16 May 2007

Peel it off. Peel it all off.

That seems to be the answer to the issue presented here.
A small sign hanging above the produce in a local supermarket reads, “Fruits and vegetables have been coated with food-grade vegetable, petroleum, beeswax, and/or lac-resin based wax or resin to maintain freshness… No fruits or vegetables have been coated with animal-based wax”. The sign is the result of efforts by citizens groups demanding disclosure of ingredients in coatings used on fresh produce. The produce industry, citing the impracticality of constantly changing signs and claiming that disclosure would compromise the confidentiality of coatings ingredients, resisted these demands. The FDA regulation that emerged in 1994 is the result of a compromise between the two groups. Although the sign does disclose some information, it only tells part of a much larger story.

The sign is not required by law to declare the additives put in coatings, some of which raise kashrus concerns. That doesn’t mean that coatings on fresh produce are not acceptable. This article will present information relevant to evaluating the kashrus of coatings.
Regardless of kashrut, this is all just gross enough to make us peel. Everything.

Or better yet, buy local and organic, then you don't have to worry about bug wax at all. AND you support your local farming community. Tikkun olam, baby.