Washing Produce

Facts to consider:

Even if you plan to peel or scrape the produce, it is best – and recommended – to clean it first. Let’s say you have a beautiful ripe melon and you slice through it without washing the outside … the knife can carry potentially harmful pathogens from the rind through the center, and that beautiful melon can turn into a perfect breeding ground for greater bacteria growth.

Some people wash produce with dish detergent. Although this removes much of the pesticide, that which is left – plus any soap residue – could still be detrimental to your system and, in fact, has been known to cause gastrointestinal upset. Be cautious when using anything on any food product that is not meant to be consumed.

Some delicate produce items, such as berries and apricots, should not be soaked in water but can be sprayed with one of the homemade cleansing blends below and then placed in a colander, using a gentle flow of water to rinse the fragile skins. To avoid rapid spoilage of produce, wait to wash and rinse just prior to use.

Produce Wash 1
– 20 drops grapefruit seed extract, available at health food stores
– 1 Tablespoon baking soda
– 1 cup white vinegar
– 1 cup water
– New spray bottle

Produce Wash 2
– 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
– 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
– 1 cup water
– New spray bottle

Spray produce. Let sit 5-10 minutes and rinse thoroughly to wash away residue.

NOTE: The baking soda and vinegar will foam when mixed together. Make sure you use a deep pitcher and pour slowly.

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