Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bite on This - more Grocery Store Secrets

We all know chlorine is a poison, it's toxic and has been linked to infertility and disease. Sadly it's everywhere, in our drinking water, bleaching our paper towels and toilet paper, in pools, in PVC plastics, in pesticides, so we do our best to avoid it by getting unbleached products and filtering our water (even the showers!) and just when we thought we were safe, we find out that chlorine is routinely used to keep our healthy produce "fresh" by, and I quote the MMS Newsletter:
"In the grocery store, glistening carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, etc. all glisten and look fresh primarily because five days ago they were picked, washed, then passed under a cloud of ClO2 gas that destroyed bacteria and disease-germs that ordinarily cause food to quickly spoil.

Some transportation trucks carrying produce (sometimes on two-day trips) can blow some ClO2 into the enclosed truck before closing the rear doors. The spoiling of food begins from invisible surface contaminants. ClO2 eradicates such bacteria."
And I learned this first hand before searching for it on the web to confirm. A truck driver was explaining how when transporting strawberries, chlorine vapor kept his strawberries from molding and therefore looking pretty and lasting longer.

Of course we already knew conventional strawberries have some of the worst pesticides and poisons sprayed on them to keep the pests away (makes sense, they are sweet and delicious, what little critter wouldn't want to take a bite of that?!) and not only are those chemicals driven into the plant itself, but since they are hard to wash, they cannot be removed from the outside either. And now we learn about this little trick of chlorine gas to keep them looking freshly picked. Ahh, things are not always as they appear.

While searching for this I also learned that all those convenient freshly cut fruits and vegetables we see in the produce counter are most probably dipped in a chlorine solution before cutting and again after cutting before being packaged and placed on the store shelf for our purchase so that they stay fresher longer.

Double-dipped chlorine strawberries gassed with chlorine in transit and a side of extra harmful pesticides from the farm, anyone? Yup, sounds fresh to me! Yet another reason to go organic.


  1. WOW, thanks for the info ! I knew they were "bad" but just how bad, wow again !Annie, I am enjoying your blog !!!
    thanks again

  2. Thanks for posting about this - we eat mostly organic, but it's good to keep reminding ourselves about how important it is. Chlorine is so insidious, it's everywhere! Did you know that they sometimes make babies bottles out of recycled bleach containers? And I refuse to use Burt's Bees now that they are owned by Clorox... can't be supporting the bleach industry! I love your blog, I'm an ex-lawyer, organic mommy blogger named Annie too :-)

  3. I love your blog, you always have such great, helpful tips! Just wanted to pass along a tip I came across...A lifestyle website ( is giving away a whole table of eco-friendly products for moms. Included are baby clothes, cleaning products, and backpacks that are all doing good for the earth. It's nice to find a company that cares about changing the world. Here's the link to enter (for free!)

  4. I knew there was a reason I love your strawberries. That is so disgusting, isn't it? Thank you for the informative post!

  5. I'm a new follower to your blog and I LOVE it. We have to know where our food comes from and how it's grown...trying to do away with all processed foods, but with young children, we have to step our way into it! We're progressing, though! And I knew to stay away from the pre-cut stuff. I buy organic & cut it up myself. It's way cheaper, too! Thanks for your blog.

  6. It's so important to have power in numbers for us mommies trying to make good choices for our kids - I keep a safe ingredients blog and need reminders myself. I'm excited I found your blog on "" and look forward to reading more of your posts. Just to reiterate what you said about chlorinated produce, the "white" that appears on those beautifully simple baby carrots? CHLORINE - it's better to buy the "large, unpeeled" *organic* if possible and peel yourselves. At least for our kids!! Thanks for your great info...

  7. Strawberry season now coming to many parts of the U.S., so be sure to find readily available in local stores soon, if not longer. The name Strawberry? Some believe that the name comes from the practice of straw around the strawberries. Others say the name change about 1000 years ago, the word "proliferation" as is "spread", used runners to spread to the strawberries.

    organic food delivered

  8. I enjoy reading your blog. I am always learning something new about our food industry and the checmicals contaminating our food. Thanks for sharing what you find.

  9. Love this post. Lots of helpful information. I am an organic foods & fitness enthusiast and just started my first blog(it is in its very earliest stages). Check it out if you have the chance!

  10. I will most definitely "bite on this!" I loved your ideas and tips! I'm going to try going to this grocery store while using these tips. That way they can be used to their full potential!


thanks for your comments! If you submitted a question or position on one of the points, I'll do my best to research that and respond promptly. Thank you for your part in creating a healthier world for us all.