The Cashew Dilemma

Ever wondered what cashew looks like before they are harvested? 

Cashews actually grow on the outside and hang from the bottom of the cashew apple (which is also edible, tastes and smells sweet).


Once harvested, cashews are always roasted, boiled or streamed before they are deshelled as they are surrounded by a toxic oil that can irritate the skin. So most of the "raw" cashews you find in the market are actually already cooked.

Aren’t they simply beautiful?

So how is cashews harvested? - one of the most asked question from my last post✨

Recently, I saw a video that explains how cashew nuts are harvested. While it talked about how the toxic oil between the shells can cause irritation to skin, it also raised a lot of social issues, e.g. human rights violations, labour abuse. Cashew's long supply chain make this commodity difficult to trace, and additionally even more problematic.

📸Reuters/ LLC Gnago

📸Metro/ Emily Clark

Above photo: even though machines have been invented, most of the work is still done manually. Gloves are also given, but it slow down workers' productivity so many of them prefer to work without.

📸Reuters/ Jayanta De

Above photo: toxic oil between shells will cause irritation to workers' hands.


If the clean eating will cause pain and suffering to someone else, is there a reason to be plant-based?

This is one of the reasons to start the Soul hooked on series. I believe only by food education can we create a healthier community and make wiser choice in our next purchase. There is a cultural correlation between making healthy food choices and ethical food choices. Cashew products are well-established symbols of the both. Yet only 3% of the world's cashew kernels can be designated as fair trade (Yes - there're fair trade cashews).

Know your food source. We, as consumers, can change how businesses operate.

This week's cashew recipe

Basic Ingredients to create a cashew cheese paste:

  • 1 cup torn Kale (no sterns) and parsley combined
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 1/4 cup, soaked Cashews
  • Pinch of Salt, more to taste
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 


Using a food processor / high-speed blender, combine the above ingredients, except olive oil until preferred consistency.

Stream in the oil and pulse it.

Taste and season if needed.


*Note that this is just the basic recipe for creating a vegan cheese paste. Be creative and add your preferred flavour to add more character to your own paste!



Soulistic is a vegan brand created by Chef and Food Therapist, Tiffany Lau (@soulhookedonfood), as a platform to educate customers about healthier diets over medication by providing products and experiences that create change from within. Read about her story and what led her to start Soulistic here

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