Should Our Food Be Sterile?

Should I Wash Fruits & Vegetables I Buy at the Grocery Store in a Fruit & Veggie Wash?

Should I Wash Fruits & Vegetables I Buy at the Grocery Store in a Fruit & Veggie Wash?

By Bill Adler, MPH, RS
Technical Food Safety Consultant


Fruits and veggies from the grocery store have wax on them.  This keeps the moisture in from the time of picking to the time you buy them. But those waxes and underlying pesticides aren’t good for you.  The waxes are known as parabens, and as a chemical class, parabens aren’t good for your kids.  In the medical field, parabens are known as endocrine disruptors and shouldn’t be eaten, even if it’s a small amount each time it’s eaten.  And then there are the pesticides under the wax.  Since pesticides are oils, they don’t come off with a quick flush under the tap, either.

Life’s Pure Balance Fruit and Vegetable Wash dissolves the wax and removes the pesticides so you don’t have to eat them. Put 2-teaspoons in a gallon of water.  Let produce sit in it for 2+ minutes, a quick rinse and you’re good to go.  That’s it!  This is a concentrated citric acid so it doesn’t take much to clean produce.  I’ve found it gives us extended refrigerated shelf life by about 2 days.  Everything gets washed as soon as we get it home and this gives us a good 12 days of storage.  I know of no other fruit and veggie wash that does that.  There’s no odor or carry-over residue either.

I get asked all the time if it can be used to wash lettuce, kale, spinach, tomatoes, and so on.  Yes, it’s made for all of these.  Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries all benefit, too. Strawberries actually have a porous surface.  Raspberries have gaps between the segments.  Blueberries apparently aren’t easy to cultivate and growers use up to 4 different herbicides a season.  Washing fruits and veggies by rinsing under tap water alone doesn’t do much to protect you from pesticides, pathogens, and other chemicals.  If you don’t believe me, do your own internet search.  It’s all there.  But now that you know, maybe you should wash your produce with Life’s Pure Balance Fruit and Vegetable Wash.  You’ll be surprised by the improved taste once you do.


Bill Adler is an expert in food safety, foodborne 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 as well as working with laboratory specialists and epidemiologists. Bill has worked extensively with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to perform food service inspections and train local and state public health employees.

Martha’s Family Reunion

Martha told me one day that she was excited about her upcoming family reunion. She has been my customer for quite a while. She could be described as a “raving” fan, having experienced the improved freshness and taste of her fruits and vegetables. Her plan was simple, to use my wash for the fruit salad she was preparing for her reunion. She just knew that this would present her with a chance to tell everyone about the virtues of my produce wash.

Family reunion day came, Martha made her fruit salad and off she went. Upon arriving she bounced out of her SUV with her salad in hand, wanting to find a prime spot on the two large tables set up for food. Much to her chagrin, there was already another fruit salad sitting on one of the tables. In just a couple of heartbeats, her plan had vanished!  Anyone watching would have noticed the air going out of Martha’s plan. What was she to do?

She quickly contemplated the table arrangement, placing her salad in an appropriate spot, some distance away from the “other one” and went about checking in with her family. It was a beautiful day, her family members were all arriving. Oh well, she thought, nothing ventured nothing gained.

Several hours later, everyone started to pack up. She went to the food tables to pick up her fruit salad. Since there were two bowls of fruit salad, there would be leftovers for her to enjoy during the following week. Much to her surprise, her bowl was 100% empty! She quickly looked for the other salad, found it and noticed that it had hardly been touched.

The following week she told me about her family reunion experience, sharing the details about her salad versus the other salad, all while apologizing for her plan gone awry. All I could do was smile, as I have seen and heard of this phenomenon many times. I explained to her the story about the two bowls of grapes, and that most often people do not realize that they will automatically gravitate to food that tastes good not knowing or caring why! Personally, I have had people argue with my explanation and honestly, the first few times I experienced these stories I wondered as well. Since this is my business, I hear these stories nearly every time I engage with my customers causing me to say “they are true!”

Adults will do the same as kids. Although, kids are much faster at making the choice. If given two choices of the same food to eat, and one tastes better we all eat the best tasting option, most of the time never questioning why!

If you don’t believe that this is a true story, try our wash. You will understand why.

#cleanercrispiertastier

Connecting the DOTS … ?????

Two bowls sit on the edge of the counter full of red grapes that have been plucked from their stems. Mom has figured out that by just leaving fruit on the counter her boys will wander by, as boys do, eating what they see. Getting her kids to willingly eat more fruits and vegetables is an important activity for their family.

One Saturday evening, Dad went to put the bowls of grapes into the fridge and noticed something really peculiar. One bowl was empty, the second bowl had been nibbled at but was mostly as full as it was in the morning. He took note and after the boys were in bed, he told his wife about his observation. She laughed and said: “I’ll be doggone, it must be true.”

She told her husband about this demo stand at her local grocery store. They were washing grapes with this new kind of fruit and vegetable wash. They talked about doing what she had done, wash one bowl with this new produce wash and one using any other method. She then put them out in two separate bowls to see what would happen. While she found the idea of a wash not leaving any residue or chemical taste to be intriguing, her experience was just the opposite. In the end she decided to try it, after all they have a money back guarantee.

Moms know that when it comes to food, kids come unfiltered. If they dislike something, they will tell her or just not eat.  Once again the wash won the eating contest, as the bowl that was eaten was the bowl washed with this new, intriguing fruit and vegetable wash called Earth’s Natural Fruit and Vegetable Wash. The un-eaten bowl was washed with just water, just as mom had always done.

If you don’t believe that this is a true story, try our wash, you will be in for an interesting surprise.

#cleanercrispertastier

What’s the juice?

Have you seem this?


Yesterday I picked up a bag of baby carrots only because my grandson wanted them! Quite frankly, I never eat them as they are tasteless, even if each carrot contains 0.3 grams of dietary fiber. It’s the juice in each bag that bothers me and if there isn’t any juice, they appear to be dryer and covered with white stuff!
So, what’s the juice about?
Nearly all processed fruits and vegetables have an anti-microbial solution on them that is used to clean and protect them from developing bacteria. In the case of baby carrots, they are washed in a diluted chlorine bleach solution to clean them, with the idea that the chlorine evaporates fairly quickly leaving just water. With that said the solution in the bag is most likely some version of chlorine bleach with the white stuff being some version of dried chlorine.
The good news is that your produce is safe to eat as it will not contain bacteria even though it might be tasteless.
The bad news is that people like me who have constant digestive issues will experience disruptions in our digestive process. Some days more than others, even though we are eating our fruits and vegetables.
This phenomenon gets at one of my basic tenants of how and what I eat. As I have aged, I have welcomed all sorts of food allergies into my daily diet. In the process of dealing with them I have realized that taste is everything. If I eat a food and it is tasteless my mind almost immediately says STOP! Something is wrong with this food. You see I am of the belief that Mother Nature made all of her food tasty! It is US that take the taste away by processing or adding preservatives or anti-microbial washes to the produce. Don’t get me wrong, the process of washing and leaving the anti-microbial wash on those baby carrots makes them safe for me to eat. The mistake people make is that they eat them as they are!
Washing with water will eliminate some of the chlorine but it will not do much to help improve the flavor. Washing with Earth’s Natural Fruit and Vegetable Wash will remove the chlorine and improve the crispness and flavor of the produce. That’s what it’s designed to do! As I say many times every day, your produce will be cleaner, crispier and tastier!
If you are a non-believer that’s OK… all I ask is this… pick up a small bottle of my wash and wash those baby carrots, or lettuce, or apples or cucumbers. Eat a piece of produce that has been washed with my solution, then go back and try a piece washed in your normal way. I’m willing to bet that produce washed with my solution will taste the best. If not, I will give you your money back! If you would like more information on this product go to fruitandveggiewash.com
If you have examples of how my Fruit and Vegetable wash has worked for you please post on my Life’s Pure Balance Facebook account.
When your produce is truly clean, it will taste better, raw or cooked doesn’t matter. The flavor will be cleaner, crispier and tastier!
#cleanercrispiertastier                  

What Flavor?

I am continuously amazed at what happens when kids eat grapes at our grocery store demonstrations. We wash red grapes to show off what truly clean grapes can taste like and kids respond.
Of course, most kids love grapes and for certain, kids are “unfiltered”. By that I mean they will tell you straight up if they like what they have just tasted, if they don’t, they will tell you that as well, sometimes to the chagrin of their parents.
I have yet to have any child or group of children do anything but give me the thumbs up on the taste of these grapes. Some even escape their parents’ watchful eye to come back for more!
So, what happens to us as our age increases? Every day we are bombarded with media messages on how we should think or act. Over time we slowly begin to behave differently, irrespective of how we may desire to behave. Filtered behavior! Myths exist in the produce world just like anywhere else. Labels that say “ready to eat” on the triple washed lettuce or the infamous “if it’s organic it doesn’t need to be washed”.
I, personally, want a high degree of certainty that my produce is clean. In order for me to have that knowledge I need to see or do the washing myself. A few years ago, I purchased produce washes from other companies and experienced what most have experienced. Either you couldn’t taste any difference or what you could taste was chemical like. I developed my Earth’s Natural Fruit and Vegetable wash on the urging of friends and co-workers, they too were fed up.
My wash is a plant based, no residue, wash solution. It leaves behind only the true taste of the produce, and it removes all of the “stuff” that may be on the surface of your produce. The key to believing this however is that you need to be like a kid, just for a moment. Forget about what you have been told, or what you may have experienced. Taste a grape that has been washed with my wash, savor it in your mouth, allow your taste buds a chance to come alive once more. Now go back and try a grape that hasn’t been washed, or one that has been washed using your favorite wash or washing process. I know you will taste the difference. If it is still a subtle change, you haven’t rekindled that inner child in you. If the flavor bursts at you, then congratulations, for a moment you have become unfiltered and can now speak to the true experience.
Look at our event calendar on Facebook, come taste grapes that are truly clean and become a kid again, even if it is for just a moment!
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 account.
When your produce is truly clean, it will taste better, raw or cooked doesn’t matter. The flavor will be cleaner, crispier and tastier!
 
#cleanercrispiertastier                     fruitandveggiewash.com

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!
Go to   fruitandveggiewash.com for additional product information. 
#cleanercrispiertastier          

To Avoid Food-borne Illness, Wash Your Vegetables and Fruits

Blog_07162014_5767011_sIt’s midsummer in Minnesota, and despite the weather roller-coaster we’ve been riding, seasonal fruits and vegetables are ripe for the picking. Those of us with gardens are seeing tomatoes plump up and cucumbers and zucchini ripen overnight. Grocery store shoppers are enjoying fresher, more local produce, too. Before you sink your teeth into your favorite summertime fruit or veggie, take a moment to consider your safety. Whether you’re pulling your snack out of the ground or plucking it from a store shelf, all produce has been exposed to soil and water that may carry contaminants. If you’re buying from a store, your produce has been handled by many people and transported by truck or rail to your shopping cart. Hundreds of food products have been recalled by the FDA since the beginning of the year, including many fresh produce foods. The harmful bacteria salmonella and listeria monocytogenes are the primary offenders. How Do You Avoid Illness? Wash, Wash, Wash! To avoid getting sick from your favorite fruits and veggies, you need to get out the soap and water. Here are some tips for washing your produce.

  • Only wash produce when you’re ready to eat or cook it. Washing it before you store it may actually increase bacterial growth.
  • Wash your hands with warm soap and water before you wash your produce. You do not want to transfer germs on your hands to your food.
  • Clean your tools, including knives, cutting boards, and countertops, to avoid germ transfer.
  • Wash away bacteria. But bleach and dish detergents are no-no’s because produce can absorb the chemicals. I recommend washing your fruits and veggies with an organic, plant-based rinse.
  • Rub or soak vegetables to wash away bacteria. Firm fruits such as melons can be scrubbed with a brush.
  • Dry produce with a paper towel or clean cloth. This can also remove bacteria.
  • Trim outermost leaves of cabbage or head lettuce.

Produce-Specific Tips Some fruits and vegetables require extra care. Use these tips to make sure you’re washing your produce properly.

  • Soft fruits such as peaches and plums: Wash under running water and dry.
  • Firm produce such as apples and cucumbers: Wash well to remove any waxy preservative. Peeling is also an option.
  • Leafy greens:Discard outer leaves and soak the individual remaining leaves in water before rinsing them under the tap. Some people use vinegar on greens, but that will change the veggie’s taste and texture.
  • Grapes, cherries, and berries:Don’t wash these fruits until you eat or use them. Before you store them, get rid of any moldy or spoiled fruit. Wash under running water when ready to eat.

Summer is the time when many of us relish the tasty juiciness of fresh produce. Washing your fruits and vegetables will ensure that you’re safe while doing so. To learn more about keeping produce safe and healthy, contact me!
Here’s to breathing easy and living life to the fullest!
Gene Wood, Life’s Pure Balance

Washing your fruits & veggies, WHY & HOW!


Toxic chemicals are on your Produce!
Thanks to improvements in farming, shipping and distribution, shoppers today enjoy a wider selection of fresh produce than ever before. However, pesticide residue on some fruits and vegetables can be a cause for concern. In fact, fruits and vegetables on the ‘highest levels’ list contain 47 to 67 pesticides per serving.
 Most countries monitor residual levels of pesticides in produce, and establish legal limits for the safety of consumers. In some cases, however, these residual levels may be toxic for children, pregnant women and even pets. The US FDA maintains that consuming pesticides in low amounts is harmless, but some studies show an association between pesticides and health problems such as cancer, attention-deficit (hyperactivity) disorder and nervous system disorders and say exposure could weaken immune systems.
 A study by Consumers Union, the publishers of Consumer Reports magazine, examines and rates the residual levels of pesticides on many common fruits and vegetables. A report by the Environmental Working Group, using data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has found that much of the health risks associated with pesticides are concentrated in a relatively small number of fruits and vegetables.
The good news … Wash all of your fruits and vegetables … !!! When asked, most consumers tell me I wash with water.  That isn’t good enough! The simple answer is you must use a detergent based cleaner to cut the chemicals, effectively removing them from the surface of your food. While there are many products on the market I advocate using a natural based dish washing solution. The difference will astound you. Complex issues, simple solutions!
To see how a professional cook and shopper washes her produce watch this short video by Stacy Klone of Kitchen Werks. Good advice from a proven source!
p.s. If you get frustrated reading labels or don’t know where to find high quality, low cost natural based cleaning products, call Gene @ 651.261.0251 to talk about what Paco uses and approves.