Washing your fruits and vegetables with a DIY vinegar wash is an extra measure that prevents food-borne illnesses, including those caused by bacteria such as Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli. It also reduces any residue left behind by harmful pesticides.
Most commercially-grown fruits and vegetables are sprayed with pesticides to get rid of bugs and pests that may harm the crop. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), even small doses of pesticides can adversely affect your health.
Reduce The Risk of Harmful Bacteria
Washing loose produce is particularly important as it tends to have more soil attached to it than pre-packaged fruit and vegetables. It is always advisable to wash all fruit and vegetables before you consume them. This ensures that most of the bacteria are removed.
Experts found that a white vinegar and water wash kills 98% of bacteria and removes pesticides. Reduce bacteria with my DIY vinegar wash for fruits and vegetables recipe below.
Choose Organic Produce
Because organically grown produce does not involve using pesticides or growth hormones, you may believe you do not have to wash these vegetables.
However, even organically grown vegetables can have contaminants from the soil. For this reason, you should always wash any vegetables regardless of their source, including organically grown produce. This includes fresh produce purchased from a local farmer’s market as well.
You’ll probably spend less than 25 cents to make a homemade vinegar and water rinse, compared to around $4 for a pre-made produce wash. Plus, you can reuse the same bottle when you make your own wash! Here’s how to concoct your own DIY mixture at home.
- Mix 3 parts water to 1 part white vinegar in a spray bottle
- Spray on fruits and veggies to get rid of pesticide residue
- Rinse with water after spraying
Soak in Bowl Version
- Fill a medium-size bowl with water and add 1/2 cup of vinegar
- Place your fruits and veggies in the bowl
- Soak for 15 to 20 minutes
- Rinse with water
- Repeat if the water is extra dirty or you see creepy crawly things
Most foodborne illnesses are preventable. That’s why it is recommended to wash produce in clean running tap water to significantly reduces the level of E. coli bacteria if you don’t have a vinegar wash available. You’ll have the comfort of knowing that most of the bad stuff has been reduced or eliminated.
Since you’re here, you may also like our blog post The Top Dirty Dozen Foods.