Washing fruit and vegetables

When I read an article title which to me suggested there was a ‘right way’ to wash fruit and vegetables I pursed my lips and furrowed my brow. Had I been missing some vital piece of information all my life? Had I been making a mistake? Had I been endangering my life? Surely not; I had survived all this time so what I was doing must have been okay – surely? A sense of uncertainty pushed me to read on.

Despite the article, titled How to wash fruit and vegetables to remove pesticides, seeming to be about a topic foreign to me – I believe I buy most if not all my vegetables from organic growers, from those who do not use nasty carcinogenic pesticides, or they come from my own garden – I ploughed into reading it.

This proved to be fascinating reading starting with what seemed to me to be the fantastic claim ‘Almost no food is 100% free of pesticides.’ Then ‘surprisingly, even organic produce may contain some pesticide residues.’ Have I got your attention?

Admittedly this information comes from a USA organisation and focuses on the situation in that country. Nevertheless it has certainly made me think about what free floating pesticides might be making their way onto my fruit and vegetables in my Bellerive garden. In addition, this article has prompted me to talk with the (usually) organic growers at my local Farmers Markets and ask them what pests they have on their produce and what methods (and treatments) they use to combat these pests. Ignorance is not bliss when unnecessary poisons are being consumed and our bodies have to try and cope with these, and not make us ill or produce a disease.

So what is the story about good washing? Do you usually wash your produce by rinsing it under cold, running water? Most people do. This method works well to remove some of the pesticide residues from some forms of produce. So, running water can work, but what about using products called “produce cleaners?” Should you use them? Research has shown that most commercial produce cleaners are no more effective than plain water.’ Heavens – I had no idea ‘produce cleaners’ existed!

The article continued ‘…several liquids have been shown to be more effective than plain water. Those include salt water, vinegar water, or baking soda water.’ If you scan down the article you will read the specifics of using these options. For some produce, soaking is required – read on for the specific details.

Please let me know if you change what you do as a result of reading this blog post. I must admit I haven’t as yet – but today is the day when I get out the baking soda to have easily at hand next time I wash a vegetable!

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