The Alternative Consumer

This blog focuses on environmental issues, and healthy lifestyle choices -- new products and service options for your self, your friends, family and home. It's all about making smart choices, and living well!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Ease Your Green Conscience

So here’s a thought: it’s likely that more than 20 people have touched your produce before you get it to your table, or even to your shopping cart, for that matter. Which might be the reason why one eco-friendly mom I spoke to recently expressed her guilt over having bought conventional strawberries in the market when organics were not available. There were other choices, organic apricots for one, but the children wanted strawberries. And if you’ve ever shopped with children in tow, you may recognize the high-pitched reaction to choosing apricots over the desired strawberries. But getting back to all those icky hands all over your fruit. What’s one to do when even carefully selected organic fruits and vegetables are subject to the “drifting” of potential hazards from non-organic sources, not to mention all those hands?

One choice: the increasingly popular fruit and vegetable washes that are now widely available at groceries. Organiclean offers one solution made from “food-grade” cleansers and contains Sugar Cane Extract, Sugar Maple Extract and citrus extracts to help rinse away unwanted stuff. Questions can be directed to the president whose name, surprisingly, is right on the bottle. (The hot link is to HerbalHut, a discounter, and it sells there for $6.99)

Environne’s version, while not organic, is derived from coconut oils and berries and grapefruit seed extract which is often touted for its natural anti-bacterial properties.

All this got my scientific brain searching, all the way to the USDA which discourages the use of special soaps and suggests that washing with water is enough – how can this be when most agricultural pesticides are designed to stay on even in the rain? Seems the jury is still out on the benefits of natural cleansers, but we’ll stay tuned. /jb

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