EP 112: What's the deal with Apeel? Coatings on your fresh produce

EP 112: What's the deal with Apeel? Coatings on your fresh produce


On this episode we explore the world of coatings on fresh produce. Unravel the mysteries behind companies like Apeel, their patents, and safety concerns. Discover the importance of understanding wax coatings on fruits, the debate over keeping peels for nutrition, and the truth about Apeel's ingredients and funding. We delve into various coating types, safety concerns, and how we can make healthy food choices. Let’s dive in!



“It's crucial to inform consumers about the presence of wax on their produce. Being aware empowers us to make informed decisions about our food choices’’

-Chef Mareya

“Even organic produce may have added chemicals. This highlights the importance of considering how to remove the wax layer effectively’’

-Chef Mareya



[00:02:36] Appeal raises millions, confused with similar product.

[00:06:31] Wax used on ancient fruits still effective.

[00:10:01] Dairy intolerance may be linked to wax.

[00:14:01] Eat Cleaner helps prevent allergic reactions, remove wax.

[00:17:27] Solution: Wax coating on produce; remove for cleanliness.

[00:18:57] Thanks for listening, subscribe, share, #Rfybl.





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Full Transcript


Chef Mareya [00:00:00]:


It started a few months ago when I got a message from a friend asking me if I had ever heard of this coating called Appeal. Well, I've known about them for years, of course. This is my industry. I had been tracking their progress, had talked to some of their executives, several years ago, in fact. And so I was well aware of the company's Ed Appeal product, which is a coating that's being applied to fruits and vegetables to help prolong chef life, prevent dehydration and reduce food waste. And the truth is, edible coatings on produce are nothing new. But you'd think by everything running around on TikTok and instagram that Appeal put it on the map. Well, here's the deal.


Chef Mareya [00:00:52]:


Hi, I'm Chef Maria, the fit foodie. And this is Recipes For Your Best Life, where we dish about all things related to food, health and wellness to nourish you from the inside out. I love hosting special guests who are experts in their field. And we also get to talk about topics that are important for your well being. You'll always get lots of food for thought you can really sink your teeth into. So pull up a chair and welcome to the chef's table. About 80% of our produce is waxed, and wax, which I'll get into in just a little bit, can come in a lot of different forms, from paraffin to carnauba wax. They are being applied to a lot of produce and you can't remove it with water.


Chef Mareya [00:01:37]:


Neither one of them can be removed with water. And I've been talking about the risks of this for over a decade, but it's really interesting to see what happens when a trend catches fire. Right? I have seen posts saying, don't eat anything with the Appeal sticker on it. And I've seen people saying, I checked out their website and you really can't find any information about what exactly Appeal is. And I've even seen people write, the company is very mysterious about what the product actually is and it can't be washed off no matter how hard you then you know it's all about. Well, it's funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Now, some of these claims are true, but they're only half truths. The truth is, they're pretty clear about what goes into Appeal, and they're pretty clear about who is funding the company.


Chef Mareya [00:02:36]:


They've raised a considerable amount of money, hundreds of millions, in fact. And they're pretty specific in the website. And they've even filed patents where they're pretty specific about what is in there. To make matters worse for Appeal, there's another produce on the market that has a pretty serious safety data sheet, which every chemical that's out there has to have a safety data sheet that talks about what's in it, how to handle it, and what damage it can cause. And I don't know if they didn't do their homework, but there's another product out there called Appeal, and the safety data sheet says can cause serious eye damage, should only be used while wearing protective clothing, including gloves and eye and face protection. Well, that's not the coating that Appeal is using. The company is called Appeal, but their coding is called Ed Appeal. And that's where it got confused with this other company's product that's actually called Appeal.


Chef Mareya [00:03:36]:


See what happened there? Now, Appeal's information on their website and in their patents talk about the fact that their coating is comprised of purified, monoglycerides, and diglycerides. These are edible compounds that can be found in a variety of foods. And they're plant based lipids of fats or fats. So they're the plant based fats that are oil based that are being applied to extend that shelf life, reduce spoilage, and keep produce, hopefully, out of the landfills. No, it can't be removed with water. And neither can the wax that's been used in some shape or form for hundreds of years either. Let me kind of take you back into the history of how this all started. So in the early 19 hundreds, there was a process that was patented that actually had fruit preserved with a kerosene bath.


Chef Mareya [00:04:35]:


Can you imagine kerosene being applied to your produce? Nasty. And in the century before that, it was really common for Americans to use gelatin or salt or sugar to preserve food. Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night in a hot sweat? I used to until I discovered cozy earth. They make the yummiest, bedding, clothing, towels, so many things from 100% viscose, from bamboo. It's perfect for sleeping because it helps to regulate and wick moisture away to keep you comfy. It's also the softest fabric I've ever had next to my body. It's durable and machine washable, and it's ethically produced, which is huge. They pride themselves on their ethical production.


Chef Mareya [00:05:24]:


And I'll tell you, I have so many things from Cozy Earth, from sheets to bedding, to towels, to robes, pajamas, shorts, tops, dresses and the are my absolute favorite items. You can get 40% off at Cozy Health right now. Just head over to Cozyearth.com and use my code C E for Cozyearthmare, 40% of plus some of Oprah's favorite things. When you know, the queen knows. They also soaked fruit in brandy, which is why you get a lot of brandy flavor in different desserts. In the 16th century in England, people used a method called larding, and that's where they literally used lard to coat and keep the water and mold off of stored food. In the 15th century, the Japanese used yuba, and that is an edible film made by boiling soy milk. And they would use that to coat their foods, kind of like the skin of a tofu.


Chef Mareya [00:06:31]:


Basically, that helped to keep things lasting longer, just like what wax does today. And even earlier than that. In the twelveTH and 13th centuries, citrus farmers in southern China packed their oranges and lemons in wooden boxes before filling the boxes with a type of wax. And again, this was all used for the same purpose to prevent spoilage, dehydration and insect damage on the long trip that it would take to go from point A to point B. And you didn't want that fruit ending up on the emperor's table infested with bugs. So what's going on nowadays besides Ed appeal appeals? Coating, waxes and edible coatings are applied to both and hear me well, conventional and organic produce. It's not just conventional produce, but organic too. In the case of organic produce, they have to use specific organic wax products and they have to do that in order to keep the organic label.


Chef Mareya [00:07:41]:


According to the FDA, which is the US. Food and Drug Administration, applying that wax coating is fine and they approve it because it helps to keep the produce from spoiling prematurely. And most of our produce is traveling over 1500 miles and it's coming in in contact with a lot of sets of hands which can bruise it, cause molding and a variety of other issues. So here's the laundry list of produce that gets waxed regularly. And I'm not talking about the wax that is a natural product of the fruit. For example, you've probably seen grapes have a little film on them, a little powdery film. Well, that's a natural wax that the fruit actually creates. But aside from that, there are applied waxes, which are what we're talking about here.


Chef Mareya [00:08:36]:


So that includes cherries, plums, nectarines, avocados, bell peppers, cantaloupes, cucumbers, eggplant, grapefruit, lemons, limes, melons, oranges, parsnips, passion fruit, peaches, pineapples, pumpkins, rudabagas, squashes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers and the list goes on. So the question is, is there really a problem? Is edipel a problem? Are these waxes a problem? Is coating my food in Lard a problem? Here's the breakdown. The FDA has approved several waxes from shellacs to paraffins to palm oil derivatives and even in some cases, synthetic resins. Now obviously, we don't want synthetic things going onto our produce. So that in and of itself is a problem. Now do I want something that's considered safe by the FDA that's food grade coating my produce? Well, it could be a problem if you think about this. The waxes contain fungicides and bacteria sides that help to prevent the spoilage. So we're adding more chemicals to this mix and in some cases we're even seeing casein, which is a milk protein, being added.


Chef Mareya [00:10:01]:


So if you have an intolerance to dairy, guess what? You might be allergic to what they're putting into the wax. Plus, the later they add these different additives, the more you consume of them. Because if you're not washing them, which if you're using water, you're not getting rid of the wax, you are not able to remove anything that's oil based with water. It's like oil and water. According to the Chicago Tribune, seven fungicides are approved for use on food crops after harvesting. Of those, only one called Benamil has undergone a complete review by the EPA. The agency says it has insufficient evidence of human risk in the others. Okay, so if they have insufficient evidence, why are they allowed? Are we all of a sudden human guinea pigs? Have you ever wondered, is rinsing my produce with the water that comes out of the sink that I don't even drink enough to really clean it? Well, then you're one of the smartest people I know, because you're absolutely right.


Chef Mareya [00:11:17]:


It's not enough. That's why we created the only all natural and patented line of food wash and wipes. And it's called Eat Cleaner. It's tasteless, odorless, and lab tested, and it removes up to 99.9% of the residue that water can't, including pesticides, wax, soil, and junk that can carry bacteria that can really make you sick. Plus, we formulated it to help extend the shelf life of your fresh produce, too. And that'll save you money. When your berries are lasting up to 1012 days, you know, that's a good thing. It helps your produce last up to five times longer using a natural blend of fruit, acids and antioxidants.


Chef Mareya [00:11:59]:


So there's no chemicals. It's just clean eating fun. And this can help save your family an average of over $500 per year. Make it easy on yourself, reduce waste, and get that fruit and veggies into your body, where it's going to do you a lot of good and not in the trash. Check us out. eatcleaner.com. Or head to our Amazon store at Forward slash. Eatcleaner.


Chef Mareya [00:12:31]:


Now, supposedly, the federal law requires all retail outlets to post signs, notifying customers, of the presence of wax. Have you ever seen one of these signs? I have seen them once. Once on a box of produce. And I asked the employee working in the produce department that day if they could tell me a little bit about the wax that was used. And he looked at me like I had three heads. I think I may have been the only person that had ever asked him about waxed produce in his department. So let's replay some of the issues here. Wax can trap pesticide residue under the surface, whether it's organic or conventional.


Chef Mareya [00:13:15]:


We know that even in organic production, they are using approved pesticides. Hopefully, they're the ones that are on the organic list, but nevertheless, pesticides. And that wax layer is trapping those under the surface, particularly with produce that does not get washed, like strawberries. Wax can trap pathogens and bacteria under the surface, too. So by sealing things in to help prevent things from getting in, they're also sealing in what's already there. They use those fungicides in the wax, and that's another layer of chemicals. And in some cases, these waxes are petroleum based, which is another layer of chemicals. And then I talked about the casein.


Chef Mareya [00:14:01]:


Well, that's linked to a common allergen. And I can tell you we've had several moms write in and let us know that after they started using Eat Cleaner, they were actually able to give foods like grapes and apples, which are highly waxed, to their kids, and do that without an allergic reaction. And in some cases, these waxes may contain ethyl alcohol or ethanol, which for some religions, that's a big no no. So there's a lot of stuff sitting under and in that shiny facade. The bottom line is, if you're trying to avoid added chemicals, even in organic produce, you need to think about how you're going to remove that layer. Now, we know that the peel in a lot of fruits and vegetables is maybe even more nutritious than the fruit itself. There's a lot of natural fiber and nutrients and great essential oils, plant based oils, in those peels that are actually really beneficial and flavorful. So I'm a big advocate as a chef and holistic nutrition coach not to remove the peel, because the peel is where the punch is.


Chef Mareya [00:15:21]:


I mean, I can't tell you how many recipes I've written that have citrus peel in them, whether it's zested or you're using the whole peel. At Eat Cleaner. We even created a guide called Save the Peels. So you can use the peels in a really beneficial way, both from a nutrition standpoint and to add flavor into your food. What if I told you there's a completely natural way to get better skin, reduce inflammation and pain, enhance brain function, help with cardiovascular health, improve circulation, heal wounds faster, and even ease depression without a pill or lifting a finger and no negative side effects? I have just one thing to say let there be light. This magic little apparatus is called the Loombox, and it's a high powered, portable red light and near infrared unit that harnesses the incredibly powerful benefits of light, near infrared and red light wavelengths, to be exact. And I love that it takes just ten to twelve minutes to do its magic. I literally use it daily for exercise, recovery, pain management, treating fine lines and wrinkles.


Chef Mareya [00:16:39]:


And even with my mood, it's helped me and my family in so many ways. This is the ultimate BioHealth hack I lean into, and I know it will help you receive $250 off with my Code Chefmaria@theloombox.com. That's the lume box. So you could get rid of the peel. But I'm not suggesting you do. What I'm suggesting you do is think about how you're going to remove that wax layer. And that's really why we created Eat Cleaner. Eat Cleaner is formulated with an oil based surfactant that's food grade that helps you remove what water can't.


Chef Mareya [00:17:27]:


And if you've ever tried to peel a plum or a nectarine, you know that that's not an easy proposition. And if you've got produce that is really going to benefit from leaving the peel on, why would you want to do that anyways? So there is an answer to the peel problem. Whether it's edipel or the added wax that's being added to about 80% of our produce nowadays that most people have no idea is happening because disclosure is, well, for the most part, void, and that is to use a product that can actually remove that wax coating so you can really clean what's under the surface. So I hope this was helpful and helps to clear up the air on what appeals coating at appeal is all about and what is happening with our produce, which by and large is waxed anyways. And as a consumer, what you need to know and how you can do something about it. Let me know if this was a helpful episode and make sure to leave a five star review. That's our virtual tip jar. And you can listen to this podcast and share it with all your friends and family so that they can get the real dish on what's on their plate.


Chef Mareya [00:18:57]:


Hey, thank you so much for listening to this week's episode. I know you have a lot of choices out there of what to listen to, what to watch, so it means a lot to me that you're here with me. And hey, if you love this content, would you hit the subscribe button? I want you around. I don't want you to just show up for one episode and leave. I want you here, part of the conversation, a seat at this table. And while you're at it, would you share this with your friends and family? And if you take a screenshot and share it on your social media with a hashtag Rfybl for recipes for your best life, I'll make sure to personally give you a shout out and you may just be featured right here on the show. So until next time, here's to living deliciously and being the chef of your best life.

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