How to Make Your Own Fruit and Vegetable Wash

Fruit and Vegetable Wash Form Breast Cancer Authority BlogBy: Dr. Michael Greger, Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States.

How might we reduce our exposure to pesticide residues on fruits and vegetables? What about staying away from imported produce? Turns out domestic produce may be even worse, dispelling this notion that imported fruits and vegetables pose greater potential health risks to consumers.

Buying organic dramatically reduces dietary exposure to pesticides, but does not eliminate the potential risk. Pesticide residues are detectable in about 1 in 10 organic crop samples, due to cross-contamination from neighboring fields, the continued presence of very persistent pesticides like DDT in the soil, or accidental or fraudulent use.

By choosing organic, one hopes to shift exposures from a range of uncertain risk to more of a range of negligible risk, but even if all we had to eat were the most pesticide laden of conventional produce, there is a clear consensus in the scientific community that the health benefits from consuming fruits and vegetables outweigh any potential risks from pesticide residues, but we can easily reduce whatever risk there is by rinsing our fruits and vegetables under running water.

There are, however, a plethora of products alleged by advertisers to reduce fruit and produce pesticide residues more effectively than water and touted to concerned consumers. For example Procter & Gamble introduced a fruit and vegetable wash in the year 2000. As part of the introduction, T.G.I. Friday’s jumped on board bragging on their menus that the cheese and bacon puddles they call potato skins were first washed with the new product, after all it was proclaimed proven to be 98% more effective than water in removing pesticides. So researchers put it to the test and it did no better than plain tap water. Shortly thereafter, Procter & Gamble discontinued the product, but numerous others took its place claiming their vegetable washes are three, four, five or even ten times more effective than water, to which the researcher replied, “That’s mathematically impossible”. If water removes like 50%, you can’t take off 10 times more than 50%. They actually found water removed up to 80% of pesticide residues, like the fungicide captan for example, so for other brands of veggie washes to brag 3, 4, 5, 10 times better than water is mathematically impossible indeed.

Other fruit and vegetable washes have since been put to the test. They compared FIT to Fruit & Vegetable Wash, to two I’ve never heard of, Organiclean, and Vegi-Clean, compared to using dishwashing soap, all compared to just rinsing in plain tap water. 196 samples of lettuce, strawberries, and tomatoes were tested, and they found little or no difference between just rinsing with tap water compared to any of the veggie washes, or the dishsoap. They all just seemed like a waste of money. The researchers concluded that just the mechanical action of rubbing the produce under tap water seemed to do it and that using detergents or fruit and vegetable washes do not enhance the removal of pesticide residues from produce above that of just rinsing with tap water alone.

That may not be saying much though, Captan appears to be the exception. When rinsing with plain water was tried against a half dozen other pesticides, less than half the residues were removed. Fingernail polish works better, but the goal is to end up with a less toxic, not a more toxic tomato. We need a straightforward, plausible, and safe method for enhanced pesticide removal, although the efficacy of pesticide removal from fruits and vegetables has been rarely reported in the medical literature. Anything we can add to the water to boost its pesticide stripping abilities?

If you soak potatoes in water, between about 2 to 13% of the pesticides are removed, but a 5% acetic acid solution removes up to 100%. What’s that? Plain white vinegar. But 5% is full strength. What about diluted vinegar? Diluted vinegar only seemed marginally better than tap water for removing pesticide residues. Using full strength vinegar would get expensive, though. Thankfully there’s something cheaper that works even better. Salt water. A 10% salt solution appears to work as good or better than full-strength vinegar. To make a 10% salt solution you just have to mix up about 1 part salt to 9 parts water, though make sure to rinse all of the salt off before eating.

There’s not much you can do for the pesticides in animal products, though. The top sources of some pesticides are fruits and vegetables; but for others, it’s dairy, eggs, and meat, because the chemicals build up in fat. So what do you do about pesticides in meat, egg yolks, or egg whites? Hard boiling appears to destroy more pesticides that scrambling, but for the pesticides that build up in the fat in fish or chicken, cooking can sometimes increase pesticide levels that you can’t just wash off. In fact washing meat, poultry, or eggs is considered one of the top ten dangerous food safety mistakes.

Doctor’s Note
This is a bit of an intermission in my 5-part series on organic foods. So far I’ve covered the questions Are Organic Foods More Nutritious? and Are Organic Foods Safer?

Next, I’m going to wrap it up with what I think the available science suggests is the bottom-line when it comes to choosing which type of produce to buy in the final two in the series:

The most important reason to wash produce is to reduce the risk of food-borne illness. Ironically, the food poisoning viruses may be found in the pesticides themselves. Check out my video Norovirus Food Poisoning from Pesticides.

Michael Greger M.D.About Michael Greger M.D.
Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States.

Breast Cancer Garden Idea: Growing Shiitake Mushrooms Indoors

Breast Cancer Garden With Shiitake Mushrooms
By Breast Cancer Yoga Staff.
Luckily, you don’t need to be a farmer (or even live near a farm) in order to reap the benefits of home-grown medicinal mushrooms. If you have a sunny window (or two, or five) and a bit of extra time on your hands, then you’re capable of growing your own organic mushrooms right at home. Read on for our easy, healthy mushroom ideas to cultivate indoors — and how to get them growing!

Making a Bathroom Mushroom House

Bathroom Mushroom Garden For Breast Cancer
If you haven’t given the joy of home-grown organic mushroom cultivation a go yet due to lack of space that is relatively stable in temperature and high humidity, it might be time you had a little rethink. Your bathroom is a mushroom growing space waiting to happen. Whether you’re cultivating shiitake, oyster varieties, enoki or any other saprophytic species, your bathroom can help to create the perfect environment for your mushrooms in their fruiting stage. Given that it’s the room in your house in which many hot showers are taken, it is generally more moist and humid than other rooms in your house. Step By Step Instructions at Milkwood.

Mushroom Farm Kit And The Growing Process

Mushroom Growing Kit For Breast Cancer Gardening
I don’t have a green thumb…how easy are the mushrooms to grow? As easy as 1) opening 2) misting and 3) harvesting… in just 10-15 days! It’s so easy and our main supporters are kids that are growing their own food!

How long can I store the farm before I need to start growing it? The farm will stay fresh in the box for months before you start growing your mushrooms. Make sure you keep your farm in a cool area/room that doesn’t receive any direct sunlight (i.e., closet, bedroom). Once opened you just need oxygen, water, and light to activate your farm!

Where should I grow my farm? All you need is a window sill, perfect for you urban dwellers out there! Ideally, you want to grow your mushrooms indoors with indirect sunlight and a bit of fresh air. Indirect sunlight will help the mushroom caps develop to their full potential. Once you see the tiny pin heads pop out, they’ll double in size each day! Learn More About Back To The Roots Mushroom Farm Kit.

Shiitake Mushrooms For Wellness Recipes

Shiitake Mushroom Soup For Breast Cancer
Shiitake mushrooms have been an important medicine and food source in Asia for thousands of years. These “flower mushrooms” are used to support a healthy immune system and are frequently eaten during an occasional bout of seasonal sniffles. They’re also really delicious, with a nice meaty texture. Food is medicine, right?  Get Mountain Rose Herbs Recipe.

Shiitake Mushroom Benefits Breast Cancer

Shiitake Mushroom Benefit Breast CancerShiitake mushrooms are promoted to fight the development and progression of cancer and AIDS by boosting the body’s immune system. These mushrooms are also said to help prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels and to help treat infections such as hepatitis by producing interferon, a group of natural proteins that stops viruses from multiplying. Promoters claim that eating both the cap and stem of the mushroom may be helpful, but they do not say how much must be eaten to have an effect. They say the strength and effects of the mushroom depend on how it is prepared and consumed. Learn More From American Cancer Society.

Dawn Breast CancerAbout Dawn Bradford Lange:  Co-founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Dawn is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

10 Organic & Pet Friendly Weed Killer Ideas For A Healing Garden

Organic Weed Control For Breast Cancer

By Breast Cancer Yoga Staff.

You and your pets are as much a part of your life as your healing garden for breast cancer recovery and you want to make sure that you both can enjoy a healthy garden. While stores sell a number of weed killers, most of them are not very healthy. Fortunately, there are a number of organic and pet safe weed control methods you can use to keep your garden healthy for everyone.

  1. Use the solarization method to kill weeds prior to planting beds. Cover the garden bed with clear plastic. The sun naturally heats the plastic, killing off weeds in the upper layer of soil. Remove the plastic before planting.
  2. Use vinegar as a natural weed killer. Spray full-strength vinegar directly on weeds as they emerge.
  3. Physically remove weeds. Pull them or use a weeding tool to remove them before they go to seed and spread. Regular monitoring and hand weeding is the ultimate organic weed control.
  4. Organic herbicidal soaps (Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap) are similar to dish soaps but are highly refined. They penetrate and break down the waxy protective coating of plant leaves, causing the leaves to dehydrate and die.
  5. Citrus oil-based herbicides work in the same way as herbicidal soaps
  6. Select organic weed killers from your local garden center. Organic weed killers do not include harsh chemicals or pollutants, and should be labeled as Certified Organic.
  7. Keep a nice thick layer of mulch on the soil all the time, once your seedlings have grown enough to reach light above the mulch. Mulching is helpful for any number of reasons, not just for weed suppression, but this would be a good enough reason on its own. If you have a large home garden, mulching can save you dozens or even hundreds of hours over the course of a year.
  8. Crowd weeds out by planting densely, and planting polycultures of different plants that will keep the soil shaded. There will pretty much always be something that grows on bare soil, so if you can keep the soil covered in multiple levels of desirable plants, the weeds won’t be as big of a deal.
  9. Apply boiling water (only good for small areas obviously) or spray them with household vinegar (5% – very safe but not so useful for perennials or other tough weeds) or horticultural vinegar (10-30% – can burn your skin pretty bad, but works better).
  10. Sugar – Believe it or not, sugar is also a pet friendly weed killer. It puts the soil organisms into overdrive and the soil becomes temporarily unsuitable for plants. It is great for killing weed trees, bushes or vines that are hard to pull out. Simply pour some sugar at the base of the plant you wish to kill. If you are concerned about it becoming an attraction to pests, simply mix the sugar with equal parts chili pepper to deter those possible pests.

Sources:
http://www.wikihow.com/Choose-Organic-Gardening-Supplies
http://www.smilinggardener.com/organic-pest-control/organic-weed-control
http://www.better-lawn-care.com/organic-weed-control.html#axzz37JofK8nE

Dawn Breast CancerAbout Dawn Bradford Lange:  Co-founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Dawn is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

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