What’s on your produce? The dirty little secret that can affect your health
Wax on fruit and vegetables. It’s not a big secret. Apples are waxed to help them last longer, and so are cucumbers. But did you know about 80% of all produce is waxed, including cherries, plums, nectaries, avocados, bell peppers, cantaloupes, cucumbers, eggplants, grapefruits, lemons, limes, melons, oranges, parsnips, passion fruits, peaches, pineapples, pumpkins, rutabagas, squashes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers…and the list goes on. The question is, what’s the problem with wax on my fresh fruit and vegetables?
The FDA has approved several waxes for such use, made from shellacs, paraffins, palm oil derivatives and synthetic resins.So what’s the big deal about wax if the FDA says it’s safe?Those ingredients are also in waxes for your car and kitchen floor, so of course it makes sense we would be eating them too.
It gets worse.
The waxes sometimes contain fungicides to prevent spoilage, so add another layer of chemicals to the mix. Plus, the later they add them the more you get to eat them because they won’t have time to dissipate before you consume them. According to The Chicago Tribune,seven fungicides are approved for use on food crops after harvesting. Of those only one, benomyl, has undergone a complete review by the EPA. The agency says it has insufficient evidence of human risk in the others. Human guinea pigs, we are apparently.
Supposedly, federal law requires all retail outlets to post signs notifying customers of the presence of waxes. Have you ever seen one of these signs? I sure haven’t.
Add these concerns to the pile:
- Wax can trap pesticide residue under the surface
- Wax can trap pathogens and bacteria under the surface
- They use fungicides in the wax, another layer of chemicals
- Most wax is petroleum based, another layer of chemicals
- Wax may contain casein, linked to a common allergen
- Wax may contain ethyl alcohol or ethanol
That’s a lot of stuff sitting under and in that shiny facade.
The bottom line is you can’t remove wax with water, not even boiling hot water. I tried and what I got is the apple on the left. The veil of wax reveals itself to the naked eye.
Now, I took the other apple and sprayed it with all natural Eat Cleaner Fruit + Vegetable Wash. I rubbed it into the apple and left it there for 5 minutes. Then I poured boiling hot water over it and low and behold – no waxy residue!
THE EAT CLEANER CHALLENGE
Try this for yourself at home. Take one apple and pour boiling hot water over it. Take the other apple and clean it with Eat Cleaner Fruit + Vegetable Wash. Spray, rub it into the apple and let it sit for 5 minutes. Pour boiling hot water over the top and wait 5 minutes. See what happens and post your results!