If you think washing your fruits and veggies in tap water is enough, think again. Since I’m not an expert, but have read a lot about it, I will say that the FDA thinks that water is enough. Who am I to argue? But I think the proof is in the pudding. How many salmonella outbreaks have you heard of in fruits and veggies? For me, even once is too much to think water alone is enough to get those clingy bacteria off your veggies. Since I eat mostly fruits and veggies and mostly raw it is especially important that I use a homemade veggie wash for bacteria that shouldn’t be there.
I am definitely of the mind that “God made dirt and dirt don’t hurt,” but that doesn’t mean our farms, local grocery stores and middle men aren’t contaminating our fruit and veggies. “[Salmonella] occurs when the water used to irrigate food crops is drawn from wells that are near livestock, which can cause fecal bacteria to spread through the water to the food, Doug Powell, associate professor of food safety at Kansas State University, told Life’s Little Mysteries.”
There are many homemade veggie wash recipes that involve mixing and special ingredients, but I really don’t think all that work is necessary. In my book, there are 3 homemade veggie wash winners that require very little effort. All it requires is a spray bottle and your favorite pick from below!
1. Hydrogen Peroxide
3. Purified water
I love hydrogen peroxide because it doesn’t have any taste to it, you can put it in a spray bottle, rinse off the food, and it keeps berries fresh for days. My husband is sensitive to vinegar…even the smell, so this is my #1 pick! Hydrogen peroxide, 3% kind you buy at a drug store, kills mold, algae, bacteria, viruses, cleans, sanitizes and disinfects. One disadvantage: it may discolor your lovely berries, but I’ve never had that problem myself.
The acid from vinegar will also keep berries fresh as well as kill viruses and bacteria. I like this in a spray bottle as well, then follow with water.
According to Mama In The Kitchen:
“FULL STRENGTH VINEGAR AND HYDROGEN PEROXIDE IS THE BEST
Susan Sumner, a food scientist at Virginia at Polytechnic Institute and State University, in Blacksburg, discovered an easy yet effective method of cleaning produce by spraying them first with vinegar, then with hydrogen peroxide, or vice versa. She told Science News Online, “If the acetic acid [vinegar] got rid of 100 organisms, the hydrogen peroxide would get rid of 10,000, and the two together would get rid of 100,000.” Apparently, this method was found to be more effective than chlorine and other commercial products.
How To Clean With Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide
1. Fill a clean bottle with full strength vinegar (white or apple cider).
2. Fill another clean bottle with full strength 3% hydrogen peroxide, which you can get at any grocery or drug store.
3. Spray produce with one, then the other. It doesn’t really matter which you spray with first.
4. Rinse with water.”
Purified water (also known as distilled water) is filtered from bacteria and is much more effective than you might think. This isn’t your tap water! According to a study by The University of Maine, this is just as effective, if not more effective, as a commercial wash. Who knew!?
Make sure you send me your kitchen tips to be featured!