This week I’m showing you my fruit and veggie wash to reduce pesticide and bacterial residue. I am torn between the desire to buy organic produce and the reality that it’s just not in our budget right now. I do grow a lot of my own organic produce in the summer, but in the winter I buy conventionally grown produce to keep my family satisfied.
I used to buy special fruit and produce wash at the grocery store. But it’s really quite expensive and I started to wonder how effective it actually was. So, I started researching. Here’s what I found:
- The Environmental Working Group (EWG – yes, it’s the same group with the sunscreen recommendations) has put together a list of the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen. As the names suggest, the Dirty Dozen are the fruits and veggies with the most pesticide residue and the Clean Fifteen have the least. You can read about it here.
- In 2007, American’s Test Kitchen conducted an experiment to see which types of cleansers might be most effective at removing surface wax, pesticides, and bacteria from fruit and veggies. They concluded that rinsing or soaking in 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar was the most effective – it kills up to 98% of the bacteria in addition to removing wax and pesticides. The data were published in the 11-19-2007 edition of Newsweek magazine.
- Peeling can also be a good way to remove pesticides, but you want to wash the fruits & veggies well first, so you don’t transfer the pesticides to the inside!
Here’s the very easy process I use to clean my fruits and veggies:
First, I soak my fruits and veggies in water and vinegar. I am not very scientific, so I just fill an old bowl with water and dump in vinegar. I swish the fruits and veggies around for a few minutes shortly before I want to prepare them. From my experience, if I do this too soon, they spoil much faster. So I wait until we are ready to eat them.
Unfortunately, I am not a scientist, and I cannot guarantee that this method is 100% effective at removing all harmful substances that may be on commercially grown food. In my opinion, buying or growing our own organic produce is the best way to stay safe. However, cleaning my fruits and veggies in this manner reassures me that I am doing my best to keep my family safe from harmful substances.
Do you use a fruit and veggie wash? I’d love to hear what you do! For more frugal tips, be sure to visit Learning the Frugal’s Life Tuesday Tip!