We probably all wish organic produce was a bit more affordable and fortunately, there are great methods to washing non-organic produce that work pretty well! Nothing is as good as buying organically, however we all need the nutritional benefits of fruits and veggies so knowing the best ways in washing non-organic produce is ideal. Keep reading for some effective methods in ridding your produce of harmful bacteria and dirt residue!
1. Cold, Clean Water Soak
The first step in washing non-organic produce is a cold, clean water soak. For most leafy greens and porous veggies, soaking them in a bowl of cold water will remove excess dirt and pesticide residue. It won't cut through bacteria that may lay on the surface of your produce so think about another, additional method after the initial soak!
2. Buy a Pre-Mixed Solution
Generally located in the natural foods section of your local grocery store, you can find a pre-mixed solution for washing your produce. This can become an expensive option to use all the time but it's definitely a convenient one and perhaps the most efficient!
3. Use Vinegar
Soaking fruits and veggies that don't have a skin, not rubbing them, ensures that microorganisms don't get into the food by breaking the outer layer. Use one part vinegar and 3 parts water to soak them, which will kill bacteria and remove pesticide residue.
4. Soft Bristle Brush
A soft bristle brush, along with a cleaning agent, will get rid of most residue, dirt and pesky pesticides that won't come off with just soaking. Sometimes the tough skin of fruits and veggies like to cling to grime so it may be a good option to purchase a soft bristle brush. Remember not to use your brush on skins that can be torn or broken, because bacteria can get into the fruit itself before being properly cleaned.
5. Activated Charcoal Powder
Activates charcoal is a great way to remove pesticides from non-organic produce because It's is the same substance that doctors give patients to treat toxic exposure. Activated charcoal absorbs toxins but not nutrients. For your vegetable wash, add 1 tsp of charcoal powder to a bowl of cold water, let it soak for 10-15 minutes and then rinse fully. If you can't find activated charcoal at your local health food store, it's also available online.
6. Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit seed extract is another option for cleaning produce and works well for removing bacteria, fungus and other pests! Place 15 drops in a pot of cold water to soak your produce for 15 minutes and then rinse off. Grapefruit seed extract can be found at most health food stores.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar & Salt Bath
Apple cedar vinegar works like regular vinegar except it's more powerful in removing dirt and eliminating bacteria (and smells like apples!). It's anti-viral, -fungal and -bacterial and is a natural pH balancer. Add sea salt to your apple cider and water rinse bath, agitate the water every so often, and your veggies will be clean and fresh to eat! Make sure to eat them right away after washing because they will spoil faster.
All of these methods work great in cleaning your non-organic produce and even your organic produce that may contain bacteria on the surface. It all depends on what type of veggies and fruit you're washing and their skin texture that determines the best method. Remember to store your veggies dirty and then wash them before eating them. They will last longer! Do you have any other methods for cleaning produce that you would like to share?