Monday, September 10, 2012
I snapped this picture with my phone camera at Kroger a few months ago. It was gone the next time I went shopping, so they must have just had it up for a mandatory brief period.
I was honestly completely shocked. I had not heard of this waxing before. I went home and did some research, sadly discovering that even the organic produce is covered with this stuff. The worst part is that it's not always shiny, so it's very difficult to tell if what you are buying has been waxed.
It's mind-blowing to think that even fruits and vegetables are not vegetarian anymore. Shellac is a secretion that comes from bugs. You would think they might not have to kill the bugs to get it, but I found this on the Vegetarian Resource Group website:
"According to an article by Ramesh Singh, Department of Zoology at Udai Pratap Autonomous College in India, 300,000 lac insects are killed for every kilogram (2.2 lbs.) of lac resin produced. Approximately 25% of all unrefined, harvested lac resin is composed of “insect debris” and other impurities according to the Shellac Export Promotion Council."
Doesn't this disgust you? Not to mention the fact that the wax has petroleum in it! You think you are doing your body a favor by eating fruits and veggies and yet you are ingesting crushed bugs and oil industry byproducts. Awesome.
I've read that you can dissolve most of the wax by soaking your produce in a mixture of half water, half vinegar for 10 minutes and then rinsing well.
The only way to avoid the wax is to buy frozen produce, or shop locally and eat in season. The wax is used to help keep produce from rotting when it is shipped across country or sometimes across the world so that we can have fresh tomatoes in winter when they cannot grow here. So if you are buying from someone who grew the food near your town and picked it from the garden that morning, there is no need for wax.
You can go to the Local Harvest website to search for farmers' markets and other sources of local food in your area.