Grow Green Industries Interview with Food Production Daily
What do you do and who are your main clients? (Please name companies that our readers will know and identify with)
Grow Green Industries is a family-owned business that provides US made, patented eco- solutions for food safety and shelf life extension. The company’s innovative, biodegradable products comprise of food grade washes and wipes specifically made for both in-home and commercial use. Eat Cleaner®, eatSafeTM and eatFresh-FCTM are over 99% more effective than water alone in removing pesticides, wax and agricultural residue while extending shelf life over 200% longer. Our largest customer community are young families who are educated, savvy about nutrition, health conscious, and moms that appreciate the value-add that Eat Cleaner® Food Wash & Wipes brings to their grocery budget. Our commercial products, eatSafeTM and eatFresh-FCTM Anti-Browning Solution are popular with produce retailers and large-scale food service programs such as the Los Angeles School District, Albertson’s in Southern California and Fuji Foods. Our products are available at retailers in Southern California such as Albertsons, WholeFoods, Stater Brothers and online through www.EatCleaner.com, www.qvc.com, www.Amazon.com and several other websites.
What’s new at the company (this has to be something that has happened within the last six months)?
It has been an exciting last six months with the launch of two new products in both our commercial and consumer line:
eatSafeTM – is an easy and healthy solution for grocery stores, schools and food service operations. eatSafeTM is an all-natural antimicrobial and antioxidant patented spray that improves food safety, removes pesticides, prolongs freshness, and decreases waste. eatSafeTM requires no special handling or machinery and is made in the USA by Grow Green Industries, INC only using safe and organic ingredients. This commercial wash is 99% more effective than water alone in removing pesticide residue, wax and pathogens from fresh produce plus also extends the produce shelf life up to 200%, dramatically diminishing waste and therefore saves money in a market where food prices are increasing across the country due to drought and decreased availability. Grown Green Industries, INC patented formulation is OMRI-listed and Kosher certified. The washes provide lab proven solutions that are safe, effective, and made with FDA- approved GRAS ingredients.
The commercial solutions of eatSafeTM come in a one gallon HDPE containers with a one ounce pump dispensers, which are easy to use in any size kitchen or facility. Adding two pumps of eatSafeTM into 5-gallons of water and allowing fruits and vegetables to soak for 2-5 minutes, improve produce smell, taste, chew texture, and leaves produce visibly cleaner. This mix can be re-used up to 3 times, allowing 8,000 pounds of produce to be cleaned in just 1-gallon of diluted eatSafeTM.
New Grab ‘n Go Wipes (32-count) – These new travel wipes launched under the award-winning Eat Cleaner® family of safe and natural food cleaning products. EatCleaner’s Grab ‘n Go Wipes are completely safe to use on fruit and veggies, hands, mouths, utensils–evenbabybinkies! EatCleaner®Grab‘
How did this come about?
We are always looking for ways to grow our award-winning line of products and this was a natural progression in both the consumer and commercial ranges. We use a lot of input from our customers and social media conversations who are always sharing inventive ways they are using our products.
What does it mean for the firm and how will it change things?
The growth of our commercial and consumer lines means that we are able to offer schools, hotels, hospitals, restaurants and other food service establishments easy-to-use, economical eco- friendly, SAFE products. We want to ensure everyone has access to clean and safe fruits and vegetables without the use of chlorine, alcohol and other potentially corrosive, harmful chemicals that are used in today’s food processing world.
What is the one work-related thing that keeps you awake at night and how do you tackle that in your job?
My desire to let the world know that what they’ve been told they should do (wash produce with water only) is not enough. It keeps me up at night because that information is just not true. Countless lab studies have shown rinsing with water alone isn’t enough to remove potentially harmful residues and bacteria. I mean, what else do you rinse with water alone and call clean? Not your hair, not your plates, not your hands – nothing. Most people don’t even drink the water straight out of their faucet! I wish there was a megaphone I could shout into and let everyone know. Instead, I use the internet to create change – social media is my megaphone!
What do you see as the main challenge (or game changer) in today’s climate and how can you overcome this?
We think it is important to share the health benefits and value-add our products offer. Additionally, our products are innovative and unique, so explaining the risks of pesticides and food borne illness risk of today’s mass market produce production is important. Our team strives to educate local school districts, food service representatives, mom’s and children in the community and empower them to make the right decisions when it comes to eating a balanced, nutrient dense diet that is comprised of clean and safe produce.
What trends do you foresee in the next five years and how will that affect you as a business?
1) The trend towards eating cleaner, “As the pioneer and founder of www.EatCleaner.com my mission has always been to set the record straight about what is on our plates and empower everyone to take matters into their own hands,” share Mareya Ibrahim. “With more and more people finding out what it means to eat cleaner this means we can further grow our business to service the needs of our customers.”
2) More consumers considering a plant based diet – “Well with the growth of juicing, raw foods and veganism, we seem to be consuming more and more fresh produce with more chances of getting food borne illness if produce isn’t washed properly. We don’t just use just soap to wash our hands and bodies so why do we think that rinsing produce with just water makes it safe enough to eat? Well this is where Eat Cleaner® comes into the picture to offer a safe, effective, all natural solution to cleaning residue from fresh food that can cause food borne illness, while encouraging families to eat more produce.”
3) Growth of the farm to table movement, “We are huge supporters of locally grown and farm to table initiatives. We are just encouraging the proper processing of these foods. On the journey from field to table fresh produce is often sprayed, waxed and touched by over 30 sets of hands,” shares Ibrahim. Grow Green Industries is able to offer an easy and healthy solution for grocery stores, schools and food service operations. The new eatSafeTM commercial removes the risk of food borne illness and washes the footprint of mass production of modern farming. eatSafeTM requires no special handling or machinery and is made in the USA (California) by Grow Green Industries, INC only using safe and organic ingredients.
4) Outbreaks of food borne illnesses – Food safety is a real concern. In the last two years…
- 50 deaths, over 3,000 reported illness from E.coli outbreak associated with fresh Sprouts (Germany), the deadliest recorded outbreak in world history
- 29 deaths in 28 states and a reported miscarriage from Listeria in Cantaloupes. The second deadliest recorded U.S. outbreak in terms of the number of deaths on record
- Contaminated papaya was the cause of Salmonella food poisoning in 23 states; 10 people were hospitalized
- Salmonella cantaloupe affected 20 states, killed two people and hospitalized over 140 people
- Over 317 persons infected with antibiotic-resistant strains of Salmonella from contaminated chicken. 42% of ill persons were hospitalized.Grow Green’s mission is to educate our community on effectively cleaning food to significantly reduce foodborne illness and offers smart, eco-friendly solutions to ensure these kind of outbreaks are kept at bay.5) School districts diversifying school menus – With the launch of eatSafeTM and eat-Fresh-FCTM we are able to offer school districts with eco-friendly, cost-effective food cleaning solutions that do not need specialized equipment and save time and money by reducing waste. As Wanda Grant, RD, SNS, Child Nutrition Director and Specialist states, “We’re in the business of feeding children, not garbage cans. eatSafeTM is the first all-natural, nontoxic product that we can use in School Nutrition Programs to ensure that our Farm to School and all produce we receive can be washed to ensure the safety of our fruits and vegetables. I have been in School Nutrition for over 40 years and have always struggled with how to wash produce effectively without exposing our employees to toxic, closed system chemicals. eatSafeTM is that answer.” eatSafeTM is the second product release of eatFesh-FCTM, is Grow Green Industries, INC anti-browning solution and is used by the Los Angeles Unified School District, Albertsons and Fuji Foods. With the latest launch of eatSafeTM, Grow Green Industries, INC is providing all natural solutions for effective produce washing, shelf life extension for prepared dips and salads and anti-browning for cut fruit in their two-step product use process.
- What’s next for you? Any major announcements/expansions/
closures? We are delighted to share a recent alignment with heavy weight champion George Foreman. Our products, EAT CLEANER® has been selected as the first ‘George Foreman Favorites’ on his newly launched website at www.georgeforeman.com. Foreman and his family are big believers in ‘eating clean’ and hand- selected EAT CLEANER® products, Co-invented and patented by Mareya Ibrahim, The Fit Foodie, for their ability to knock out pesticides, wax, and residue that can cause food borne illnesses, and is over 99.9% more effective than rinsing with water alone. EAT CLEANER® is theonly lab proven, patented, all natural line of products that wash and extend the shelf life of produce simultaneously.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to be aligned with George Foreman, his family and his tremendous brand. As an athlete and role model, George exemplifies the qualities we uphold. Together, we will have a tremendous platform for reaching families everywhere to help them enjoy cleaner, safer produce,” commented Ibrahim.
Do you have an opinion on any of the emerging markets in China, South America, the Middle East? Does it affect you in any way or do you hope to reach out to that market?
We are a global economy and our products are being requested in many other parts of the world. Our Eat Cleaner® products are now available in parts of the Middle East, Japan, Russia and hopefully soon, Central and South America. Our commercial solutions create an ideal opportunity for international produce processors to create safer products that last longer for international export.