Take this list of “7 ingredients to avoid” with you to the supermarket for easier shopping. Choose organic options when possible, but know that just because a snack is organic doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Always read the nutrition labels, and avoid products with sugar as one of the main ingredients or with too many ingredients that you can’t pronounce. This will help weed out many artificial additives in processed foods and help you focus on whole, healthy ingredients instead.

', ), 'children' => array ( ), 'lead_img' => 'hh_lunchboxsnacks_blog_35797.jpg', 'gallery' => array ( 0 => array ( 0 => 'hh_lunchboxsnacks_blog_35797.jpg', 1 => '', 2 => '', 3 => '', 4 => '', 5 => '', 6 => '', ), ), 'date' => array ( 0 => '2014-09-05', ), 'relation' => array ( 0 => array ( 'custom' => array ( 0 => '', ), 'page_id' => '3431', ), 1 => array ( 'custom' => array ( 0 => '', ), 'page_id' => '3412', ), 2 => array ( 'custom' => array ( 0 => '', ), 'page_id' => '3348', ), ), 'url' => '/healthy-home/3274/cfs-healthy-home/tips-for-a-healthy-home/3446/are-those-lunchbox-snacks-really-healthy', ), ), 1 => array ( 'custom' => array ( 0 => '', ), 'page_id' => '3431', 'basic' => array ( 'page_id' => '3431', 'root_url' => 'tips-for-a-healthy-home', 'root' => 'Tips for a Healthy Home', 'text' => array ( 0 => '5 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Food Packaging', 1 => '', ), 'rich' => array ( 0 => '

Food packaging is unavoidable, but all that excess material is terrible for the environment. It’s simple to reduce your packaging with a few basic steps.

It’s easy to start with your grocery shopping. Look for items with as little packaging as possible, bring your own bags, and shop at the farmer’s market when you can.

Here are 5 easy ways to reduce your food packaging at the supermarket:

  1. Avoid individually wrapped “snack-sized” items
Single serving items create a huge amount of unnecessary packaging. Buy products in a larger-sized package to reduce waste. If you like buying “snack sized” products to limit your portions, divvy up the food yourself in small reusable containers at home.
  2. Buy from the bulk section using your own containers
Buying in bulk is not just better for the environment, it also helps reduce food waste and cost as it allows you to buy only what you need. Health food stores and co-ops are more likely to have extensive bulk sections, but many supermarkets have bulk as well. Use glass jars and bottles for liquid items such as honey, syrup, oils, and vinegars, and bring your own cotton or reused bags. Remember to weigh your empty container first so you are only changed for the weight of the food you put in it.
  3. Bring your own bags for produce and bulk goods
It’s a common sight to see shoppers carrying their own reusable shopping bags to the grocery store, but most people still use plastic bags when buying produce and other goods. Make or buy your own bags for produce and bulk goods to avoid plastic.
  4. Purchase dairy in reusable glass containers
Many stores now sell dairy products in glass bottles for a small deposit. When the bottle is empty, simply return it to the store and get your deposit back!
  5. Use reusable containers for beverages on the go
Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour.[1] Buy a reusable, stainless steel bottle for water and other cold beverages to eliminate single use containers. Bring a travel mug when going to a coffee shop - some stores even offer a discount if you bring your own cup.

 

Have a great idea for reducing food packaging? Tweet it with the hashtag #HealthyHome to join our Healthy Home social media hub!

Want to get #HealthyHome tips in your inbox? Sign up for our monthly newsletter!

 

---------------------------------------

[1] http://recycleacrossamerica.org/recycling-facts

 

', ), 'children' => array ( ), 'lead_img' => 'hh_packaging_blog_87751.jpg', 'gallery' => array ( 0 => array ( 0 => 'hh_packaging_blog_87751.jpg', 1 => '', 2 => '', 3 => '', 4 => '', 5 => '', 6 => '', ), ), 'date' => array ( 0 => '2014-08-29', ), 'relation' => array ( 0 => array ( 'custom' => array ( 0 => '', ), 'page_id' => '3412', ), 1 => array ( 'custom' => array ( 0 => '', ), 'page_id' => '3402', ), 2 => array ( 'custom' => array ( 0 => '', ), 'page_id' => '3371', ), ), 'url' => '/healthy-home/3274/cfs-healthy-home/tips-for-a-healthy-home/3431/5-easy-ways-to-reduce-your-food-packaging', ), ), 2 => array ( 'custom' => array ( 0 => '', ), 'page_id' => '3412', 'basic' => array ( 'page_id' => '3412', 'root_url' => 'tips-for-a-healthy-home', 'root' => 'Tips for a Healthy Home', 'text' => array ( 0 => 'Top Summer Food Recalls', 1 => '', ), 'rich' => array ( 0 => '

We all want the food that we feed our families to be safe and healthy, but this can be difficult with so many food recalls each year. According to federal data, one in six Americans is sickened and 3,000 die from foodborne diseases each year.[1] Our industrialized food system has major holes in its oversight of health and safety processes, and is the root cause of many of these outbreaks.

There are several factors that contribute to foodborne illnesses. One likely cause is overcrowded conditions in animal factories (factory farms), where animals get sick and pass the disease on to other animals.  Other causes include our wide distribution system, our increasing reliance on imported foods with unknown safety standards, and inadequate funding for inspections and oversight.

Peanut and Almond Butters

Almond and peanut butters manufactured by nSpired Natural Foods were recalled on August 19th for possible Salmonella contamination. The recall includes products sold by Kroger, Safeway, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Arrowhead Mills and MaraNatha. These products were distributed across the United States, as well as in Canada, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates, and Dominican Republic.

Chicken

Chicken products from Foster Farms were recalled on July 12th for known Salmonella contamination. This was a Class I Recall that was prompted by a known illness identified by the CDC. The chicken was sold in 11 states under the labels Foodmaxx, Foster Farms, Kroger, Safeway, Sunland, Savemart and Valbest.

 Ground Beef

Ground beef products at Whole Foods Market locations in Massachusetts were recalled on August 15th for possible E.coli contamination. This was a Class I Recall that was prompted by multiple known illnesses identified by the CDC. The contamination was limited to Massachusetts, but the source of the beef is still unknown.


Oregano and Paprika

Ground oregano manufactured by McCormick & Company and “ecoato” Sweet Paprika Powder manufactured by the TJX Companies were recalled on August 13th and July 26th, respectively. Both spices have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. The oregano was sold at grocery stores nationwide, while the paprika was sold at T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods stores throughout the country.

Want more? You can track food recalls and even sign up for email alerts from the FDA. Be sure to check out our Food Safety page for more information and resources!

---------------------------------------------

[1] http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/issues/308/food-safety/about-food-safety

', ), 'children' => array ( ), 'lead_img' => 'hh_foodrecalls_blog_28030.jpg', 'gallery' => array ( 0 => array ( 0 => 'hh_foodrecalls_blog_28030.jpg', 1 => '', 2 => '', 3 => '', 4 => '', 5 => '', 6 => '', ), ), 'date' => array ( 0 => '2014-08-22', ), 'relation' => array ( 0 => array ( 'custom' => array ( 0 => '', ), 'page_id' => '3402', ), 1 => array ( 'custom' => array ( 0 => '', ), 'page_id' => '3371', ), 2 => array ( 'custom' => array ( 0 => '', ), 'page_id' => '3348', ), ), 'url' => '/healthy-home/3274/cfs-healthy-home/tips-for-a-healthy-home/3412/top-summer-food-recalls', ), ), ), 'url' => '/healthy-home/3274/cfs-healthy-home/tips-for-a-healthy-home/3474/the-truth-about-produce-wash', ), 'bid' => array ( 'page_link' => '/healthy-home/3274/cfs-healthy-home/tips-for-a-healthy-home/3474/the-truth-about-produce-wash', 'bitly' => 'http://bit.ly/1NlEKiD', 'root_url' => 'tips-for-a-healthy-home', 'root' => 'Tips for a Healthy Home', 'lead_img' => 'hh_producewash_blog_53227.jpg', 'rich_snippet' => ' With the recent food recalls related to produce, consumers have heightened concerns over the safety of fresh produce. Chemical rinses and other treatments for washing produce, usually called fruit and vegetable washes, are often advertised as the best way to kee.', 'page' => array ( 'id' => '3474', 'SECTION_ID' => '410', 'PARENT_ID' => '0', 'BLOCK_ID' => '0', 'order' => '16', 'visible' => '1', 'feature' => '0', 'hide' => '0', 'name1' => 'The Truth About Produce Wash', 'url' => 'the-truth-about-produce-wash', 'bitly' => 'http://bit.ly/1NlEKiD', 'lead_img' => 'hh_producewash_blog_53227.jpg', 'meta_title' => 'Center for Food Safety | Tips for a Healthy Home | | The Truth About Produce Wash', 'meta_desc' => 'With the recent food recalls related to produce, consumers have heightened concerns over the safety of fresh produce. Chemical rinses and other...', 'meta_img' => 'hh_producewash_blog_53227.jpg', 'meta_json' => '', 'update_meta_title' => '1', 'update_meta_desc' => '0', 'update_meta_img' => '0', 'update_meta_json' => '0', 'start_time' => '0', 'end_time' => '0', ), 'section' => array ( 'id' => '410', 'PARENT_ID' => '0', 'PAGE_ID' => '3274', 'name1' => 'Tips for a Healthy Home', 'url' => 'tips-for-a-healthy-home', 'hide' => '0', 'order' => '157', ), 'bid_3652' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Headline', 'block_type' => 'Plain Text', 'block_alias' => '', 'post_id' => '30061', 'content' => array ( 0 => 'The Truth About Produce Wash', ), ), 'bid_3653' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Short Description', 'block_type' => 'Plain Text', 'block_alias' => '', 'post_id' => '30062', 'content' => array ( 0 => '', ), ), 'bid_3654' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Description', 'block_type' => 'Rich Text', 'block_alias' => '', 'post_id' => '30063', 'content' => array ( 0 => '

With the recent food recalls related to produce, consumers have heightened concerns over the safety of fresh produce. Chemical rinses and other treatments for washing produce, usually called fruit and vegetable washes, are often advertised as the best way to keep fresh produce safe in the home. They claim to be more effective than water for removing pesticides and bacteria. But do these washes really work?

It turns out that they aren’t any better than water. Multiple studies have found that produce washes such as Fit and Earth Friendly are no more effective in cleaning produce than regular tap water. In a study of three commercial washes, University of Maine researchers found that distilled water was equally if not more effective in removing microbes such as bacteria and mold. Since produce washes are costly, they advise consumers to simply wash fresh fruits and vegetables with water instead of wasting their money on unnecessary washes. [1]

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also advises against using commercial produce washes because the safety of their residues has not been evaluated and their effectiveness has not been tested or standardized.[2] The FDA also recommends washing produce in cold tap water.

It is important to know how to get your produce as clean as you can once you get it home. Here are some easy tips for making sure your produce is safe and healthy for your family.

What are the best ways to clean fresh produce?

It is essential to note that washing produce only removes the dirt, microbes and pesticides on the surface, not microbes that can survive cold water or pesticides that have leached into the produce while it was growing.

The only way to be sure that your produce is not grown with toxic, synthetic pesticides is to buy certified organic produce. Organic produce can be more expensive than conventionally-grown produce, but you can buy organic and still stick to your budget. One way is to prioritize your spending by concentrating on organic versions of the foods your family eats the most often to minimize your exposure to toxic pesticides.

-------------------------------

[1] http://umaine.edu/publications/4336e/

[2] http://www.fda.gov/aboutfda/transparency/basics/ucm194327.htm

 

', ), ), 'bid_3655' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Accordion Text', 'block_type' => 'Children', 'block_alias' => '', 'post_id' => '30064', 'content' => array ( ), ), 'bid_3656' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Image Gallery', 'block_type' => 'Image Gallery', 'block_alias' => '', 'post_id' => '30071', 'content' => array ( 0 => array ( 0 => 'hh_producewash_blog_53227.jpg', 1 => '', 2 => '', 3 => '', 4 => '', 5 => '', 6 => 'The Truth About Produce Wash', ), ), ), 'bid_3657' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Video Embed', 'block_type' => 'Video', 'block_alias' => '', 'post_id' => '30066', 'content' => array ( 0 => '', 1 => '', 2 => '', ), ), 'bid_3658' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Date', 'block_type' => 'Date', 'block_alias' => '', 'post_id' => '30067', 'content' => array ( 0 => '2014-09-19', ), ), 'bid_3675' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Related Page 1', 'block_type' => 'Relation', 'block_alias' => '', 'post_id' => '30068', 'content' => array ( 0 => array ( 'custom_title' => '', 'page_id' => '3446', 'name1' => 'Are Those Lunchbox Snacks Really “Healthy”?', 'section_name1' => 'Tips for a Healthy Home', 'page_link' => '/healthy-home/3274/cfs-healthy-home/tips-for-a-healthy-home/3446/are-those-lunchbox-snacks-really-healthy', 'lead_img' => 'hh_lunchboxsnacks_blog_35797.jpg', 'rich_snippet' => ' It’s back to school season, which means it’s time to get out the lunchboxes and head to the supermarket. Many parents (and kids) choose to pack lunches to avoid the often unhealthy and expensive options in the lunchroom and school vending machines, but how d.', ), ), ), 'bid_3678' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Related Page 2', 'block_type' => 'Relation', 'block_alias' => '', 'post_id' => '30069', 'content' => array ( 0 => array ( 'custom_title' => '', 'page_id' => '3431', 'name1' => '5 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Food Packaging', 'section_name1' => 'Tips for a Healthy Home', 'page_link' => '/healthy-home/3274/cfs-healthy-home/tips-for-a-healthy-home/3431/5-easy-ways-to-reduce-your-food-packaging', 'lead_img' => 'hh_packaging_blog_87751.jpg', 'rich_snippet' => ' Food packaging is unavoidable, but all that excess material is terrible for the environment. It’s simple to reduce your packaging with a few basic steps. It’s easy to start with your grocery shopping. Look for items with as little packaging as possible, br.', ), ), ), 'bid_3681' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Related Page 3', 'block_type' => 'Relation', 'block_alias' => '', 'post_id' => '30070', 'content' => array ( 0 => array ( 'custom_title' => '', 'page_id' => '3412', 'name1' => 'Top Summer Food Recalls', 'section_name1' => 'Tips for a Healthy Home', 'page_link' => '/healthy-home/3274/cfs-healthy-home/tips-for-a-healthy-home/3412/top-summer-food-recalls', 'lead_img' => 'hh_foodrecalls_blog_28030.jpg', 'rich_snippet' => ' We all want the food that we feed our families to be safe and healthy, but this can be difficult with so many food recalls each year. According to federal data, one in six Americans is sickened and 3,000 die from foodborne diseases each year. [1.', ), ), ), ), 'alias' => array ( 'page_link' => '/healthy-home/3274/cfs-healthy-home/tips-for-a-healthy-home/3474/the-truth-about-produce-wash', 'bitly' => 'http://bit.ly/1NlEKiD', 'root_url' => 'tips-for-a-healthy-home', 'root' => 'Tips for a Healthy Home', 'lead_img' => 'hh_producewash_blog_53227.jpg', 'rich_snippet' => ' With the recent food recalls related to produce, consumers have heightened concerns over the safety of fresh produce. Chemical rinses and other treatments for washing produce, usually called fruit and vegetable washes, are often advertised as the best way to kee.', 'page' => array ( 'id' => '3474', 'SECTION_ID' => '410', 'PARENT_ID' => '0', 'BLOCK_ID' => '0', 'order' => '16', 'visible' => '1', 'feature' => '0', 'hide' => '0', 'name1' => 'The Truth About Produce Wash', 'url' => 'the-truth-about-produce-wash', 'bitly' => 'http://bit.ly/1NlEKiD', 'lead_img' => 'hh_producewash_blog_53227.jpg', 'meta_title' => 'Center for Food Safety | Tips for a Healthy Home | | The Truth About Produce Wash', 'meta_desc' => 'With the recent food recalls related to produce, consumers have heightened concerns over the safety of fresh produce. Chemical rinses and other...', 'meta_img' => 'hh_producewash_blog_53227.jpg', 'meta_json' => '', 'update_meta_title' => '1', 'update_meta_desc' => '0', 'update_meta_img' => '0', 'update_meta_json' => '0', 'start_time' => '0', 'end_time' => '0', ), 'section' => array ( 'id' => '410', 'PARENT_ID' => '0', 'PAGE_ID' => '3274', 'name1' => 'Tips for a Healthy Home', 'url' => 'tips-for-a-healthy-home', 'hide' => '0', 'order' => '157', ), 'bid_3655' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Accordion Text', 'block_type' => 'Children', 'block_alias' => '', 'post_id' => '30064', 'content' => array ( ), ), 'alias' => array ( '' => array ( 'custom_title' => '', 'page_id' => '3412', 'name1' => 'Top Summer Food Recalls', 'section_name1' => 'Tips for a Healthy Home', 'page_link' => '/healthy-home/3274/cfs-healthy-home/tips-for-a-healthy-home/3412/top-summer-food-recalls', 'lead_img' => 'hh_foodrecalls_blog_28030.jpg', 'rich_snippet' => ' We all want the food that we feed our families to be safe and healthy, but this can be difficult with so many food recalls each year. According to federal data, one in six Americans is sickened and 3,000 die from foodborne diseases each year. [1.', ), ), ), ), ), ) --> Center for Food Safety | Tips for a Healthy Home | | The Truth About Produce Wash
Please turn off your ad blocker to properly view this site. Thank you!
Donate
JOIN
Protecting Our Food, Farms & Environment
toggle menu
Campaigns
California
Pacific Northwest
Hawai'i CFS
Join the Food Movement!

The Truth About Produce Wash

September 19th, 2014
Center for Food Safety

With the recent food recalls related to produce, consumers have heightened concerns over the safety of fresh produce. Chemical rinses and other treatments for washing produce, usually called fruit and vegetable washes, are often advertised as the best way to keep fresh produce safe in the home. They claim to be more effective than water for removing pesticides and bacteria. But do these washes really work?

It turns out that they aren’t any better than water. Multiple studies have found that produce washes such as Fit and Earth Friendly are no more effective in cleaning produce than regular tap water. In a study of three commercial washes, University of Maine researchers found that distilled water was equally if not more effective in removing microbes such as bacteria and mold. Since produce washes are costly, they advise consumers to simply wash fresh fruits and vegetables with water instead of wasting their money on unnecessary washes. [1]

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also advises against using commercial produce washes because the safety of their residues has not been evaluated and their effectiveness has not been tested or standardized.[2] The FDA also recommends washing produce in cold tap water.

It is important to know how to get your produce as clean as you can once you get it home. Here are some easy tips for making sure your produce is safe and healthy for your family.

What are the best ways to clean fresh produce?

  • Wash your hands with hot soapy water before and after preparing food.
  • Do not wash produce with soaps, washes, or detergents.
  • Use clean, cold tap water to wash produce.
  • For produce with thick skin, use a vegetable brush to help wash away hard-to-remove microbes.
  • Produce with lots of nooks and crannies such as broccoli and lettuce should be soaked for 1 to 2 minutes in cold, clean water.

It is essential to note that washing produce only removes the dirt, microbes and pesticides on the surface, not microbes that can survive cold water or pesticides that have leached into the produce while it was growing.

The only way to be sure that your produce is not grown with toxic, synthetic pesticides is to buy certified organic produce. Organic produce can be more expensive than conventionally-grown produce, but you can buy organic and still stick to your budget. One way is to prioritize your spending by concentrating on organic versions of the foods your family eats the most often to minimize your exposure to toxic pesticides.

-------------------------------

[1] http://umaine.edu/publications/4336e/

[2] http://www.fda.gov/aboutfda/transparency/basics/ucm194327.htm

 

Top Summer Food Recalls
Top Summer Food Recalls