Purification, Chemicals, and Organic Versus Veggie Wash

Something different, again.

By night I am a tireless marketing professor, seeking to fill the world with wonderful new products and services that make people’s lives better. But by day I am a mild-mannered consumer who is trying to eat healthy and to feed his family healthy, but also has to live within a budget.

In preparation for tomorrow’s blog entry on being an “Organic Intellectual” I thought I’d play on words a little bit. I’m currently reading a very good book that is truly frightening, about the sheer amount and toxicity of the chemicals in our food, water, and air. It’s by Randall Fitzgerald and it’s called “The Hundred Year Lie.” The part of the book I like most is on solutions, in particularly detoxification regimes. Fitzgerald, who is an investigative reporter, indicates that a regime of raw food, fasting, wheatgrass juice, colonic cleansing, infrared saunas, and organic foods can help to reduce our bodies’ level of toxicity. It sounds pretty good and sensible to me (um…except for the colonic cleansing part).

Along those lines, particularly in regards to organic food, I would just like to know something, Are organic foods healthier than regular mainstream foods that are washed with a pesticide remover solution? I’ve been looking for good books and information on this topic but can’t seem to find anything useful or scientific in the least.

Does anyone remember P&G’s failed experiment with a product called “Fit”? Fit was designed to remove about 98% of the pesticide and other residues on the surface of fruits and vegetables. Fit was originally developed by Procter & Gamble in 2000, developed from food related extracts like citric acid and grapefruit oil. Fit flopped horribly in 2001, and was eventually sold to HealthPro Brands in 2006. I see several scientific tests related to the brand online attest to its efficacy at killing bacteria. I see that the product is available online here. Actually, although the product failed, I think it was a very good idea, and might be made to work again with the right approach, or better timing.

My family currently uses a Veggie Wash (works on fruits too; maybe the category is “Food Wash” but that sounds strange) called “Nature Clean” which claims to be an “all-natural fruit and veggies spray wash.” As far as I can tell, the main ingredient is sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, which sounds like sodium lauryl sulfate which is in most soaps. But the label says that this is a “food grade cleaner” that is made “from palm oil.” Okay, but there are no efficacy claims at all on the package, or related to it. It’s just a Veggie Wash. Plain and simple. And that’s what I’m curious about.

It’s definitely part of our purification preparation ritual for the food. But does it work?

And how much of what we’re buying as “organic” really is pesticide-free, anyways?

How does one stack up against the other? Economically, as well as in terms of how much pesticide residue is entering our bodies?

Here’s the bigger question that concerns me as a consumer: Do we have any information, any recourse, any way of finding out the answers to these questions? How might the Internet play a role, a big role. Maybe, just maybe, we can use our conversations to collectively empower ourselves as consumers-and as citizens. And I think the chemicals in our food and in our water might be a great place to start the conversation. I’ll circle back to this later.


  1. lscoop October 24, 2007
  2. Greg Dunlop October 30, 2007

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