Almonds Then & Now:
In 2005 and 2006, Almond harvests in California were much smaller than expected, yielding only 1/3 the expected number of nuts. The lack of supply drove up prices horribly - they doubled. Though crops have been much better in subsequent years, the price has not gone back down.
The Status of Raw Almonds:
A lot of you have asked about the future of almonds. It is true that our government very quietly (and without public notification or call for comment) passed a law to pasteurize all almonds. Pasteurization is usually accomplished with heat. As with all pasteurization the goal is to kill harmful (pathogenic) bacteria. Of course, as we raw food lovers know - it also kills beneficial bacteria. We want no part of it! Without going into details as to why this law was passed, I will say, as I have for many years, that we should be able to choose what we eat. The government has no call to mandate this choice for us! As it stands today, the only legal way one can get truly raw Almonds is to grow your own, or get them directly from a farmer. This is not an option for most people as the vast majority of the world'a almond crop comes from California and Spain. We have to fight to make raw almonds readily available again, so write your elected officials and the USDA to demand that organic almonds not be pasteurized. Visit our friends at The Cornucopia Institute for further information.
If you are doing a science experiment - or growing an almond tree seedling, keep Rinsing and Draining every 8-12 hours for as long as you like, but don't expect to eat your crop. The seed will tast bitter by the time it sprouts! Actually - if you want to grow a tree, you should start with an almond that is still in its shell.
Almonds are best stored in a cool location - we keep ours in a freezer, but a refrigerator works well too. If you plan on storing Almonds for more than 3 months you should use one of these cool locations. If you leave them at 70° they will likely last for a year or 2, but they may not. When almonds go bad, they get rancid, so you will likely smell it if that happens to your almonds. Consider yourself more knowing =:-}