Friday, November 26, 2021

2 Easy Methods to Wash Your Fruits and Vegetables

I never used to worry too much about washing my fruits and vegetables thoroughly myself, just a quick rinse under running water and a polish on my shirt is all the care I would give to my apple before munching on it.

Then, I learned about the risks of consuming pesticides that are used on common fruits and vegetables that I regularly buy and eat. So I decided to buy organic where I could, and grow my own green leafy vegetables. But it seems that even organic produce, although it is spray-free, can also contain some dangerous bacteria such as e.coli, which in some cases has killed people.

Bottom line is, no matter what fruits and vegetables you buy, you need to wash it.

Orange, red, and yellow peppers along with some ripe roma tomatoes in a metal collander.
Rinsing in water is good, but washing with vinegar is a proven method for safe vegetables. (Image: Didgeman via Pixabay)

Rinsing under running water does remove 70-80 percent of pesticides. Yet this may not be good enough when you are giving the fruit to a young child with an immature nervous system; some toxins used can have a cumulative effect. For this reason, it is recommended that you thoroughly wash before you eat a varied fresh seasonal diet to get around this problem.

A better way to remove significantly more pesticides and bacteria is to use a very common household ingredient: vinegar.

Here are two simple ways to use vinegar to make your fruits and vegetables clean and safe for eating.

Vegetable soak

When I get home from the market, I like to wash all my vegetables in the sink at once as it saves time, and I know the job’s been done for the week.

This video explains how to make a vinegar soak, which cleans off any residue and pesticides. Soaking makes sure even the cracks and crannies are sterilized.

  1. Simply half-fill your sink with cool water.
  2. Pour in a half cup of white vinegar.
  3. Place your vegetables or fruit into the water to soak for 10- 20 minutes.
  4. Give the surface of tougher veggies and fruit a little scrub, such as carrots, apples, and celery.
  5. Rinse the vegetables and fruit with cool running water; they are now ready to prepare.

DIY spray for fruits and vegetables

I like to use a fruit and vegetable spray when I reach for a piece of fruit that has not yet been washed. Instead of soaking it, I quickly spray the fruit and then rinse it under running water — it’s quick and easy.

This spray also contains vinegar, so it is effective for removing pesticides and bacteria that may be lurking on the surface of your produce.

If your fruits or vegetables have tougher skin, say apples or zucchinis, you can give them a more vigorous clean using your scrubber after spraying.

  1. Mix 1/4 vinegar to 3/4 water in a clean spray bottle.
  2. Spritz the mixture onto your fruits and vegetables and let them sit for a couple of minutes.
  3. Rinse the mixture off; your produce is safe to eat.
Illustration of cartoon fruits and vegetables with happy smiles on their faces while being washed in the sink.
A healthier message. (Image: yordanprima via Pixabay)

Unfortunately, organic food is not always an option for us, as it depends on local suppliers and can cost a lot more. Most of us are buying our fruits and vegetables from supermarkets, and we are really in the dark about what farming and what type of producing processes it has gone through before we drop it in our trolley.

However, this should not stop us from eating plenty of fruits and vegetables; they are so good for us and will keep us healthier in the long run, so we just need to wash them!

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Raven Montmorency
Raven Montmorency is a pen name used for a writer based in India. She has been writing with her main focus on Lifestyle and human rights issues around the world.
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