How to Buy and Store Turmeric

Why it pays to buy fair-trade, organic turmeric powder — plus, how best to store this anti-inflammatory spice.

Three jars of turmeric

Not all turmeric powders are created equal. Much of what’s sold in grocery stores comes from roots that have been boiled then dried. (The potent leftover liquid is used for dyes and decoctions.) “Even though it’s been cured like this for processing, it’s still turmeric by FDA food-regulation standards, so people think they’re getting the whole turmeric, but they’re not,” says Ayurvedic doctor Bhaswati Bhattacharya, MPH, MD, PhD. Worse, some distributors may add talcum powder, color additives, and even lead.

Source your turmeric powder from a certified-organic, fair-trade company that practices stringent testing processes. Experts recommend you steer clear of bulk bins and internet sales; those spices are often old and can be compromised.

Store turmeric in an airtight glass container in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. Use within six months for optimal flavor and potency.

This originally appeared as “Go for the Gold” in the January/February 2020 print issue of Experience Life.

writes about health, the environment, and the arts from Vancouver Island, Canada.

Leave a Comment

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Newsletter Signup
Weekly Newsletter
Special Promotions