A Look at Cleaning Produce

Whoops, I realize that these images are coming up huge on regular computer screens. I’ll try to tweak that soon – still lots to learn!

Funny story for you: I was eager to share this quick and easy tip about washing produce with a common (and cheap) kitchen item, then I actually did some research. Several times, I’ve come across different advice on how to remove bacteria and (some) pesticides from typical produce, so I was going to pass that on to you briefly.

Instead, I am going to let you know that good old water does the job pretty well on its own. Sigh.

There are all-natural sprays and washes out there that, while likely effective, run several dollars a bottle. So if you’re eating a lot of produce, that will quietly bring your food budget up as you use it consistently.  My recommendation was to use vinegar (mixed 1:3 in water) to soak produce for 5-10 minutes. A gallon of vinegar is only a few dollars at the store, has many household purposes (although it certainly causes a stink in the process), and is considered safe to use. Or even eat. If you like pickles, at least.

However, I came across this article that shed some light on this technique. Here’s the most significant part, for me.

“When it comes down to making an informed choice as to what you should use to clean off fruits and vegetables, research has shown that using just plain old water can remove 98 percent of the bacteria when it is used to rinse and soak produce. Simply washing produce will remove any bacteria or other residues on your produce.”

So vinegar may add slight cleansing power, but even just water will do a thorough job. I highly recommend checking out the full article (it’s a fairly quick read). Knowing this, however, makes me even more grateful for a low-cost option to use rather than a store-offered product. Choosing otherwise also is beneficial by reducing another container to be produced and disposed of (even by recycling).

That being said, I have noticed vinegar being especially helpful in cleaning items like grapes. Something about grape skin holds a lot of … flavor … but the taste is better to me if they’ve been soaking for a while. Then again, maybe that’s just the good, old-fashioned power of H20.

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