I have always operated by the old saying—if there are too many ingredients (or unpronounceable ones), be suspicious of it.
If you missed my first post on Apeel, go here. Today, I have new research findings, and I am even more disgusted than I was! Remember, B. Gates and Katy Perry are powerful names that have stakes in the ESG-compliant company.
In the same FDA document that gives Apeel it’s ‘Generally Recognized as Safe’ (GRAS) status, it also clearly lists the unwholesome chemical solvents and heavy metals that are used in Apeel’s manufacture. And, if I’m reading this correctly, it declares it’s “IN THE FINISHED PRODUCT”.
Near the end of the 6th paragraph, what I’ve color highlighted below, is what consumers should know:
It states, “Apeel Sciences describes the manufacturing process for monoglycerides, beginning with conversion (protection) of the two primary alcohol groups on the glycerol backbone to non-reactive moieties…. Apeel Sciences provides specifications for monoglyceride (≥ 91%) and diglyceride (≤ 7%) levels as well as limits for ethyl acetate (≤ 100 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg)), acetonitrile (≤ 5 mg/kg), toluene (≤ 5 mg/kg), hexane (≤ 25 mg/kg), and individual heavy metals (including LEAD (≤ 1 mg/kg), PALLADIUM (≤ 3 mg/kg) and ARSENIC (≤ 0.2 mg/kg)), in the finished product.” (source)
Yikes.. With daily consumption, what could go wrong?
The “Technically-Unavoidable Presence Of Residues Left” Behind in the Apeel Product:
Measurable residues of solvents like aforementioned toluene and hexane are undoubtedly found IN & ON the final products, which is ironic because the product is called ‘Edipeel” (edible peel!) It is described as the “unintentional, but technically-unavoidable, presence of residues in the foodstuff or food ingredient”. (source)
Toluene is a highly toxic chemical that can bring about a wide range of detrimental health effects when inhaled, swallowed, or when it comes into contact with the skin and eyes. According to OSHA, the symptoms of chronic, low toluene exposure can include:
- Cerebral atrophy
- Impaired speech, hearing, and vision
- Neurobehavioral changes
As for Hexane, it’s reported:
Hexane is a solvent used extensively in the food industry for the extraction of various products such as vegetable oils, fats, “flavors“, fragrances, color additives, etc.. Classified as a “processing aid”, it DOES NOT have to be declared on the label under current legislation. Although traces of hexane may be routinely found in final products, especially in processed products, consumers have no way of knowing. (source)
“Easily absorbed through the mucosa and skin, hexane has been recognized for more than 40 years to cause long-lasting and even permanent nerve damage in feet, legs, hands, and arms (peripheral neuropathy).” (source)
The MSDS sheet on Ethyl acetate: It advises not using it in “Food”. (Note: The CDC warns that “Ethyl acetate can affect the body if it is inhaled, comes in contact with the eyes and skin or is swallowed.”
To take a deep dive into what mono- and diglycerides do to us, you can go here.
Heavy Metals Comin’ at Ya!: How Bad Does This Get?
Also, noted in Apeel Sciences notice of submission to the FDA for their GRAS notification, HEAVY METALS were found to be LEFT BEHIND in the sprayed on product. (see Table 2-2 on Page 10 of 36) (source):
- Palladium: (from Pd/C catalyst): Not more than 10 mg/kg (“All palladium compounds should be regarded as highly toxic and as carcinogenic.”)
- Arsenic: Not more than 3 mg/kg (“Arsenic can be harmful to the eyes, skin, liver, kidneys, lungs, and lymphatic system. Exposure to arsenic can also cause cancer.”)
- Lead: Not more than 2 mg/kg (“Lead is a cumulative toxicant that affects multiple body systems and is particularly harmful to young children… There is no level of exposure to lead that is known to be without harmful effects.”)
- Cadmium: Not more than 1 mg/kg. (“Exposure to low levels of cadmium in air, food, water, and particularly in tobacco smoke over time may build up cadmium in the kidneys and cause kidney disease and fragile bones. Cadmium is considered a cancer-causing agent.”)
- Mercury: Not more than 1 mg/kg of this known neurotoxin.
However, Apeel Technology clearly states, “residue levels have been set to no more than 10% of the most conservative recommended exposure limit from the literature for each solvent.” (Source: page 15 or 36) How much is too much, and do you want ANY of these toxins in your body?
The Apeel coating is intended to be applied to apples in a ratio of 108 g/100 kg fruit. Grapes and strawberries would be applied at a ratio of 118 g/100 kg fruit. The coating is “not expected” to travel into the fruit beyond the peel. I prefer to eat the high nutrient-containing peels of organic apples and cucumbers, so now we need to peel them to avoid the spray application?
Who’s Running The Show?
Apeel Technology was founded by James Rogers, PhD, out of U.C. Santa Barbara. He was named a World Economic Forum (WEF) Young Global Leader in 2020. (source) So far, Apeel has received $719 million in funding from multiple sources, including Anne Wojcicki (23andMe), Katy Perry, Oprah Winfrey, GIC (the sovereign wealth fund of the government of Singapore), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, as well as a number of other investment firms and venture capitalists.
Apeel already has partnerships with the following suppliers:
- Nature’s Pride (large importer of European avocados)
- Del Monte, Eco Farms, Del Rey, Horton Fruit, and RV Aguacates (avocados)
- Sage Fruit Co. (Washington State organic apple producer)
- Alpine Fresh, Farm Direct Supply, Farm Direct Supply, La Venta and Beta (asparagus)
- SiCar Farms (limes)
Many other fruits and vegetables including tomatoes, leafy greens, cucumbers, raspberries, as well as citrus use the Edipeel coating, with more produce being added in the future.
Apeel is (or will be soon) available at the following grocers:
- Trader Joe’s
- Fairway Market
- Whole Foods
- Harps Foods
- Price Right
If you or your children were to consume higher than average amounts of fruits and vegetables or if you are vegetarian or vegan, might that expose you to unsafe or unwanted levels of any of the “Apeel” ingredients?
There is no healthful purpose to this. It appears purely to boost profits for the companies who supply produce. Remember, if enough of us stop buying it, they will stop making it.
Ultimately, the reality of Apeel in the marketplace can serve to remind us of the many reasons to eat local, traditional, truly organic, biodynamic and chemical-free foods. And, if there was ever a time to garden, now is it!
“Be strong and courageous. DO NOT fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” ~Deuteronomy 31:6
“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” ~
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