Can We Eat Fruit and Vegetables that Contain Wax and Pesticides?
Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel
There are wax and pesticides applied on vegetables and fruits. Alcohol is a common solvent; some of the wax is derived from insect secretion. I think of the hadith stating that if a lot of something intoxicates, a little of it is forbidden. A lot of the wax seems to be made with alcohol which is then applied to fruits and veggies. It won’t intoxicate, but it may have najasa. I want to get some clarity on this issue.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
One can eat fruit and vegetables that contain wax and pesticides as they are approved by the food industry in most countries. If you come to know of any non-approved wax or coating, then it should be avoided or thoroughly washed. Washing, peeling, and rinsing fruit and vegetable thoroughly is essential.
Ways of Eating Food and Vegetables
Ideally, if one can grow one’s own fruit and vegetable, then this is the best way to avoid any of the above, or buy that does not contain any coating to avoid doubts, being ethical or health conscious. Often, products label whether they have a coating in their ingredients. If this is not listed on the product, it is often listed on its website.
These coatings may also be easily removed under running water or, if the coating is water-repellent, by peeling. Rinsing and peeling your fruits and vegetables is a great way to ensure you do not eat the waxy coating.
Alcohol as Solvent
If alcohol is used and as long it consists of incidental traces of non-wine alcohol, then it is fine, and this is the case with fruits and vegetables.
This is based on the position of Abu Hanifa (Allah be pleased with him) and has been adopted by leading scholars of our time due to the widespread use of non-wine alcohol in both food items and external products such as soaps or lotions.
As for wine, namely alcohol derived from the fermentation of grapes and dates, it is impermissible to consume in any amount as established by explicit primary texts [Taqi Usmani, Takmila Fath al-Mulhim; Rahmani, Kitab al-Fatawa]
Coatings on fruits and vegetables are not dangerous under FDA and EPA guidelines and many countries’ guidelines, but rinsing off or peeling produce helps remove the wax and any coating.
Check these links:
Is Vanilla Essence Impermissible When It Contains Alcohol? – SeekersGuidance
Alcoholic Content in Soft Drinks – SeekersGuidance
Ethanol – Chemical Safety Facts
A Guide for Consuming Various Meats, Foods, Alcohol, Animal By-Product Ingredients, and Cosmetics – SeekersGuidance
Wax on fruits and vegetables – Cancer FactFinder
Wax | Food Packaging Forum
What Foods Contain Alcohol? – Abbeycare (abbeycarefoundation.com)
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I pray this helps with your question.
[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied within UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan and Turkey.
He started his early education in UK. He went onto complete hifz of Qur’an in India, then enrolled into an Islamic seminary in UK where he studied the secular and Alimiyyah sciences. He then travelled to Karachi, Pakistan.
He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for a number of years. He has taught hifz of the Qur’an, Tajwid, Fiqh and many other Islamic sciences to both children and adults onsite and online extensively in UK and Ireland. He was teaching at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences.
He currently resides in UK with his wife. His personal interest is love of books and gardening.