WASHING FRUITS AND VEGETABLES: is it neccessary?

`YESSS! It wasn't until recently that I realized how truly important it is to wash all of your fruits and vegetables, prior to eating (even if they are organic). I remember the days when I would either not wash them at all, or only give them a quick rinse under water. Now, I would never put a fruit or veggie in my mouth unless I know it has been thoroughly cleansed with an easy to make, all natural wash (recipe below). But why is it important to wash them? Isn't our time more valuable? The fact of the matter is, that taking the time to wash your fruit and vegetables could be one of the most important starts to a healthy lifestyle. Here are some important facts you should consider when making this choice:

- At the very minimum, your fruits and vegetables have been handled by several different pairs of hands, prior to entering your kitchen: the fields/ orchards, the warehouses and in shipping, the grocery store, where several customers touch them, and finally in your own home. Several bacterias (salmonella, E. Coli, etc.) may be breeding on your fruits and vegetables, whether they are organically grown, or not.

- Consider all of the forms of waste that may have come into contact with your fruits and veggies. Aside from the general dirt, rain, insects, and wind borne contaminants, consider what types of animals have scampered near your veggies, and what they have left behind. Feces, as well as a whole host of bacteria has been given opportunity to touch your fruits and veggies. You would like to think that most have been thoroughly washed beforehand, but what is the likelihood in a 'fast cash' society, where time is money, that you can trust the big businesses that handle their care?

- Probably your biggest concern should revolve around the amount of pesticides, chemicals (some toxic), and overall bacteria that resides on the skin of your fruits and veggies. Several studies have concluded that many of the more common fruits and veggies have a substantial amount of residues, some of them harmful. What's worse, many of these residues can leach into the flesh of the fruit and vegetables (which is why buying organic is always your best bet). Even if the residues are in trace amounts, why take a chance? Especially when fruits and veggies are (or at least should be) eaten in large quantities, everyday? One look at the amount of pesticides/ chemicals that are used when growing a specific vegetable proves how important it is (check out the following link for lettuce in 2002: "VEGGIE WASH"). Even though the powers that be promise safe, and only trace amounts of chemicals, new pesticides/ chemicals are consistently being introduced to our fruits and veggies every year. This begs the question of whether or not former research/ claims are still considered valid?

So, how should we wash our fruits and veggies? Well, I am not going to deny that it took me a few grocery runs to get used to the process, but now it has just become part of my routine. After doing a fruit and veggie grocery trip, I factor in a little extra time to wash all of my produce. It takes about 10-20 minutes to clean about 2 weeks worth of produce, and then I don't have to worry about it until the next run. You can also wash them prior to eating, but I prefer just getting it over and done with in the beginning. The wash you use is very important, and there are several all natural washes that you can buy on the market today (Natural Clean, Soy Fresh, etc.), BUT making your own is cheap and easy to do. The following recipe will not only clean off harmful pesticides and bacteria from your veggies, but also the wax/residues that are meant to prolong freshness. The lemon is antibacterial, while the vinegar and baking soda cleanse the outer skin.

Fruit and Veggie Wash:
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup filtered water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp baking soda

1) Mix/ shake all of the ingredients together. You can either soak the vegetables/ fruit in the sink, or a bowl for a few minutes, wiping dry, OR place all of the ingredients in a spray bottle and gently spray your fruits and vegetables, allowing to stand for a few minutes, then gently rinsing with cold water.
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4 comments:

  1. Thank you for the insightful post and recipe. I will have to try this. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous5:21 PM

    This really worked! I washed fresh green beans, apples, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, new potatoes, cucumbers and celery. The water had residue and murkiness afterwards. I love the bubbling reaction of the baking soda and vinegar which told me it was working. I made enough to fill my sink by quintupling the recipe. still cheap and worth it for a weeks worth of produce.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you so much for sharing such an Awesome
    blog..
    really i like your site.
    i enjoyed...
    veg wash

    ReplyDelete

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