If you are not able to buy all of your produce organic, the next best thing is to wash your produce really well. Cleaning fruits and veggies often increases their shelf life and makes them taste better (and no, they won’t taste or smell like vinegar)! Here are some tips to help clean some of the chemicals and bacteria off of your produce.
1. For the soft skinned fruits (grapes, tomatoes, plums, etc), I wash them with a tiny drop of dish soap and some warm water to get pesticides and waxes off. Rub them gently with your hands or a soft produce brush.
2. Take a big bucket and toss in all of your fresh produce (including leafy greens, they actually get quite crispy once cleaned and dried!) Fill it up with 2/3 warm water and 1/3 white vinegar. Let the produce soak for about 20 minutes. Rinse and dry everything well before storing in fridge. Do not store wet produce in fridge, otherwise it will spoil very quickly. I personally find this method easier, but another great alternative is to put 1/3 vinegar and 2/3 water in a spray bottle. Spray all produce and let sit for 20 minutes. Gently wipe it off with water.
3. Make sure to wash all fruits and veggies, even those with rinds and skins you wouldn’t eat (watermelon, pineapple, citrus fruits). This will prevent the chemicals from spreading to the edible parts while cutting.
4. The vinegar/water wash also kills off most bacteria from produce, such as salmonella and E. Coli.
5. Learn what is on the “dirty dozen” and the “clean fifteen” lists. Dirty dozen are all the fruits and veggies that are most heavily sprayed with harmful pesticides. Clean fifteen are the ones with the most minimal amount of pesticides and chemicals.
Enjoy your cleaner and tastier produce!