EHT Blogger - MDNI Writer
Chemicals on your Produce?
Updated: Dec 3, 2018
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, nectarines, 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-up of residue on our fresh produce:
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 Waxy, fake shine facade.
In the past, it has been difficult to remove wax with water, even boiling hot water. Some spray produce cleaners do a decent job, but you might have to treat with a lot of the liquid cleaning solution, buy a lot of the cleaning solution, leave the cleaning solution to soak for 5 minutes, or ponder, "Is there still residue left behind?"
There is an economical, effective solution! Norwex Fruit n' Veggie Microfiber Cloth Watch the video below and rediscover chemical-free Produce.