(NaturalNews) We all know about them - pesticides and waxes that cover our produce. Although there are many fruit and vegetable washes available in supermarkets, it's simple to make your own homemade blend that will work just as well and at a fraction of the cost. So why, then, would you pay all this money for something you can make at home? You've come to the right place ... save your pennies because the buck stops here - and now!
Consider these facts:
- Bacteria and fungus occur naturally on most crops. Even if there is no visible soil clinging to your non-organic or organic produce, bacteria can be present. - Imagine how many hands touch the food before it gets to your mouth, plus bacteria from soil and dirt can accumulate during the shipping process: these can cause a buildup on the surface of any produce. - Agriculture pesticides are not removable with water alone.
Even if you plan to peel or scrape the produce, it is best - and recommended - to clean it first. Let's say you have a beautiful ripe melon and you slice through it without washing the outside ... the knife can carry potentially harmful pathogens from the rind through the center, and that beautiful melon can turn into a perfect breeding ground for greater bacteria growth.
Some people wash produce with dish detergent. Although this removes much of the pesticide, that which is left - plus any soap residue - could still be detrimental to your system and, in fact, has been known to cause gastrointestinal upset. Be cautious when using anything on any food product that is not meant to be consumed.
Some delicate produce items, such as berries and apricots, should not be soaked in water but can be sprayed with one of the homemade cleansing blends below and then placed in a colander, using a gentle flow of water to rinse the fragile skins. To avoid rapid spoilage of produce, wait to wash and rinse just prior to use.
Convenience has become a way of life at the grocery store. Pre-packaged items that market ready-to-eat produce are a shopper's dream, yet it's still a good idea to wash before consuming. This will only take a few minutes, and you'll be certain your food has been thoroughly cleaned.
Everyone likes to save money, and since there's no need to buy expensive produce wash when you can just as easily mix your own with common ingredients known to most cupboards, jump on board! This ensures better flavor, reduces risks of consuming contaminants, and saves money in the process - a plus on all counts. The combination of long-term health benefits and putting pennies in pockets will be doubly rewarding.
Produce Wash 1 - 20 drops grapefruit seed extract, available at health food stores - 1 Tablespoon baking soda - 1 cup white vinegar - 1 cup water - New spray bottle
Produce Wash 2 - 1 Tablespoon lemon juice - 1 Tablespoon white vinegar - 1 cup water - New spray bottle
Spray produce. Let sit 5-10 minutes and rinse thoroughly to wash away residue.
NOTE: The baking soda and vinegar will foam when mixed together. Make sure you use a deep pitcher and pour slowly.
Heidi Fagley is a Holistic Nutritionist and has two culinary arts degrees - one in Raw, Living Foods and another in Natural Foods. Educating others about nutrition and the benefits of using whole foods to heal and prevent disease is her passion.