We proudly sell high quality, gluten-free organic spices that have ZERO additives and are NOT irradiated or fumigated with chemicals. Instead, we sterilize spices by using natural dry steam.

Our organic spices and handmade small-batch organic seasonings are just that – natural spices! You’d think this is a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised what some spice companies add to their spices and blends…

What’s in Most Conventional Spices?

Many spices found in grocery stores (and even specialty stores that don’t source high quality spices from trusted sources) have additives, chemicals and fillers, which can include:

  • Flour: Are you eating gluten-free? Whether you have Celiac disease or are avoiding gluten for personal or health reasons, you may not know that many spices actually contain gluten. Some companies add things with gluten (like flour) to spices increase the volume/weight to cut costs, or they buy from cheap suppliers who don’t do the proper testing to ensure the spices are pure.
  • Soy and Corn Products: These cheap additives (like cornstarch and cornflour) are added in by low quality spice companies so they can increase their profit margins.
  • Lead: Some people selling spices add lead (yep, the kind you don’t want in your paint much less your food) to bulk up their weight and to fake fresh colors to hide how old their spices actually are. This is especially true with turmeric, ginger, paprika and smoked paprika, so make sure you buy those from trusted spice merchants.
  • Industrial Dyes: Cheap spice companies add dyes to try to trick you that they’re fresh and high quality. Pay specific attention to labels on spice jars when buying traditionally bright-colored spices, like chili powder, taco seasoninggochugaru, sazón and aleppo.
  • Peanuts: This is not good news for people with peanut allergies, but we have to tell you: some companies add ground peanuts to squeeze more profits out of brownish spices like coriander and cumin.
  • Anti-Caking Agent Additives/Preservatives: Many spice shops use these to keep ingredients from clumping together after they’re bagged/packaged. They repel or absorb water and oil, and most of them come from things that can be hard for our stomachs and bodies to break down. Some of the most common include calcium phosphate/tri-calcium phosphate (bone ash), man-made sodium aluminosilicate, calcium carbonate (the main component of snail shells, seashells, eggshells and pearls), magnesium carbonate (a white solid inorganic salt), sodium and potassium ferrocyanide (a bright red salt that’s often used as an oxidizing agent to remove silver from color negatives during processing), calcium silicate (derived from limestone and diatomaceous earth), and silicon dioxide (widely known in its form as quartz or sandstone), among others. In the USA, these are allowed to be added without companies listing them on their package. We don’t use any anti-caking additives or preservatives because some are questionable for human health, and some of the natural/safe ones on the market can be of questionable quality/purity.
  • MSG: This is often used in seasoning blends (like in cheap BBQ rubs – not like our gourmet organic barbecue rubs) to ramp up taste because other companies use spices they use aren’t that high quality (read potent/flavorful). MSG can bring an umami flavor on the cheap, and is sometimes used as a salt alternative. Studies show MSG usually isn’t harmful in small amounts, but some people are sensitive to it.
  • Sterilizing Chemicals: Companies who don’t take the care or time to naturally sterilize their spices literally fumigate their herbs and spices with chemicals or use radiation to sterilize them. One of the sterilizing agents to be most weary of is ethylene oxide. It “gases the spices” and sometimes leaves a film that’s been found to be carcinogenic. It’s thought to cause neurological and nerve damage, miscarriages and cancer –  that’s just not right!
  • Potential Radiation Left Behind from Irradiation: The jury is still out with scientists on this technique, but we think it’s better to lean on the cautious side and NOT irradiate spices. What is spice irradiation? It’s when spices move through a radiation beam (on a conveyor belt) as a cheap and fast way to sterilize large quantities of spices. No X-ray spices for us, thanks.
  • Unnecessary/Too Much Salt: Low quality salt is cheap, and some companies use way too much of it in their mixes to increase profit margins. While good quality salt can be tasty in spice blends, excessive salt is not good and is used as a dirty trick for companies to make more money.

The bottom line is that too many big conventional spice companies unethically increase their “bottom lines” ($$$) by cutting corners.

These spice companies don’t spend the time or money to source freshly harvested spices. In fact, their spices often sit on boats or in warehouses for years – yes, years! We think all of that is gross – both ethically and culinarily speaking.

So, Do Pinch Spices Have Gluten or Any Other Fillers/Additives/Pesticides in Them? [Quick Answer: Nope, Never.]

Great question, and NO. We don’t put any fillers at all in our spices, which are also USDA certified organic. With us, you just get pure, natural spices sourced from certified organic farmers we know and trust. Our spices are regularly tested, too.

You can rest assured knowing that all of our spices, herbs and seasonings are naturally gluten-free. For people who are extra sensitive to gluten, know that we grind, blend and hand pack Pinch seasonings ourselves in our gluten-free factory. Our equipment and tables have never touched gluten. Our farmers also don’t process spices near anything with gluten (“process” = harvesting and dry steaming them – they are never irradiated, more on that below).

We know a few people with Celiac disease, and we take this very seriously. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Thomas or Meaghan at pinch@pinchspicemarket.com.

And if you’ve read this far here’s a special Pinch coupon code just for you! Get $5 off your first order of $25 or more with the code: GFSPICES5

Are Pinch Spices Irradiated or Have Any Chemicals? [Quick Answer: No.]

Not only do our organic and fair trade spices (read more here on why that matters) not have any of the junk listed above, but they’re also never treated with radiation – or any chemicals for that matter.

We do things the natural way via dry steam. Our spices stay fresh and tasty for about two years, give or take (especially when you keep them sealed tight, out of light and away from heat sources like ovens).

P.S. While spices don’t really “go bad,” they lose their health benefits and culinary potency over time. So, how can I tell if my natural spices are still fresh? Just give them a whiff. If they don’t smell like anything, it’s time to throw them away and order new spices.

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Have any other questions about spices? Check out our spice FAQs, drop a comment here, or get ahold of us here.

 

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“The Pinch Spice Market spices are absolute AMAZING! They're flavorful, potent, organic, and DELICIOUS! I love how layered the flavor profiles of the spice/herb blends are; they make everything taste worthy. OUTSTANDING!”

--Ayesha W.

"GREAT blends! Totally my go-to gifts (and self-gifts) now"

-Adam H.

"Friendly and knowledgeable staff with excellent fresh spices makes this place a one of kind spice place worth shopping from.”

--Tim K.

“So far, Veggie Sprinkle, Finger Lickin' Chicken, and Porcini Salt are in our regular spice rotation.”

--Brian C.

“High quality, fresh spices.”

--Sharon S.