January 10, 2010
A couple of days ago I told you about the Dr. Oz show that revealed approximately 20 people touch your produce before you bring it home, and they get their germs, snot and fecal matter all over it. I was so horrified, that I immediately went out to remedy the situation. I bought myself a handy-dandy produce scrubber – it has soft bristles for things like peaches and tomatoes, and firm bristles for things like apples and oranges. Love it!
Why wash things like oranges, when you just peel the skin off anyway, you ask? Good question, and here’s the answer. Even if you wash you hands first, if you don’t also wash the orange, whatever grime is on the peel transfers onto your hands. You then use those grimy little hands to peel the orange, and those grimy little fingers to put the orange pieces right into your mouth. Okay fine, but why wash produce that I don’t eat or peel the skin, but rather cut with a knife, you ask? Dr. Oz did an experiment on his show where he misted an avocado with a fine powder, similar to what would happen if someone were to sneeze on it, then proceeded to cut through it. Well to my surprise, under a special light, you could clearly see the powder had spread all across the freshly cut surface. So whatever germs are on the skin, are transferred by the knife.
After how traumatized I was by what I learned, I figured just water and my new scrub brush wouldn’t be enough to wash off fecal matter. (Clearly I’m most distressed by the idea of fecal matter being on my produce.) Oh and let’s not forget the THOUSANDS of chemicals that are used in the various herbicides and pesticides that are sprayed all over produce during the growth process. When I was at Trader Joe’s this weekend, I saw they sell a cleanser specifically for produce – Fruit & Vegetable Wash by Environné, so I snatched up a bottle.
This wash is proven to remove pesticides, waxes, and chemicals. The ingredients are: purified water, natural cleansing agents (derived from plant oils), polysorbate-20 (a sorbital/sugar natural derivative from berries), grapefruit seed extract (a proven non-toxic germicidal agent), and lemon-orange extract. It contains none of the alcohol or chlorine that other cleansers have. It is not tested on animals. It is manufactured by Consumer Health Research, Inc. It is Kosher certified. The bottle is recyclable and it is made in the USA.
As if that weren’t enough to win me over, I was even more impressed when I checked out Environné’s company website when I got home (www.environne.com). I learned that the FDA inspects less than 2% of the produce that we import, and that we have no control over the chemicals that other countries use in their pesticides and herbicides. I learned that the majority of chemicals that are sprayed on our produce, are in oils that are water insoluble, meaning just rinsing fruit and veggies with water DOESN’T WORK ANYWAY! I also learned that a study in the Journal of Pediatrics linked pesticides in kids to ADHD, and that both the EPA and U.S. Surgeon General have acknowledged that more studies are needed to determine the relationship between chemical/pesticide exposure and harmful effects, as well as a dramatic increase in learning disabilities amongst children.
I highly recommend this product. It is inexpensive (just $3.99 for 16 fl oz., which lasts a looong time). and is a small price to pay for peace of mind – at least in this area of my life. The wash comes in various forms – liquid, foam, and even travel wipes. A portion of their profits are donated to “children and environmental concerns.” So while I feel good using this wash to protect my own child’s health, I have the added bonus of knowing I’m also helping another child, as well as the environment. Plus I like their motto: “Protect what is precious.”
References:  http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/supermarket-secrets-can-make-you-sick,  http://environne.com/
Image Source: Environné, Inc. “Family Wetter.” Photo. Environne.com Publication date unknown. 11 Jan. 2011. <http://environne.com/products.php>.