Washing Fruits and Veggies

August 19, 2012

Now, I know I may be a little overzealous when it comes to washing fruits and vegetables, but come on, they grow out of the ground and are fertilized with poop and old rotting plants. Would you eat compost from a compost pile? In addition, many plants are covered with pesticides. Then, of course there is our desire for beautiful looking food. It is not uncommon for fruit to be coated in wax in order to enhance the appearance of the food. So, we now have fresh produce that was grown in fertilizer, sprayed with pesticide, and coated in wax. I’m not even going to get into people handling the produce with dirty hands. At any rate, because of all the fertilization, pesticides, and beautification, I make the washing of fruits and vegetables a regular habit. Yes, I do this even when the bag lists that the fruit was washed prior to being packaged.

So how do I go about washing the food? I typically purchase a commercially made fruit and vegetable wash, but a wash can easily be made at home. One option is using a vinegar and water solution, 3 parts water and 1 part white vinegar. You can prepare the solution in a clean sink or bowl and place the produce in the solution to soak (again, I can be overzealous, so depending on the food, I will scrub the flesh of the produce to ensure that it is clean). Soak the fruit for roughly 1-2 minutes. You will need to then rinse the clean fruit. You can also put the same solution of vinegar and water into a clean spray bottle for quickly spraying smaller quantities of food. Another option is to use a mild detergent solution in water. I don’t prefer or recommend this method, because I don’t know how much of the detergent will absorb into the fruit, and I definitely do not want to eat detergent. The last option, which is also a good one, is to simply wash the fruits and vegetables with water. This is far better than not washing the food at all, and has been proven to remove a majority of the bacteria, microbials, and dirt.

Does the use of vinegar and water work? Well, when you finish, the left over solution is dirty, and the fruit looks better, but if you don’t take my word for it, take a look at this article from NPR.

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~ Cece


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