Truly raw nuts
So all the grocery-store "raw" nuts are technically steam pasteurized? Is that enough to bypass the phytatic acid soak? Or are even "raw" nuts in grocery stores basically dead, and you have to shell them yourself to get the real nutritional benefit of nuts?
Interesting question. I know that with rolled oats the commercial steaming actually kills phytase, so stops the soaking from working as it should.
With oats (which while a fairly innocuous cereal in some ways is very high in phytate) the phytic acid is there to bind minerals until the growing plant needs them. When conditions are right for the seeds to sprout (damp, warmth) the phytase breaks down the phytates so that those minerals then become available. By pre-soaking oats traditional cultures were -- presumably unknowingly -- exploiting that. (The knew their gruel was more digestible that way: they wouldn't have known why).
I don't know about nuts. I assume the mechanism is the same or similar. So, again, I guess steaming could interfere. But i don't know.
Sally Fallon suggests soaking them with a spoonful of salt:
Amazon.com: Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (9780967089737): Sally Fallon, Mary Enig: Books
I don't usually worry soaking them myself. I think the phytates would probably only become a digestive issue if one were eating far more nuts than would be good for anyone for other reasons anyway.