THE BIG SCANDAL: What is Sprouts spraying on our produce?!

THE BIG SCANDAL: What is Sprouts spraying on our produce?!

 Today, I want to address a question that I've been getting a lot in my DMs...

"What the heck is Sprouts spraying on our produce and IS it even safe like they SAY it is?"

As per ushe, I took up the research to get the facts because frankly...

I don't trust the claims of 'safe and effective' ESPECIALLY after all the crap we've been told over the past 5 years.

I also don't blindly follow everything I see and hear on social media.

I'm going to give you the details on WHAT it is, HOW it is used, and the little finite details that aren't being spoken about much.

Then, I'll leave you to make up your own mind because I'm not here to tell you what to think or what to choose.

Respectfully. 🫡

So here's the scoop:

First of all...

It's not JUST Sprouts. Most retailers are using this or a similar product. So don't just go avoiding Sprouts and assuming you're safe.

It's everywhere and for valid cause.

The spray in question is a pesticide/antimicrobial solution called Produce Maxx. It's a solution made of water, hypochlorous acid (free or combined chlorine), and Inorganic salt.

I won't go into too much detail on what hypochlorous acid is but there's a great article about it HERE.

From the Produce Maxx website, the solution claims to kill "99.999% of E.coli O157:H7, Salmonella enterica and Listeria monocytogenes in washing/crisping water."

So let's first address that.

Are these pathogens ON the produce or IN the water the produce it's rinsed in?

Well, that's a much bigger question to which, we do not have a concrete answer.

If we take the statement literally, it would mean the issue is with the water so Produce Maxx would be 'protecting' us from pathogens in the water.

Which could come from either:

-The tap water (This is a MUCH bigger discussion that we'll tackle another day.)

-Cross-contamination...aka someone was chopping meat with the same knife, the same cutting board, or disposed of these things in the rinsing sink before the basin was filled to wash the produce. OR, residue from the animal-based fertilizers, field animal feces, etc. could have also made its way onto the produce and then into the water.

Next, the product claims to help prevent spoilage, which will extend the shelf life of your produce, by controlling decay-causing bacteria.

Here's where it gets interesting...

According to their website, this product is approved for use on both whole AND cut fruit with a "Minimum soak time of 90 seconds."

So while social media is in an uproar about their whole food being sprayed, I have yet to see anyone talking about cut fruit exposure. 🤔

Either way, it still begs the questions:

-How much of this is being absorbed into the produce which then gets picked up in our digestive system?


-Which is worse, having quicker spoilage (and me having to do a more thorough job of washing my produce at home) or knowing that it's essentially being 'disinfected' at the store?

*I'll give you my opinion on that later

We also need to take into account 2 bits of this story that really need to be addressed. I found it only by looking up the application with the EPA for this product as the product label was nowhere to be found on the company's website.

First, it's used in the misting lines to:
• keep them clean and free of odor-causing bacteria)
• maintain the cleanliness and freshness of water used to mist produce
• maintains the cleanliness of lines used to mist the produce
• clean spray nozzles to improve coverage of produce

Here again, we go back to the water quality and potential hazards within the water that are contributing to the exposure to pathogens and harmful bacteria.


"Pesticide Disposal: Wastes from use of this product must be disposed of on site or at an approved waste disposal facility."

So you're telling me that this is toxic enough to need to have a completely separate 'approved' waste disposal facility?


There are SO many more details to this product that I will invite you to read for yourself here.

But in the meantime, I will say this...

Anything that requires going to a poison control center for eye exposure, instructions on how to prevent over-usage, and the disclaimer that I have to dispose of it at a specific 'approved' facility, tells me it's PROBABLY not healthy for me.

But, that's just me.

Now, I leave you to make up your own mind.

"But Alida, what are we going to do instead?!?"

Choose produce that's uncut and unpeeled.

Un-washed would be great if you can find it as well. Take control of your washing and cutting at home to avoid exposure if that's what you desire.

Shop at Farmers Markets. Discuss their growing and washing practices. Learn about what they use to keep you produce healthy in look and in quality.

Look into produce delivery from local farmers. Often times, this produce comes DIRECTLY from the farm complete with farm dirt still on it!

Yeah, LITERALLY getting back in touch with your local growers.

That's not only a solution to getting food IN season, it gives you a chance to know HOW your food is grown, WHAT chemicals (if any) are used to produce it, and form a more compassionate understanding of Mother Earth in how she grows these foods from her soils.

I have a MILLION other questions that this product brings up for me, and the long-term impact it can have on the oral/gut microbiome, though I will save them for another day.

Ultimately, it's informed decision making...and deeper critical thinking...that will solve the current global health crises.

And it starts with you and me.

We CAN take our health and the health of our planet back, one step at at time.

What does this information bring up for you?

Will you choose differently?

PS: If you are in a position where buying produce from a store is unavoidable, or you're just one who doesn't spend much time washing your produce at all, consider adding a detox product to your daily regimen that will help balance out the exposure to pathogens, chemicals, and any toxic residue that's present in your own tap water.

Zen Belly and Detox Aid are great for this!

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