An apple away keeps the doctors away.
Or does it?
Not only are apples often GMO and can contain alarmingly high levels of arsenic, they’re also often covered with harmful wax.
In nature, some plants and fruit produce wax to protect themselves from the elements, but apples aren’t naturally as waxy as you see them in the store.
Instead, they are artificially covered with carcinogenic petroleum-based wax to increase their shelf life. This wax is considered food grade, but can lead to bowel obstruction if eaten regularly (1,2).
Other waxes used around the world include shellac, mineral oil and Carnauba wax (3).
Mineral oil (by product of petroleum) is known to cause organ system toxicity, while ingesting shellac can lead to poisoning, kidney failure and coma (4,5).
Carnauba wax, on the other hand, can cause irritation and damage to the mouth (6).
That’s why it’s best to buy organic, locally grown apples or to visit the farmer’s market or an orchard to get the most natural fruit possible. As with any other produce, also make sure to wash your fruit before eating it.
If you can’t afford organic all the time, limit your exposure to wax and pesticides by washing your fruit in a bowl of lukewarm water with a tablespoon of baking soda and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Use a fruit brush to scrub the apples as best you can and pat them dry before storing.
If you suspect that your fruit may be waxed, but you aren’t sure, try the trick below.