With a family of four, and two kids who looove to eat, I’m forced to buy an enormous amount of fruits. From grapes, strawberries, apples, oranges, the list goes on. I always try to buy organic, but sometimes it’s just not an option if its not available.
Why wash your produce?
Most of the pesticides and bacteria can be washed off of produce, even if it’s organic… remember they’re handled by lots of people before they land on your kitchen. So washing your produce is crucial before feeding them to your family. Specially if it’s not going to be cooked.
“Fresh produce, including apples, grapes, lettuce, peaches, peppers, spinach, sprouts, and tomatoes, are known to harbor large bacterial populations, but we are only just beginning to explore the diversity of these produce-associated communities.”
“We do know that important human pathogens can be associated with produce (e.g., L. monocytogenes, E. coli, Salmonella), and since fresh produce is often consumed raw, such pathogens can cause widespread disease outbreaks. In addition to directly causing disease, those microbes found in produce may have other, less direct, impacts on human health. Exposure to non-pathogenic microbes associated with plants may influence the development of allergies.” Jonathan W. Leff and Noah Fierer. (Find article here)
You can find lots of products nowadays in the market, specifically designed to wash your produce and remove unwanted chemicals and bacteria. Thing is… they end up leaving other chemicals adhered to your food. So you remove all that stuff you don’t want, but you still have some stuff that might not be that great. Of course, there are some great products out there that can do the job safely, without leaving any residues left behind.
More on why washing pesticides from your fruits and veggies is so important here.
A cheap, safe and non-toxic way to wash your produce?
WHITE VINEGAR! I use a large bowl, fill it up with warm water and add about two cups of white vinegar. Acetic acid is a safe agent to remove pesticides and bacteria from fruits. It’s effectiveness will depend on the ratio and the time it’s left in the mixture.
- Ideally, you should use 3 parts water, 1 part vinegar.
- I soak it for about 15 minutes.
Remember, there are certain bacteria or fungi that may not be affected by this method. But under most circumstances, this is a great way to wash your fruit and vegetables.
I buy a huge bottle (1.32 gallon) for about $2 dollars at Costco. It lasts me months.