25 April 2012

Cleaning Produce

I buy organic when I can, but when organic is not available I buy produce that has been sprayed with pesticides before it reaches my dinner table so a thorough cleaning is necessary.  Here are some tips I have learned along the way to make sure my food is as clean as possible before reaching my stomach.

  • For foods like lettuce with an outer shell, I simply discard the outside layer, and then do my cleaning to ensure extra cleanliness.

  • Simple solutions of vinegar & water or hydrogen peroxide & water that you may already have around the house work just as well as commercial produce cleaners to get your fruits and vegetables clean.

  • Don't forget to wash your hands before and after cleaning produce.

  • Start with a freshly cleaned countertop or cutting board when preparing food.

  • Always cut out and discard bruised or damaged areas where bacteria can grow.

  • Use slightly warm water when washing your produce.  You can use a sprayer for more delicate items.

  • Even if you plan to peel or cut the skin off an item make sure to wash it first so the knife or peeler does not transfer bacteria from the outside surface.

  • Scrub firm items with a produce brush.

  • If you have the cash there are high tech sanitizing machines out there like the Lotus that you can try -- I like to stick with the more budget friendly options in my household though!

* Images & text copyright 2012 Brooke Photo Studio

1 comment:

  1. I'd have like a little more detail on the actual cleaning of produce rather than the basics of keep the other things, hands and cutting surface, clean.
    Such as:
    How do you use the vinegar/water or hydrogen peroxide/water to clean vegetables?
    After using one of the above mixtures, do you rinse it off after washing in some way with it?
    When cleaning, do you give them a rub with your hands or use a cloth, or scrub them with a brush of some sort?
    Great idea though, I know my washing is lacking and the grocery store within walking distance to us(we have no car) has very little organic produce.