One Green Thing: My lemons need what on them?

By Jan Herbert
Rockford Park District

Whether you were “green” before the color was fashionable or whether you’re just ready to find the “shade” that works best for you, here’s information about doing just “one green thing.”

Having just returned from south Texas where it is easy to enjoy high-quality citrus, while at the very local grocery chain store, I bought a bag of lemons. I imagined their delicious addition to iced tea and that recipe I watched one of the chefs on TV make.

Today (just four days later), when I grabbed for one, it had mold on it. Did I need to remove them from their net bag? Anyway, I did, and that led me to looking for the recycle symbol on the net bag. Of course, no part of it was recyclable. But imagine my surprise as I was reading the label and discovered the lemons are “coated with food-grade vegetable-, beeswax-, and/or lac-resin based wax or resin to maintain freshness.”

DARN IT … I assumed (yes, I know a bad idea) the lemons were just lemons and scraped some lemon peel into a recipe just the other day. And I’ve been having lemon in my tea and water every day, which means I have been tossing pieces of lemon into the glass. So, is this “wax” only on the ones in the net bag, or is it on the lemons sold individually? Wonder if the produce manager will even know and, worse, do I have to ask about all the fruits and vegetables? And just BTW … one week after purchase, all the remaining lemons had mold.

We hear all the time about eating more nutritious foods, but how can we be sure that is what we are really getting? Or are we simply “snookered” no matter what we do?

For more information, e-mail Jan Herbert at

From the Aug. 22-28, 2012, issue

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