Washing Produce

 Contaminated fruits and vegetables are responsible for most individual food poisonings. Dirty irrigation water and the use of untreated manure can help spread animal pathogens to fruits and vegetables. All produce should be washed, including organic produce.

Concerns about contamination of our food supply, particularly the use of herbicides and pesticides, are growing. Studies consistently show that there is more benefit to consuming fruits and vegetables, even with some pesticide residue, than in not consuming them.

For best protection, purchase organic food whenever possible. Grow some of your own vegetables and herbs in your garden. And, wash all fruits and vegetables carefully-soak them in a sink of filtered water and one tablespoon of sea salt and scrub with a vegetable brush. This will not only eliminate a lot of the topical herbicides and pesticides, it will also get rid of the bacteria, parasites and other ‘critters’ that you don’t want to ingest with your food.

One of the items that are a staple in my house is Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE). There are many, many uses for this and a new upcoming post will include the value of GSE. For a food rinse or preservation, GSE, can’t be beat.

Mix one tablespoon of GSE in one quart of water. Immerse or thoroughly wet food for fifteen minutes; rinse well to remove bitter taste. This solution can also be added to a spray bottle and used on food to extend shelf life. There are excellent results when this procedure is applied to berries of all kinds. Rinse before eating.

Do not wash produce with detergents or bleach solutions. Fruits and vegetables are porous and can absorb the detergent or bleach, which is not intended for use on foods and consuming them on fruits and vegetables have the potential to make you sick.

There are produce sprays or washes available in supermarkets but they can be expensive and some are not tested adequately. Sea salt and GSE go a long way and are a natural way to eliminate or reduce to unwanted residues.

There is an article on the Food Networks website that you are encouraged to read. It provides hints and tips about washing produce. Although they missed the boat on sea salt and GSE, there are still some wonderful tips. Here’ is the link:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/ck_cg_wash_store_prod/0,2677,FOOD_22199,00.html

 

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