Food remains a deeply personal part of Mareya’s life. Part of her interest in eating healthfully stemmed from a dark point in her life. “I developed an eating disorder that plagued me for 10 years of my life…Food became an enemy,” Mareya admits.
From that difficult time came her desire to learn to treat food as a good thing for her body. “I got my holistic nutrition certificate as one of the steps to really heal myself,” she says. “I think a lot of [my eating disorder] had to do with media and pressure to look a certain way […] I wanted to be able to come out of that and not just cook food, but cook food that heals.”
Continuing her father’s longstanding work to improve food safety regulations, Mareya is a passionate advocate for ensuring our food supplies are safe. Currently, one of her greatest concerns regards the efficacy of just using tap water to clean our produce. Many studies have been released showing that just rinsing with tap water does not remove enough residual bacteria on produce. Mareya’s solution through her Eat Cleaner movement is her range of biodegradable, all natural, antimicrobial and antioxidant produce washes and wipes that remove up to 99.9% of harmful pathogens from produce.
Some of the most fatal outbreaks of foodborne illnesses in history have been recorded recently. In the past two years, 50 deaths and over 3,000 reported cases of illness were associated with an E. coli outbreak in sprouts from Germany. This was the deadliest recorded outbreak of E. coli in history. In another case, cantaloupe contaminated with listeria led to 29 deaths across 28 states, the second deadliest outbreak in the United States.
The fact of the matter is that our food supplies are increasingly at risk for exposure to contaminating pathogens as our global population continues to grow exponentially. But why do we see fit to merely rinse off our produce with a hasty splash of tap water before eating it, when we obsessively wash nearly everything else in our lives with tap water and a cleansing agent? Most people won’t even drink their tap water, so why is it considered sufficient to clean our food? It’s problems like these that Mareya Ibrahim is out to fight.
Mareya continues to act in her role as a national food safety expert and collaborates with third-party organizations to push for, amongst other things, better recommendations for how to handle produce.
Mareya contributed to the New York Times bestselling book The Daniel Plan. She designed its meal and detox plans with a person who had never heard of clean eating before in mind. It’s a simple plan with an effectiveness that still resonates years later. Mareya stresses the importance of using ingredients that actually heal your body at the cellular level. “It’s about smart substitutions and portion control,” she says.
For more information about Mareya, her books, and her Eat Cleaner movement, visit www.eatcleaner.com or www.thecleanerplateclub.com.
By Kylie Jenkins for Clarissa International Media