“Fit Foodie” and Food Safety Expert Mareya Ibrahim Says Clean Eating Equals Better Health and Radiant Skin
If Mareya Ibrahim had her way, we wouldn’t be cleaning our plates by eating unhealthy portions, but we’d be obsessed with making sure every food item on our plates is clean! Known as the “Fit Foodie,” Mareya is a nationally recognized food safety and clean eating expert, an award-winning entrepreneur, television chef, author and inventor. She is the CEO and founder of Grow Green Industries, INC. and the patented co-creator of the eatCleaner®, eatSafe™ and eatFresh™ line of all-natural and organic products that help offer cleaner, safer, longer lasting produce. A featured chef on the Emmy-nominated cooking show Recipe Rehab, eHow.com, and Livestrong.com, she has a new book slated for release in June titled “Eat Like You Give a Fork: The Real Dish on Eating to Thrive.” (St. Martin’s Press)
We caught up with this wellness warrior to learn more about how clean eating is not only essential to overall health, but how foods laced with pesticides can also contribute to dull, aging skin.
1847 Magazine: What’s the name and location of your business?
Mareya Ibrahim: Grow Green Industries/dba Eat Cleaner is based in Aliso Viejo, CA, just a few minutes away from iconic Laguna Beach.
1847: How long have you been involved with your business?
MI: I began testing different formulas for Eat Cleaner with my father, Dr. Shawki Ibrahim, our chief scientific officer, in 2008. We tested seven different formulations and finalized our core formula in 2009. In 2010, we began production and distribution and have been building the house ever since.
1847: What is the driving force that fuels your success?
MI: As a chef and holistic health coach – and someone who understands the importance of a real, plant-forward diet – my mission is to help people enjoy cleaner, safer, longer- lasting, fresh produce. I’ve seen how eating more fresh produce can transform health, but the obstacles are real. There are more foodborne illness outbreaks associated with fresh produce than any other food item – plus, perishability can be a deal-breaker for people. Eat Cleaner is an all-natural way for people to change their habits for good.
1847: Why is it important for us to know about the harmful effects of toxins and chemicals in our food supply?
MI: As our food supply demands become more global to feed an ever-growing population, toxins and chemicals will continue to be a challenge. Never before have we seen such rampant autoimmune illness, attention deficit disorder, allergies and chronic disease, and much of the data points towards pesticides, chemical additives and artificial ingredients. It’s in our food, our air, our water and the cumulative effects can be devastating.
1847: Can food laced with pesticides contribute to dull or aging skin?
MI: Certainly, because they deposit in the fatty tissue and impair the body’s natural ability to function optimally. Our skin is our largest organ, so as the body is trying to ‘evict’ the poison, our skin shows it.
1847: How does Eat Cleaner make foods safer to eat?
MI: Think of it as a mask for your produce. Most fruit and veggies are hydrophobic, which means water will not adhere to the surface. Eat Cleaner is a patented, lab-proven way to adhere to the surface of produce and lift off non-water-soluble material like pesticides and wax. About 80% of our produce is waxed with carnauba or paraffin wax, and if it’s waxed, it’s trapping all that junk. There’s no amount of water you could use to get rid of it!
1847: How is Eat Cleaner different from other veggie or fruit washes?
MI: First, it’s the only patented antimicrobial and antioxidant solution supported by extensive lab data, plus formulated by a Ph.D. and chef. Eat Cleaner is perfectly clear and doesn’t alter smell or taste like other washes. It’s uniquely formulated to extend produce shelf life up to 5x longer, and no other wash can claim this! We also have the most extensive line on the market, including sprays, powder wash, refill concentrates and biodegradable wipes. We even make a wash for seafood and poultry, and anti-browning products that keep fruit and veggies like avocado and apples from turning brown for more than seven days.
1847: Does it help to buy organic produce? Does it still need to be thoroughly washed?
MI: Organic produce is riskier when it comes to potential bacteria contamination due to the use of organic fertilizers and manure in the growing process. There are over 25 synthetic pesticides approved for organic farming, so if you’re under the impression organic farming means ‘no pesticides used,’ this is untrue.
1847: Where are your products currently sold?
MI: They are available on HSN and QVC, along with Amazon.com, eatcleaner.com, Thrive Market, iHerb and some retail locations.
1847: What upcoming projects are you working on?
MI: My new book “Eat Like You Give a Fork,” coming out in June 2019 with St. Martin’s Press, is the true culmination of my 25+ years as a student and orchestrator of food. I also just launched my new podcast, Recipes for Your Best Life, which I’m super excited about. It gives me the chance to connect with people around the globe on all the subjects that give us joy, and in a format everyone can tune into. In terms of products, we have a new product coming out in March called avoFresh, an organic powder that you add to fresh avocado to keep it from browning for up to seven days. You can also make a spray from it and use it to mist your avocado slices. Avocados are expensive and brown so quickly, so this is the perfect solution to make them go the extra mile.
1847: Anything else you would like to add?
MI: You can change your destiny and DNA with food. Make every bite count!