food based cleaning

What’s the Difference between Food-Based and Plant-Based Cleaning?

Aunt Fannie Blog


In the early 2000s, the first wave of eco-friendly cleaning products hit the market. Brands like Mrs. Meyer’s, Seventh Generation, and Method were the first to be part of the fledgling natural and organic trend that would eventually balloon across the board, from food to makeup to personal care. These companies were the first to espouse belief in a better planet, heralding in a new era of cleaning solutions that would forever change the landscape of housekeeping. With a focus on plant-based or plant-derived ingredients, eco-friendly cleaning was new and exciting.

In the 15+ years since, though, not much has changed. All the while, the natural and organic movement has come a VERY long way in science and scope. We now understand more about our bodies, with respect to both what we put in it and what we put on it.

So, why not cleaning? Are the plant-based ingredients in cleaning and pest products from nearly two decades ago still the best option? “Plant-based” or “Plant-derived” ingredients are synthesized. Chemists take the plant molecule, ‘break’ it, then add or subtract whatever they like, creating a ‘plant-derived’ chemical unknown evolutionarily to the human body. We incidentally eat, inhale, and also absorb these products through our skin, but while plant-based solutions are better for the environment, are they best for our bodies?

Aunt Fannie’s founder and his family used plant-derived cleaning products whenever possible. But his son continued to struggle with autoimmune diseases, severe eczema and asthma, even after entirely overhauling his diet and the chemicals they used in their home. It was when his family began using solutions made with whole, food-based ingredients that the final piece of the puzzle fell into place.

Aunt Fannie’s uses ‘whole’ ingredients, not ‘broken’ ingredients. Whole ingredients come as nature intended and have evolved evolutionary with our bodies (much like ancient grains or the nose to tail movement with animals, using only what nature gave us eons ago). By using 95%+ whole ingredients in our formulations, our solutions are seen as the healthiest option for our families. While the early 2000s rang in the first wave of change in housekeeping, we’re overdue for the next stage in the (r)evolution. Which is why at Aunt Fannie’s we challenge ourselves with the question, “If food can nourish our bodies, why can’t it also nourish our homes?”.