Ask and Ye Shall be Rewarded…or Maybe not.

By Bill Adler, MPH, RS
Technical Food Safety Consultant

When I was working with restaurants, etc, there was a two-fold fear among my peers that our agency wasn’t doing enough to protect the dining public. The regulations under which we worked were geared towards providing protection from bacteria and viruses. Little, actually, was being done to protect anyone from organic or inorganic chemistry. Further, after about 1985, care facilities such as nursing homes and assisted living places lost the environmental portion of their inspection process because of a fluke in federal guidance. It said all members of the care facility evaluation teams had to be able to do the jobs of everyone on the team. And since the driving force was nursing, the qualifying tests were primarily nursing-oriented. In a nutshell, over 1200 environmental health specialists who worked with food, water supply, sewage disposal, and air quality around the country were let go, and those duties were taken over by the nurses. Hmmm, I think you know where this is going.

Today, across the nation, nurses evaluating nursing and care facilities do a dynamite job looking at care. What many don’t have is much training in food safety. Now, to be fair, the kitchen staff I’ve met in care facilities, which were attached to places I was inspecting, were excellent at doing their jobs. They produced pretty safe food most of the time. What they lacked, however, was any direction on how to handle produce, including effectively washing fruits and vegetables, because the nurses lacked this training themselves.

So, one wonders how the fruits and vegetables are being handled in care facilities? Are lemons and oranges washed before the peel is grated for fresh zest? Are apples washed before they’re chopped for Waldorf salad? Is garden-fresh lettuce washed to remove whatever nature poured onto it with the rain, or carried over chemicals from the pesticides applied to tomato cutworms? Without direction from regulators, many care facilities only do what the regulations call for. And if the regulations aren’t specific, it’s anybody’s guess what the residents are getting.

The next time you talk to the care facility staff, ask them to describe how they wash fruits and vegetables. If it’s only in water, the wax and pesticides are still there…and that’s what your loved ones are eating.

 

 

Bill Adler is an expert in food safety, foodborne illnesses, and the foodservice 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.

Raspberries

By Bill Adler, MPH, RS
Technical Food Safety Consultant

Most of my raspberries come from my 5 ft by 12 ft patch and become jam. This year, the raspberries started ripening in mid-June. This is odd considering all other years it has been mid-August.  Our funky Minnesota weather might have something to do with it. All I know is I collected over 600 berries last evening, and my daughter took the bulk of them. Along with the berries came dad’s advice to wash them because they were sprayed with apple tree spray.

Why would anyone spray apple tree spray on anything other than apples? Well, the last 2 summers, our apple trees, and the raspberry patch have been heavily infested with Japanese beetles.  The chemicals in the spray kill Japanese beetles and are conveniently found in both spray formulas. Suffice it to say; we’ve found no beetles on either this year. Both contain sulfur and Captan and a variety of other things.

Back when I was in college, I worked for a testing company that tested agriculture chemicals on farm animals and beagles. The Food and Drug Act of the time said that chemicals in which humans could be exposed had to be tested every 5 years. By today’s standards, the testing was primitive. There were no mass spectrometers, computer analysis, margins of error, molecular level determinations, or genetic anomaly testing. This often resulted in warning words on product descriptions, which I believe the public did not understand. “Warning, Danger and Caution” on a product label were the results, and that label information really never got to the consumer.  Thus, if the defoliant called “dioxin” was used and some carried over to row crops, that information was never given to the consumer.

We are not using DDT anymore. Dioxins that affect people have become severely restricted. But honeybees are being affected by nicotinamides, and that information is not provided at the consumer level. Similarly, Chlorpyrifos has been shown to have neuro-developmental effects on fetuses and newborns, but that information is not being shared in an understandable form for the general public.  If you want to see what is available, the USEPA has a 142-page analysis online of study data on Chlorpyrifos dated September 21, 2020.

All of this comes down to the US, the consumers, taking the time to clean our fruits and vegetables before eating them.  You don’t have to be able to pronounce or understand what might be on your produce as long as you actively work to get it off. Using enough Life’s Pure Balance fruit and veggie wash to create bubbles and letting your produce soak for 2-minutes or longer is going to take off the icky, un-pronounceable chemical residues. On top of that, getting rid of produce coatings gives them a much better taste and extends shelf-life.

A quick tip on raspberries.  I could go with mulching with slow-release organic source materials, but I don’t want to wait to have my berries pick up what they need.  Instead, I literally cover the garden with Miracle Grow crystals as soon as the snow has melted.  The rain “melts” it into the soil and the raspberry plants explode with berries every summer. 

 

 

Bill Adler is an expert in food safety, foodborne illnesses, and the foodservice 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.

What’s On Produce and Do We Really Want To Know?

The Importance of Bubbles

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

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

I’m spoiled, these grapes have no flavor!

One of my customers snapped a picture of their plate at a recent event they attended and sent it to me with the heading “I’m spoiled, these grapes have no flavor!”

Why would they do this?
I know… and if you use my fruit and vegetable wash, you know as well. It’s entirely possible that you have experienced the same phenomena. Great looking grapes or strawberries that have absolutely no flavor or they just taste funky. You taste one, then carefully and quietly leave the rest on your plate, maybe even covering them up with your napkin.
Today, our fruits and vegetables come from many sources, some close, some far away… to be certain it’s safe to eat you need to wash every fruit or vegetable that you eat, regardless of its source. Contaminants could be bio-film from the environment or pesticides that are designed to kill bugs and bacteria, or an anti-bacterial wash residue that is left over from the sanitizing treatment, such as “triple washed lettuce”. The problem is, most washes leave a flavor behind that is not a natural flavor of the produce being washed. These contaminates will ruin the flavor of your produce and may ruin your digestion process.
When asked why they don’t wash their produce, most people say, “what’s the point, I taste something funny now, I use one of THOSE washes and I still taste something funny. I can’t tell if it’s clean or not,” causing people to be resigned to eating tasteless fruits and vegetables.
If you are one of my customers you know that it’s now possible to have delicious tasting produce all of the time, with an inexpensive, simple process using Earth’s Natural Fruit and Vegetable wash. Your produce will be squeaky clean. Squeaky clean produce tastes the best… CLEANER CRISPIER TASTIER!
Here’s how you can help me… it’s the holiday season, there are going to be plenty of events and get togethers where fruits and vegetables are being served. If you are at an event and find the fruits or vegetables not tasting up to par, send me a text (651-261-0251) or an email (gene@lifespurebalance.com) with a picture. Tell me the name of the event, the caterer along with any other data that might help me make a connection to the food prep people.
I will in turn work to help those catering companies, event centers or restaurants learn how to serve cleaner, crispier, tastier fruits and vegetables!!!

#cleanercrispiertastier

Wellness Renaissance Podcast Featuring Green Gene!

Gene was recently in Duluth, MN for a Fruit & Veggie Washing Demo and he sat down with Judy Breuer of Wellness Renaissance to talk about what led him to create his unique Fruit & Veggie wash. They also talk about what is on our food and why washing our produce is so important.

Judy Breuer, is the host of Wellness Renaissance podcast that dives into all sorts of health topics and the people who make them come alive. She graduated from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, with a B.A.Sc. in Community Health/Public Health Education and Promotion.

She is a health coach, offers food sensitivity consulting and education, and much more. Check out her website www.wellnessren.com  for more info.

The earth is flat! What? Wait a minute!

 
The earth is flat was a common misconception in the Middle Ages. Many scholars believed this to be false, yet individuals like Galileo were punished when he went public with his demonstrations to the contrary. News Flash: Fake news was in existence even in the Middle Ages!
So, you might ask why am I writing about misconceptions or might I suggest MYTHS. It’s because this issue plays out every day in the grocery store, especially when we are doing product demonstrations. Our original market studies identified three “MYTHS” about washing your fruits and vegetables. People would consistently say one of the following

  1. “None of that stuff works, it’s just a waste of money.”
  2. “That stuff just puts more chemicals on my produce.”
  3. “I wash mine with plain water and it is just as clean.”

So, we wash grapes in grocery stores using our Fruit and Vegetable Wash to demonstrate product performance. People stop, eat, comment, and buy. A common conversation goes like this:
Customer: “WOW, these grapes are really good, what kind are they? I think I will get some.”
Demonstrator will quickly say: “The reason these grapes taste so good is because they have been washed with Earth’s Natural Fruit and Vegetable wash. You see they are really, really clean! If you want grapes to taste this good at home you need to take this wash home with you.”
I want you to imagine the look and reactions we receive. Is this what Galileo experienced?
In the end it’s all good, we are challenging a norm that has been in place a long time. Our MYTH BUSTER program is designed to help potential customers try our product risk free. We guarantee that our wash, when compared to any other washing method, will leave your produce cleaner, crispier and tastier. If we don’t we will give you a full refund. It’s a way to cut through all of marketing and sales information and test the product yourself. We can do this because we have laboratory and customer field test data that backs up our program.
So here’s my ask.
Join our Myth Buster program. Try our product. Compare the results. We feel confident in saying that your produce will taste better than any other method of washing produce!

#cleanercrispertastier

 


Upcoming Myth Buster Demos:

Monday, October 15th, 11-1 New Hope Hy-Vee   www.facebook.com/events/294849731242283/
Friday, October 19th, 11-1 Brooklyn Park Hy-Vee   www.facebook.com/events/363442040865635/
Saturday, October 20th, 10-12pm Lakeville Hy-Vee   www.facebook.com/events/292326071590836/
Sunday, October 21st, 10-12pm Eagan Hy-Vee   www.facebook.com/events/327124207836597/
Wednesday, October 24th, 10-12pm Robbinsdale Hy-Vee   www.facebook.com/events/1837536476361006/
Saturday, October 27th, 10-12pm Brooklyn Park Hy-Vee   www.facebook.com/events/2319866244752747/
Sunday, October 28th, 10-12pm New Hope Hy-Vee   www.facebook.com/events/271385156827122/

Meet Green Gene in person!!!

October 16th 6-7:30pm at The Fruit & Veggie Event, Hosted by Wellness Renaissance and Regus Duluth www.facebook.com/events/1092160380943227/
October 18th, 3:30-5:30pm Association of Nutrition & Foodservice – 2018 MN Fall Conference: www.anfponline.org/events-community/chapters/chapter-pages/minnesota/home

Recipe for washing fruits and vegetables

Earth’s Natural Fruit and Vegetable wash cleans bio films, dirt, wax, pesticides, pathogens and anti-microbial wash residues off the surface of your produce, using a process that does not damage even the tenderest produce, leaving it clean and refreshingly tasty. It should be the FIRST thing you do prior to eating or cooking your produce.

Makes 1 bowl / 1 gallon of wash water

1 medium sized bowl – the typical popcorn bowl works great
1 – 8 or 16 oz bottle of Earth’s Natural Fruit and Vegetable wash
1 gallon (approximately) Tap water – can be from your faucet or water from store
Small brush – for scrubbing root vegetables like potatoes / carrots / beets
Measuring spoon if using 8 oz bottle
Shake wash concentrate prior to using

  1. Place 1 tsp wash solution into mixing bowl, if using 8 oz bottle
  2. Place 2 pumps of solution into mixing bowl if using 16 oz bottle, making sure the pump is primed 1st
  3. Put water into bowl, fill to level that will cover your produce
  4. Place produce into bowl, making sure it is submersed
  5. Leave produce in wash water for a minimum of 2 minutes, can sit in wash water up to several hours, not to exceed 8 hours
  6. Drain wash water
  7. Fill bowl with clean water, making sure produce is thoroughly rinsed
  8. Drain rinse water
  9. Use salad spinner if washing loose leaf produce like spinach or lettuce

Your produce is ready to eat!
*** Notes

  1. Effective washing requires you to wash and rinse, just like your laundry
  2. If you have hard water it will require a bit more wash solution
  3. This is a “no residue” wash solution, meaning regardless of how much concentrate you use, rinsing the produce will remove it!

Watch our video on our YouTube channel ..

Shop now at fruitandveggiewash.com                                               #cleanercrispiertastier