Don't get me started on how awesome apples are because, seriously, they're delicious. But there's a major problem with this tasty fruit: They're dirty.

Conventional (nonorganic) apples often have residue inside and outside the apple from dozens of pesticides used in the production process. These pesticides can improve yield, but they can also have a devastating effect on groundwater and the environment, and they might affect the people who spread and consume them.

And while the apples found at the grocery store have already been washed or rinsed in a bleach solution to remove dirt and harmful microbes, the pesticide residue can still remain. Cleaning or washing conventional apples is a must, but with what?

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I wouldn’t claim to be an environmental whiz kid, but I do the best I can.

I truly believe that even the smallest effort can make a huge difference. I read the numbers on the bottom of my plastic containers to make sure they can be recycled. I use empty bottles of wine to help water my plants — that’s really a win-win because I no longer have to remember to water them! But, I fall short in a few areas. I rarely finish a plate of food and have been guilty of tossing everything in my fridge in search of the one item that’s causing a funk.

Then I learned about food waste. And it’s no joke.

Food is the single largest contributor to landfills, and 40% of food in the U.S. is never eaten. That's a whole lot! But food waste isn't just about what winds up in our trash cans. Producing all of that wasted food uses over 20% of the U.S. supply of freshwater — that's more water than is used by California, Texas, and Ohio combined — and creates as much greenhouse gas emissions as 33 million passenger cars.

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