The reason raw cashew nuts are more expensive is that they have a shorter shelf life. Because they don't last as long on the shelf, more effort is needed to ensure that those on sale are always fresh. One of the reasons cashew nuts are popular around the world is their nutritional value. Multiple studies praise cashew nuts for their effects, including lowering harmful cholesterol, boosting the immune system, and strengthening muscles and nerves.
The health benefits of cashew nuts make them a popular snack even in times of surplus. The raw cashew nut (known as RCN) is covered by a shell that contains toxic oils, such as anacardic acid. It's the same acid found in poison ivy. Cashew nut shell oil is very toxic, it can burn the skin if we touch them, and they are very dangerous if you eat them by mistake.
Roasting cashew nuts can destroy toxins and, after removing them, the RCN must go through many other processing processes for RCN into cashew kernels. Finally, cashew kernels must be sorted and sorted. This whole process is laborious, which helps in part to explain why cashew nuts are so expensive. And while cashew nuts are currently cheaper than they have been in recent years, demand is likely to drive up prices in the future.
Beyond the Nut ensures that every worker has the necessary protective equipment to process cashew nuts while minimizing the risk of injury. The whole process is labor intensive and dangerous, which helps explain part of why cashew nuts are so expensive. Even when you buy raw cashews, those crunchy nuts are roasted at least once to eliminate urushiol. For centuries, cashew nut processing was done manually, but over the years, with the advancement of technology, there are machines that help break down shells and remove toxic oils without cracking nuts.
Factors influencing the price of cashew nuts have created an environment where cashew nuts are sold at a higher price. Peanut growers can have crops ready almost immediately, while cashew nut growers spend years tending to their trees before these crops produce food that can be sold. The cashew nuts are then roasted to remove any traces of toxins and the last process is done completely by hand, which involves removing the shell containing tannins, which requires experience and this is another reason why cashew nut processing cannot be fully automated, most of the steps involve labor. In addition, repeated exposure to cashew nut shell oil will destroy protective equipment, which must be replaced by worker safety.
You can buy raw cashews, roasted cashews, and even flavored cashews at many supermarkets and health food stores. Not surprisingly, cashew butter costs much more than peanut butter and is harder to find in grocery stores and increased demand drives up the price. Vietnam, on the other hand, was one of the first countries to invest in automation, making it a key location for processing cashew nuts. While cashew nuts are not the most expensive nuts on the market, they are more expensive than many other popular nuts, such as almonds.