Many fruits and vegetables, including favorites such as apples, peaches, celery, and spinach, are laden with pesticides, so that bugs and other problems are eliminated.
While it is true that we don’t want to eat anything creepy and crawling in our produce, small doses of the contaminants can adversely affect our health. In fact, there are about 48 million people who get sick every year because of food contamination, such as in poorly washed produce.
Over the years, a number of myths have invaded many households, keeping them from washing fruits and vegetables the right away, such as:
- You need to use a fancy produce wash to kill bacteria, but according to research, tap water can actually do the job.
- You don’t need to wash either organic or homegrown produce, but contaminants could be everywhere, such as in the soil – even though they are in minimal amounts.
- Rewashing prewashed lettuce is acceptable, but it is already clean and you are actually exposing the produce to contaminants in your kitchen.
Fortunately, all these myths have been cleared and problems about pesticides can be eliminated, along with other contaminants. You can simply use tap water or you can use this liquid to get rid of bacteria and pesticides: white vinegar. Mixing this common kitchen ingredient with water can kill up to 98% of bacteria, while removing chemicals.
How to Use White Vinegar in Washing Produce
When cleaning apples, grapes, tomatoes, and other produce with smooth skin, do the following:
- Mix 1:3 ratio of vinegar and water.
- Place the mixture in a spray bottle to make it easier to use it.
- Start misting the fruit or the vegetable, making sure that you coat the produce’s exterior thoroughly.
- Leave the mixture there for 30 seconds.
- Rub the surface of the produce, while rinsing it with running water.
The technique above will remove bacteria and pesticide and cold running water can help eliminate the vinegar taste. Meanwhile, if you’re going to rinse produce with rough or firm surface, such as cauliflower, broccoli, melons, and potatoes, soak the produce in a mixture of the same ratio (1:3) to kill all the bacteria. If you’re going to wash greens, such as cabbage, you need to separate the leaves individually to clean them thoroughly. After that, scrub the produce using a brush and then rinse it under running water.
Next time you wash your produce, add a little bit of vinegar with water to make sure you bite into real benefits safely.