About 20 years ago, I went to China to teach English at Hunan University in the sleepy little city of Changsha (1.5 million). I learned more than I taught, and it started with perspective. Suffice it to say, we all put our pants on, one leg at a time. Beyond that, it’s a different world.


Perspective is what this article is about. Life’s Pure Balance believes that it matters how fruits and vegetables taste; as we know, if they are clean, they taste better! Our goal is to show people how easy it can be to wash your strawberries, for example. We’ve done countless taste demonstrations in supermarkets and trade shows to do that. Consumers like what our wash does, and that is the goal. What we want now are the perspectives of dietitians. Young and old; school, clinical, and home care dietitians. People who want their people to eat more of what’s good for them instead of what is convenient.


So, this is a call to dietitians in the Rochester and Twin Cities areas. We were hoping you could give us your opinions after tasting different fruits and vegetables washed in our Fruit and Veggie Wash. This is not a sales opportunity, nor is it a paid opportunity. What you’ll get is a free sample of the product. You’ll try it at home and give us your opinion. That’s it. The information we get will be randomized and reported back on this blog. Your names or personal information will not be used; well, we may want to use your first name only.


We’ll seek other groups to do the same test in the future. The groups will be from other areas of Minnesota and possibly Wisconsin because I have relatives there. The goal is to get the opinions of adults who work in the food industry. So far, most of our participants have been people willing to try a sample in a grocery store. Those results have been resoundingly positive. But by targeting groups who have more time than what the typical shopper has, we can get a better sense of what they’re tasting.


If you’re a dietitian, live in or around Rochester or Twin Cities, MN, and would like to participate, please email [email protected] and let us know. We’ll make arrangements for more information and sample shipments.


Thanks in advance,


Bill Adler, MPH, RS

Life’s Pure Balance Blogger


Bill Adler is an expert in food safety, food-borne illnesses, and the food service inspection industry. He has conducted training for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teaching local, state, and federal disease investigators and working with laboratory specialists and epidemiologists. In addition, Bill has worked extensively with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to perform food service inspections and train local and state public health employees.

Produce has pores!

The surface of a tomato – an electron photomicrograph

Back a few years ago when the economy was tough and pennies were being pinched, I worked for a “natural” products company. Most people were not interested in looking at our products let alone buying, so I reverted to demonstrating washing grapes with their natural dish soap! It worked for the most part. Until one day, one of my friends took me aside and explained to me that they could taste something funky which meant the grapes were not truly clean. They said: “You can do better than this. Why don’t you make your own?”

Over the next 3 or 4 months, I went to every major grocery store chain, looking for their respective fruit and vegetable wash. One-by-one I put them through my taste test, quickly becoming appalled. Every product that I sampled left a funky taste in my mouth! When I asked people if they used a wash they told me that most don’t work because they leave a funky taste behind, and some just used water.

If you want to clean something you need to know what the surface looks like, right? You are probably thinking, it’s just a grape or a tomato, or a cucumber, how difficult can that be?

Did you know that fruits and vegetables have pores? They are called “stoma” or “stomata”. These pores take in carbon dioxide needed for photosynthesis, and to release oxygen. These pores then close reducing water loss in hot or dry conditions. In the right conditions, they will actually sweat, much like human pores. (Click here to read more on pores in produce via this Wikipedia link). These stomata are tiny, microscopic and critical for the photosynthesis process and very difficult to clean.

The Surface of a Strawberry
an electron photomicrograph
See the folds in the surface – this is why it’s notoriously #1 on the Dirty Dozen

With two requirements and a bunch of knowledge, we set out to develop a new wash. First, it had to be an effective wash, removing wax and pesticides, all while paying attention to all of those stomata. Second, it must be a “residue free” wash. After rinsing, the solution needs to be gone!

A side note for a moment. Anyone who wears cosmetics knows how important it is to clean their skin at night. Cleaning fruits and vegetables are similar in that sense. When it is achieved, your skin will be fresh and vibrant. This is the same for fruits and vegetables. When effectively washed they will be cleaner, crispier and tastier.

It is my firm belief that when given two choices of the same food to eat, and one tastes better we all eat the best tasting option! If you simply try my wash, you will not be disappointed.

#goodtastelesswaste #cleanercrispiertastier #bestkitchensecret

I can't get these apples clean!

Back row has been cleaned, front row is still very waxy!

Have you ever had this happen to you… or perhaps one of your kids took a bite out of an apple, promptly saying this apple doesn’t taste good then throwing it away before you have a chance to do anything?
I recently received an email from one of my customers saying, “I buy a smaller apple called rockets and they have a wax over them I have noticed that no matter how long I soak them I can’t get all this wax off, any suggestions?” You can only imagine my interest level and concern as I read their note. You see, I love solving problems… yet I’m concerned that my wash might not be working as advertised.
Further conversation revealed the following, my customer writes: “I have never had a problem with the wash getting the wax off but was unsure if I could use it directly on the fruit. I do love love love this wash as all the others I have used leaves a gross after taste!”
With this new knowledge, I offered the following… “Put a squirt or two directly on the apple then rub it in your hands… I personally had an apple yesterday that took 30 seconds or so of this kind of action to get it clean… when you do this you can feel the wax disappear”.
This phenomenon is quite common when dealing with fruits and vegetables such as cucumbers or apples, often times the wax is thicker or harder than normal and takes some extra effort to get it removed.
What I failed to mention to my customer is that the surface of the apple will go from being sticky to kind of slimy to almost squeaky. One of my product demonstrators encourages people to lick the apple before they clean it, then once again after it’s been washed, saying that you can really tell the difference. I’ve done this and he is right!
So just in case you didn’t realize it, you can use the wash undiluted on your fruits or vegetables. You can hand wash zucchini, apples, cucumbers or watermelon etc. When you do, notice the change in how the surface feels!
If you have questions or examples of how my Fruit and Vegetable wash has worked for you please post on my Life’s Pure Balance Facebook page.
When your produce is truly clean, it will taste better, raw or cooked doesn’t matter. The flavor will be cleaner, crispier and tastier!
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