Over a decade ago, Vince and I were killing time in Kansas City and wandered into a spice store. I had never even realized such places existed but as we browsed through all the herbs and spices, stopping to smell the varieties they had open, we stopped in our tracks at the Vietnamese Cinnamon display. It was breathtaking. Since that time, I’ve used nothing but Vietnamese cinnamon and was thankful to be able to find it locally in the grocery stores.
I use cinnamon in oatmeal, cinnamon toast, on apples, in yogurt, in baking, especially my beloved cinnamon rolls and sweet potato pies. Vince puts it in his coffee every morning. Just last week, I made cinnamon toast for Addie using Vietnamese cinnamon.
This morning, Vince came across an article entitled Why You’re Eating the Wrong Cinnamon. I was not going to let one article convince me that Vietnamese cinnamon should be avoided so I did more research and, I’m sad to say . . came away feeling we should not be eating Vietnamese cinnamon. This article at Superfoodly is what convinced me. There are articles that indicate the coumarin in some cinnamons may or may not be harmful but the chart towards the bottom of the Superfoodly article has me definitely cutting back on the amount of Vietnamese cinnamon we use.
Additionally, Vince takes two cinnamon capsules daily, which has been promoted as having health benefits. According to this article at Healthline, cinnamon is loaded with anti-oxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties, etc. BUT it’s at the very bottom of the article that ceylon cinnamon is recommended and the risks of cassia cinnamon are discussed. Vince looked at the capsules he takes, made by a highly advertised supplement company, and it’s cassia. Taking the recommended two capsules per day puts Vince near the toxic range, and that isn’t counting that he puts cinnamon in his coffee. That makes no sense to me!
If we used a small amount of cinnamon, I wouldn’t worry about it but we go through probably several pounds of cinnamon per year. I’ll keep the Vietnamese cinnamon, at least for now, and use it sparingly – cinnamon rolls, and sweet potato and pumpkin pies, all of which which we rarely have these days. That’s my thought now. Vince is continuing to do research and by the time he’s done researching and sharing, we may toss all the Vietnamese cinnamon.
Vince found the recommended ceylon cinnamon at Amazon for less than $15 for a pound so he ordered it.
Not only am I disappointed to know that something I love is probably not terribly safe to be consuming but it makes me wonder what else we think is safe to eat may not be so safe. There are apparently countries that have banned some forms of cinnamon, all of which are still sold in the U. S.
I truly am amazed at how much we don’t know about our food.
I dont think that people put as much time in to do the research on food because it seems like what is touted as good for you one day is bad for you the next. It’s all very frustrating.
Judy Laquidara says
You’re right. I never thought much about it but I think we also trust (to a fault) that those who are responsible for this type research have our best interest at heart and I think so much of this is based on who has their hand in your pocket, lobbyists, etc. Proof of this is the fact that the government (i.e. taxpayers) still props up the sugar industry, when sugar is so terribly unhealthy.
Probably, as individuals, there’s almost no way we can do enough research to know what’s good and bad for us – food, meds, etc. Remember when margarine was so much better for us than butter? Eggs were bad?
Even when we do a lot of research, we can almost always find believable information to support both sides of every argument. I don’t know the answer other than to share info we find and everyone can read it, do their own research and make an educated guess as to what’s best.
I have the feeling that most of the “research” is paid for by whomever is trying to get you to buy a certain product or not buy another product. I figure I have to die at some point and I want to be happy until then and if a certain food makes me happy, that is what I am going to eat.
Susan Nixon says
No matter how bad sugar is for us, I don’t think anyone can get people off it, because it tastes so good. Therefore, there is a market for it, and people will keep growing it and burning the stubble in smokey Texas fields.
Linda in NE says
I take Ceylon Cinnamon capsules but I think the cinnamon I’ve been using is Cassia. Cassia cinnamon seems to have a more robust flavor than Ceylon and I like that in some things, but I’ve used both in cooking. I’ve never used the Vietnamese variety so can’t say anything about it. All I know is that we all used Cassia cinnamon for most of our lives because that is about all that was available and it hasn’t killed us yet. I’ll keep using both the Cassia and Ceylon just as I do now. I really think that if we research anything too deeply it would scare us off. Remember back before the Internet and the overload of opposing information we didn’t know we should worry about everything and were perfectly happy using the products our families had always used? Much less stressful.
Judy Laquidara says
The Vietnamese cinnamon, to me, is the most flavorful. Cassia is definitely the most widely used and most available but the beauty of all of this is that we can all make or own decisions about it. I feel there’s enough out there that causes harm, or potentially could cause harm, if I feel the info I’m reading is credible, I’m going to stop. Back before the internet, and even farther back, smoking was ok and we didn’t wear seatbelts but nowadays, most people wouldn’t consider smoking or driving/riding without a seatbelt. I think we all have to use the info available and make an educated decision. I don’t find it stressful but do find it aggravating that some countries have banned certain substances and the U. S. doesn’t even mention it and that Vince is paying for supposedly healthy supplements and they’re cassia.
I do want to know all I can know, especially about the things I’m giving to Addie .. and then be able to make a decision as to what to se.
Nelle Coursey says
I always question things made outside of the US. There is not the restrictions placed on the other countries that we have here. I never buy fish or any dog treats that say they are made anywhere but in the US. Even my dog food is made in the US. I read about one of the treats some people have been giving their dogs and it was made from sawdust and came from one of the Oriental countries. I have seen on TV how some of the processing plants over there look. No thank you, I will settle for good old “made in the USA” products.
Shirley Crawford says
My husband must have read the same article and replaced the cinnamon we use with the Ceylon cinnamon. Must say it has No flavor at all. I have since gone back to the cinnamon I have used for the past 50 years.
I only buy Ceylon Cinnamon from Frontier and I love the smell and flavor. It is so much better than what I had been using, which is long gone now.
Judy H says
Frontier Co-op? Do you get the jars, or buy in bulk?
Penny Holliday says
When you purchase a product such as cinnamon in bulk & it’s packaged in what appears to be a plastic bag I assume you would remove from bag to use. What type of container would you use & where would you store it?
Kelly Richardson says
Penny, I buy from Penzeys in bulk like this and keep all of my spices in their bags, I keep the bags in a basket in the pantry.
Penny Holliday says
Thank you for the information, Kelly! Glad I can easily store in bag!
Kelly Richardson says
I buy the Ceylon Cinnamon from Penzeys…but I have the other and will be throwing it out. thanks