How do you normally clean your fruits and vegetables? Do you only rinse them under cold running water just like everyone else or do you soak them to remove dirt and pesticides? Are commercial produce cleaners better and should you use them?
Apparently, research has found that most commercial veggie and fruit cleaners are no better than plain water. So how to clean vegetables and fruits naturally if produce like strawberries, spinach, apples, grapes and tomatoes are known to covered in pesticides?
How to clean vegetables and fruits naturally
There are several options when it comes to how to clean vegetables and fruits naturally. The top three choices are salt, vinegar and baking soda which are known to be more effective than just using plain water.
The cheapest and easiest option is to use salt because buying copious amount of vinegar is just not cost effective. Vinegar is also not a popular choice compared to salt because of its strong smell and flavour.
When you wash your produce in saltwater for about 20 minutes, researchers found that it was able to eliminate common pesticide residues by 10%.
So then how does baking soda fare in comparison? All you need is a 1:100 ratio of baking soda to water. Just by soaking your veggies and fruits in this solution for about 15 minutes this would completely remove all pesticides residue. Just like salt, baking soda is also inexpensive, but because of its ability to remove all pesticides baking soda tops the charts when it comes to cleaning vegetables and fruits naturally.
How to clean vegetables and fruits naturally using baking soda
When cleaning leafy greens, fill a salad spinner with greens, then fill with water. Add a teaspoon of baking soda into the water and mix well. Soak your veggies for a minute in this baking soda and water solution before throwing away the water, rinsing it, and then spinning it dry. You don't really need to own a salad spinner for this purpose. A simple colander wash basin would work just fine.
For other veggies, you can soak them in a large bowl of water with a teaspoon of baking soda. Soak them for a minute or two before scrubbing them gently with a brush and then finishing off with a rinse.
Smooth skinned fruits, such as apples, nectarines, and cherries, can be washed pretty much the same way as veggies. But refrain from washing berries unless you're ready to eat them because washing them too early will only make this spoil faster.
If you are pregnant, have children at home or any other health issues, try to opt for organic produce as much possible. Do this for food choices that are known to be highly contaminated with pesticides.
Washing with baking soda may seem like an added tedious step, but simply soaking your vegetables and fruits for a minute or two would make it a lot safer for consumption whether it is organic or not.