Published on April 9th, 2020 | by DrKaayla


Does your food need a bath?

Does your food need a bath?  

The CDC says coronavirus survives poorly on food, but Timothy Newsome, an associate professor at the University of Sydney and a specialist in infectious disease and viruses, insists that ‘every surface is a hazard’ and that includes fruit and vegetables. 

I do not know who is right, but I do know that followers of the late Dr. Hazel Parcells (1889-1996) have been giving baths to their fruits, vegetables and other foods for decades. Dr. Parcells recommended this not only for food safety but for food energy.  The Doctor, after all, was a big believer in the maxim “it’s not the food in your life, but the life in your food.”   

The food bath Dr. Parcells recommended, surprisingly enough, relies on regular (original formula) Clorox-brand household bleach. No generic brands and no “fresh smelling” additives allowed.  

Clorox is widely known as“chlorine bleach,” but it’s actually a dilute solution of sodium hypochlorite and water. This has a powerful oxidizing effect that includes the killing of bacteria, viruses, fungi and algae. In the process 95 to 98 percent of the hypochlorite solution breaks down into salt and water.  But it’s what happens to the remaining 2 to 5 percent that concerns health conscious people and other skeptics.

Given the fact that fumes from the Clorox container can irritate eyes, nose, throat and lungs, it’s hard to believe that this food bath isn’t toxic.

Those who’ve tried the food bath, however, swear by it. Food looks better, tastes fresher and lasts longer. Even cut flowers live better longer.  Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD; Linda Lancaster ND;  and other students and followers of Dr. Parcells are fans.

While their endorsements might not have convinced skeptics in the past, fear of coronavirus is leading many who formerly sat on the fence to reconsider. The issue, after all, is not just coronavirus but a possible shortage of fresh organic, biodynamic and pastured foods. Should we be forced into eating commercial, factory farmed foods, these will need to be cleared of herbicides, pesticides, waxes, as well as all manner of bacteria, viruses and fungi.  

The idea first came to Dr. Parcells in the early 1950s at Sierra States University in California when she decided to try to revive some shriveled up and discolored old lemons. She filled a sink with water, added a bit of Clorox bleach and dumped the lemons in. Soon after the lemons plumped up and smelled and tasted fresh.  

Further testing showed that the lemons were free of bacteria, viruses and fungi as well as pesticide or herbicide residue. Although generic brands have similar ingredients, Dr. Parcells’ research led her to recommend only Clorox brand and only in the original formula.  She never approached the Clorox company for consent or advice, and was never paid for her research or recommendation.  The Clorox Company has never endorsed using its products in this way. 

Dr Parcells’ recipe calls for soaking foods using one teaspoon of regular brand Clorox per gallon of water. The timing varies according to the type of food as follows:

  • Leafy vegetables   — 5-10 minutes
  • Root and heavy-fiber vegetables — 10-15 minutes
  • Thin-skinned berries — 5 minutes
  • Heavy-skinned fruits — 10-15 minutes
  • Eggs — 20-30 minutes
  • Thawed meats per pound — 10 minutes
  • Frozen meats per pound — 15-20 minutes

After the soak, remove the food and then give it a 5 minute clear water rinse

Not ready to use Clorox?  Prof. Newsome recommends washing your groceries with soap and water.  Soap after all can deactivate viruses by dissolving their fat membrane.  In an interview with the UK Daily Mail, he said the best course of action would be to wash your fruit and vegetables with soap as soon as you bring them home and to not rely on the high heat of cooking. “Wash them with warm soapy water, just as you do your hands.”

What do you think? What do you plan to do? Weigh in with a comment below.

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14 Responses to Does your food need a bath?

  1. Jim says:

    We have been using Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide.

  2. I would love to go back to Dr. Parcells formulas, but regu;lar chlorine bleach is very hard to find, and esp. I don’t want to go from store to store just to see who has any. Right now I am using soap and water. I called the Chlorox company, and they said the regular is now called “disinfecting bleach” . They have many bleach products, so it can be very confusing.
    By the way, since you asked for my website, I do remote healings of different kinds which can be useful at this time especially. See website.
    Thanks for bringing this info back to light.

  3. Janet Spain says:

    I’ve heard Ocean Roberts recommendation to use baking soda water to clean fruits and veggies

    • DrKaayla says:

      Baking soda changes the pH and may definitely help remove pesticides and herbicides. I have not seen any evidence that baking soda would be effective against viruses.

  4. Val says:

    I have never been able to be around chlorine bleach without an adverse reaction – I had to use it 25+ years ago to try to disinfect things which got exposed to mold and it triggered cold sores and phlegm in my lungs. Whenever I went into a chlorinated swimming pool or hot tub, my lungs would start producing phlegm. Also, my understanding is that it is not good for any woman who has had breast cancer to be around chlorine bleach. So, it may be the best disinfectant, but it is definitely toxic for some of us. It’s also impossible to find in any stores right now, as is isopropyl alcohol and hydrogen peroxide. We are using Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint soap and warm water to thorough wash our food.

  5. Mims says:

    It is my understanding from my cousin who served in the Peace Corps in Africa, that bleach washing of produce is common practice, especially where “night soil” is used for fertilizer. I have been using soap and water…but only on produce less than 4 days in my possession. I typically leave root veggies, hard fruits, winter squashes in my garage (into the 40s at night) where they store well…I figure after 4 days any virus living on them is likely dead. I do rinse them with water though once I bring in to the house and consume them.

  6. cassandra leavitt says:

    Anything you do to clean the fruit is commendable so many people just rinse and go, I used to be one of them, however I bought a Kangen machine and the 11.5 water removes pesticides and fungicides and the 2.5 kills all bacteria and germs including the corona virus. I feel very safe with my Kangen, thanks for the article.

    • DrKaayla says:

      I go to a gym called Designer Bodies, where owner Dwain Kindelberger keeps an alkaline water machine. He uses the low pH acid water to disinfect equipment. As for the high pH alkaline water, you are right. It can help remove pesticides, herbicide and fungicide residue. High pH is the reason baking soda baths can be helpful for cleaning commercial produce.

  7. The very best and safest food cleaner is vinegar. I use organic apple cider vinegar to get all the wax off of waxed apples, pears, oranges etc. Unlike Clorox or peroxide that can be over used and thereforer toxic, vinegar is super safe even if a child helps to wash the foods.

    Maria Atwood

    • DrKaayla says:

      Vinegar changes the pH and may be helpful against pesticides and herbicides. It’s certainly safe though it can flavor the food. Unfortunately, there’s no evidence that it’s effective against viruses.

  8. Nancy Nelson says:

    A Clorox bath is what we used to clean fruits and vegetables 30 years ago when we were stationed in a country that had too little separation between the pipes carrying drinking water and those carrying sewage (’nuff said). Worked like a charm. I never thought about its applications for cleaning the over-pesticided food of today.

  9. Jessica says:

    When I first read this I was angry. Really angry. WTF were you thinking? The only reason I didn’t unsubscribe was I wondered what lunancy you’d come up with next. But then I noticed my wilting vase of flowers and said, what the heck, let’s see if I can revive them. And, they were reborn on Easter no less. I’m now trying this with my food and will report back.

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