I’m guilty of it and perhaps you are too. I often don’t take the extra initiative to thoroughly wash my fruits and vegetables. I give produce a quick, admittedly pathetic rinse, and then go about noshing. The truth is, it is important to clean fruits and vegetables, especially if you sit back and think about how many hands, trucks and storage facilities certain produce had to pass through before ending up in your kitchen. Even the cleanest of hands can leave behind harmful bacteria. Water simply isn’t enough.
You may think that as long as you don’t see the bad stuff and you rinse your apple under water, all should be good. However, water isn’t enough. Pesticides are for the most part water-insoluble and require something acidic to break them down and remove them from the surface of fruits and vegetables. That doesn’t mean organic fruits and vegetables are excluded from this rule. Bacteria can contaminate organic produce, which is a worthy reason to get washing! All produce requires more than just a superficial water wash - they require being disinfected.
Luckily, the solution is almost as easy as not dong anything at all. Take a trip to your pantry and you’ll likely have the answer. Vinegar has proven antibacterial properties and makes for a great fruits and vegetables cleaner. The following recipe solves all your problems in a cheap, healthy and easy way!
Two-Ingredient Fruit and Vegetable Wash Recipe
Makes 2 cups
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup vinegar
Directions: Make a solution that is one part water and one part vinegar. Mix and then pour into an empty clean spray bottle. Spray on hard-surfaced fruits and vegetables and scrub lightly. Rinse thoroughly until the vinegar aroma is gone. For more delicate fruits and vegetables, pour the same 1:1 solution into a bowl. Add the berries, lettuce or whatever it may be and let sit for a few minutes. Rinse well before eating.
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Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture