CLEAN SWAP: Pre-Cut Fruit
Welcome to my weekly featured CLEAN SWAP! This week we are taking a closer look at pre-cut fruit!
I’m always fielding questions from clients and friends about how they can swap out some of their favorite products for safer, toxin-free options without a loss in quality, taste, or performance (depending on the product). Every week, I cover food, cosmetics, personal care, cleaning and laundry products, and even behavior, so if you enjoy these Clean Swaps, please follow me on Instagram and sign up for my 360° OF WELLNESS Newsletter (⬅️by clicking on this link to the left) so that you never miss a new one.
LET’S TALK PRE-CUT PRODUCE 🍉🥝🥒🥕🥦
It’s super convenient when you’re on-the-go (and even when we’re home, because most of us are inherently lazy, tired, or both) and way better than eating potato chips, right? So what could be the down side?
SO WHAT’S SO BAD ABOUT pre-cut PRODUCE? 💁♀️
🚫 BACTERIA - According to Consumer Reports, pre-cut produce is more likely to be contaminated with bacteria. There is no way of knowing if the commercial processing facilities where the produce is prepped are sanitizing prep areas, surfaces, or utensils properly, and contamination is more likely simply given the volume of produce handled at once. As a result, Salmonella was discovered in pre-cut melons two years in a row (June 2018 and April 2019) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) have reported outbreaks of Listeriosis and Cyclosporiasis associated with packaged salads, pre-cut vegetable trays, & pre-cut melon.
🚫 NUTRITION - Cutting and peeling fruits and veggies exposes their flesh to oxygen and light. This increases oxidation and affects vitamin retention (e.g., cut produce loses water faster, which means that water soluble vitamins like B and C evaporate faster).
🚫 ADDITIVES - Increased rate of respiration (i.e., the process of breaking down sugars and releasing carbon dioxide) breaks down the flesh and leads to faster spoilage and the accompanying undesirable change in flavor, texture, and nutrient value. As a result, food additives may be used to retain color and texture (e.g., calcium ascorbate is used to keep fruit from turning brown).
🚫 COST - Convenience is expensive, VERY expensive. In fact, you could be paying 2-3 times as much for pre-cut fruits and veggies as you would whole ones. And according to a 2018 Vice article, you could be saving up to $100 a month by doing your own food prep.
🚫 POLLUTION - Precut fruit requires constant refrigeration and is almost always packaged in plastic containers, much of which ends up in landfills or in our oceans, adding to our carbon footprint and polluting our world.
🚫 SOURCE - You have no idea where your produce originated. For example, almost 90% of the garlic sold around the world originates in China. Processed garlic is peeled by Chinese prisoners. 😳it seems like an easy job, but it's not. After a while, it takes a toll on the prisoners’ nails, which fall off, but that's not the worst part. 😱 To continue peeling the garlic, they have no choice but to use their teeth. 🤢
READY FOR the CLEAN SWAP?🙋♀️
This is as easy as it gets. And it saves you money! Simply stop going for convenience and buy WHOLE foods (no, Jeff Bezos, I wasn't talking to you). Avoid processed foods and buy from high-quality, small-scale, local, organic sources. This is the best way to protect yourself from foodborne illness and exposure to pesticides.
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