Will an apple a day keep the Doctor away?

Gardener using a sprayer for applying an insecticide

We have been discussing the principals of detoxification over the last three weeks. Last week, I suggested that everyone learn about the “Dirty Dozen” list published by the Environmental Working Group.

At the top of this list are apples – incredibly, 98% of conventionally grown apples contain pesticides. Apples, amongst other fruits are very commonly coated in a wax that contains morpholine. Morpholine is found not only in the wax used on our fruits but as an industrial corrosion inhibitor. Its use in beauty products has been banned but it  can a be found in food packages and in pacifiers for infants.

Morpholine has been evaluated by The World Health Organisation (WHO) for its ready conversion into a proven animal carcinogen N-nitrosomorpholine (NMOR). As we commonly ingest Morpholine on our fruits, my  concern is  how readily it converts to NMOR in humans. A report published by the WHO concluded that although NMOR is a known animal carcinogen they do not feel Morpholine on its own is highly toxic in the doses we are exposed to. They did recognise that its `contamination of food through food packaging and food processing should be avoided and that morpholine should not be used in rubber products intended for direct contact with humans, or in toiletry or cosmetic preparations`. (http://www.inchem.org/documents/hsg/hsg/hsg092.htm)

Health Canada recently archived “A Summary of the Health Hazard Assessment of Morpholine in Wax Coatings of Apples”. They stated that Morpholine on its own is not toxic and that NMORs are only created when we ingest large doses of it. Health Canada’s Research was based on animal testing in rats, not humans and they deemed Morpholine non-hazardous.

We are physiologically different from rats and so I choose to not support local mega chains that apply Morpholine to fruits and vegetables. On a recent trip to a large grocery chain on St.Clair West, I asked to speak to the produce manager. As I used my thumb to peel wax off an apple, he was not able to answer my questions about what the apples were coated in and he had never heard of Morpholine. I told him he should learn as we are trusting him and his store to sell healthy, non-cancerous foods. This is where our conversation ended as he scurried away telling me to call the head office with my concerns.

I am left struggling to understand how morpholine can be deemed “safe” to coat fruits and vegetables however not safe in food packaging? How can it be banned in our beauty products but safe to eat!? You might be wondering how this relates to detoxification, the take home is start by not eating fruit that is bathed in an industrial corrosion inhibitor.

By incorporating organic foods into your diet you will be on your way to another chief mandate of Naturopathic Medicine which is Primum non Nocere – to first do no harm. By making healthy choices daily you are minimizing the risk of harmful side effects caused by toxins.  This only makes sense; if we are aiming to eliminate chemicals and toxins from our bodies let’s start by not putting them in.

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