends on how sensitive you are to gluten. Many ethnic food markets - African, Asian, Latin-American, Middle Eastern, etc. sell dry spices very cheaply.
The downside is that dry spices are often ground, produced, processed and/or stored in the same room/building as grains - particularly gluten grains like oats, barley, rye, and wheat. Most second and third world countries do not have the consistent quality control or standards as first world countries, so there is a chance for cross-contamination even in one batch but not in another! I have not yet seen certified gluten-free spices from second and third world countries. If someone knows otherwise - please post and I will change this post. I'd love to know!
If you don't have this level of sensitivity (and you should test and document in a food journal), then I wouldn't worry about it.
Spices should often be used within 6 months to 1 year, or they lose their flavor, or worse taste bitter.
This post somewhat relates to your question and has some good spice options: http://paleohacks.com/questions/37834/cant-give-up-condiments-does-it-matter#axzz1cefWNF00
on April 20, 2012
at 09:18 PM
Because spices are a dried, concentrated form a plant usually imported from abroad, the concern would be for high levels of pesticide residue, not to mention anti-clumping chemicals added. Besides that, the flavour difference is pretty huge. Spices, because you just generally a bit at a time, are the one thing I maintain as strictly organic. Plus, I'm picky about the flavour aspect. I would recommend the organic, and think it's probably even more important than organic produce because of the concentrated aspect of the pesticides and contaminants.
on April 03, 2012
at 02:37 PM
I faced the same dilemma. I don't have much overt sensitivity to gluten but I was concerned about how the spices and herbs were being handled. Many of the spices coming from China and other markets are irradiated before coming to the US. The controls on pesticides are lax too. Then you throw in GMO's and silcon dioxide for clumping, it makes it hard to be paleo.
So I started buying all of my spices from Mountain Rose (www.mountainroseherbs.com) and started mixing blends in bulk for me and friends at my box. This led to me formeing a rub of the month club (shameless plug here) at www.paleoblends.com which launches this month.
Good luck on your paleo journey
Neil Cohen www.paleoblends.com