Several weeks ago, I blogged about a DIY Produce Rinse. A basic formula of water and vinegar that's been proven effective for removing bacteria from produce.
Since then, I've received a lot of comments voicing concern about pesticides used by non-organic growers and can pesticides be washed off?
YES, you can wash off most pesticides but, it isn't convenient, nobody claims this method removes ALL pesticides and, in order to be effective, specific steps need to be taken to avoid cross contamination.
In my search for a pesticide wash, I must say, there's a deplorable lack of actual scientific fact and/or studies on the subject. Why is this?! Shouldn't this be important and available information to everyone? It shouldn't be so difficult to protect our health...grrrr!
So, on the subject of organic produce, bacteria is everywhere. You should wash both organic and non-organic produce. I always wash my hands after working in the garden, it just makes sense to wash anything that comes from your garden too!
Now, if you bring home non-organic produce you're dealing with pesticides, especially, if it's on the Dirty Dozen list.
Sorry for the blurry image but, you can google this!
Here's a good method to clean up the Dirty Dozen a little. I like this pesticide wash best because it's inexpensive, and has effective ingredients. Here's the link for the info found on Yahoo.
3% Hydrogen Peroxide & Vinegar Produce Wash
Fill 2 spray bottles, one with vinegar and the other with that cheap brown bottle of hydrogen peroxide that you can buy at the grocery or dollar store. HEY! I found that a standard sprayer fitting fits perfectly on that brown bottle...see? (always keep hydrogen peroxide in a dark bottle, it will break down in sunlight)
1. Put produce in a bowl and spritz well with vinegar.
The acidic vinegar actually breaks down chemicals from the field and waxes or any storage enhancers that may have been used will rinse away.
2. Spritz well with 3% Hydrogen Peroxide.
This step will sanitize the produce.
Finally, rinse under cold water.
For non-bruisable fruits and vegetables, you can clean these in a large bowl by adding a little vinegar and gently rolling the bowl around until all produce has been coated, then add a little hydrogen peroxide. When finished, rinse with cold water in colander.
When possible, it's always a good idea to peel produce if eating fresh and whole.
This is important! Remember to use a clean knife when slicing up the fruit or veggies that you just peeled. You don't want to contaminate the inner, clean fruit with the dirty knife used for peeling.
This research was a great lesson for me! I'll be using this method and practicing A LOT more diligence in cleaning and preparing my produce. When it comes to your health, you just can't be too careful!
To health...and being well fed!