The cashew nut is everywhere, especially in the vegan lifestyle. It’s used as a snack, in sauces, and even as an alternative to milk.
With the large demand and varied uses for cashews, it’s natural to ask yourself where they all come from. After all, you’ve probably never seen land with cashews growing on it.
We’ll help you answer that question today by discussing where cashews are grown. By the end of the post, you’ll know where most cashews come from, and some additional information about their growing conditions.
Where are Cashews Grown?
Cashews come from many different countries all over the world. The main producers of these delicious nuts are Vietnam, India, Cote d’Ivoire, and the Philippines.
Although those are the main countries in which it is grown now, cashews are not native to any of those countries. Cashew nuts originally came from Brazil, where they were exported by Portuguese explorers in the 1500’s.
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Which Country is the Largest producer of Cashew Nuts in the World?
The largest producer of cashews in the world is Vietnam, which produces around 860,000 million tons per year. It’s closely followed by India, which produces around 100,000 million tons less yearly.
There are some serious ethical concerns with the cashews grown in Vietnam. This has led to some referring to cashews as blood cashews.
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In Vietnam, the people who process cashews are often those in rehabilitation centers who are forced to do so as part of their therapy. Cashews are coated in a skin that has irritating caustic acid in it. The acid can burn the hands of people shucking them without adequate equipment.
Furthermore, many of those involved in processing cashews have historically been paid extremely low wages for their efforts.
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This is why the Vietnam Cashew Association was created, and they continue to work to protect cashew processors from harm. We’ve written a bit more about the sustainability of the cashew industry as a result in this post.
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Where are Cashews Grown in the US?
Cashews are not grown in large-scale commercial settings in the United States. Their growth is sporadic and scattered throughout the country in various botanical collections or some home gardens.
It’s certainly possible to grow your own cashew trees if you have the space. You’ll need a spot with well-draining soil in a place where the temperature never goes below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Ideally, you’d be located in a tropical area.
Once they’re planted, they don’t require a lot of care, unless you’re concerned about growing large amounts of crops. In that case, you’ll probably want to fertilize their soil.
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You can find cashews in stores everywhere across the country. Nevertheless, not many people would be able to tell you where these nuts come from if you were to ask.
Now that you’ve read this article, you know how and where cashews grow. If you’re concerned about the ethics of cashew processing, you should look for organic or fair trade cashews.