Thursday, January 22, 2009

Clean Your Fruits and Veggies


In a perfect world, we would buy all of our groceries organic. Unfortunately, organic food is still more expensive (although the price is continually dropping) or even unavailable. To make wiser consumer choices here is a list of produce with the highest level of pesticide contamination. The following list is based on information and studies by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Consumer Reports, and the Environmental Working Group.

Nectarines – 97.3% of nectarines sampled were found to contain pesticides.
Celery – 94.5% of celery sampled were found to contain pesticides.
Pears – 94.4% of pears sampled were found to contain pesticides.
Peaches – 93.7% of peaches sampled were found to contain pesticides.
Apples – 91% of apples sampled were found to contain pesticides.
Cherries – 91% of cherries sampled were found to contain pesticides.
Strawberries – 90% of strawberries sampled were found to contain pesticides.
Imported Grapes – 86% of imported grapes (i.e. Chile) sampled were found to contain pesticides.
Spinach – 83.4% of spinach sampled were found to contain pesticides.
Potatoes – 79.3% of potatoes sampled were found to contain pesticides.
Bell Peppers – 68% of bell peppers sampled were found to contain pesticides.
Red Raspberries – 59% of red raspberries sampled were found to contain pesticides.

On the contrary, here is a list of fruits and veggies found to contain the least amout of pesticides. Notice that many of these have thick, inedible skins with protect the fruit.

Asparagus
Avocados
Bananas
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Corn (However, almost all corn is genetically modified)
Kiwi
Mangoes
Onions
Papaya
Pineapples
Sweet Peas

Below are three slightly different natural Fruit and Vegetable Wash Recipes that you can easily prepare at home to help wash off pesticides, dirt, little critters and wax from your fresh produce. I recommend that you clean all of your fruits and veggies (including the ones you peel) right when you bring them home. This way you and your family can just grab and go!

Lemon/Baking Soda Wash
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. baking soda
1 cup water

Put ingredients in a spray bottle. Be careful because it could foam up. Spray on vegetables, let sit 5 minutes then rinse with a scrub brush.

Vinegar/Salt Wash
1/4 cup vinegar
2 Tbsp. salt

Fill a clean sink or plastic dish pan with cold water and add vinegar and salt. Place vegetables and fruits in mixture and let sit 15 minutes then rinse thoroughly. The vinegar cleans the fruits and vegetables while the salt draws out any critters and dirt.

Lemon/Vinegar Wash
1 Tbsp. Lemon
2 Tbsp. Vinegar
1 cup water

Mix ingredients in a spray bottle, spray vegetables and fruits and rinse thoroughly. The lemon is a natural disinfectant and the vinegar neutralizes most pesticides.

- Shannan

Sources: gourmet food.about.com, www.livingonadime.com, www.thriftyfun.com, http://www.recipezaar.com/, videojug.com Photo from http://www.freefoto.com/

2 comments:

Kristen's Raw said...

You can also use a 3% solution of food grade Hydrogen Peroxide.

It has so many uses from cleaning produce to cleaning your teeth to cleaning counter tops and your house to enhancing the growing environment for plants and flowers and so much more. Great stuff!!!

Cheers,
Kristen

To make the 3% solution:
Mix 1 oz of 35% food grade Hydrogen Peroxide with 11 oz of distilled water in a spray bottle.

Shannan and Karla said...

Awesome, thanks Kristen!

This blog is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this blog is intended to replace the advice of a physician. We recommend consulting a physician before embarking on diet changes or a fitness routine. In addition, we recommend that you thoroughly research alternate points of view and make your own decisions as an informed consumer. You are ultimately responsible for your health.