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Aug 24, 2008 06:17 AM

fruit & veg washes/rinses

Curious what others are using. I have been unable to find my preferred brand (Fit) lately so switched to one called Environee. I've heard of people using bleach or hydrogen peroxide and I can't see myself doing that (well, maybe peroxide, but not bleach.) What do you guys do? And are there any fruit/veg that you don't wash? My grandma always swears you're never, ever supposed to wash berries or mushrooms, but I definitely wash berries and boy, do I give mushrooms a scrub. (Her theory is that when you eat them you build up natural immunity to any little nasties growing on them...and that washing is too rough on them.)

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  1. I don't wash mushrooms, berries get a good rinse, and almost everything else including lettuce leaves go into a sink full of cold soapy water to soak briefly. If it's something durable I rub it before I rinse it, something like lettuce or parsley I just rinse and dry.

    1. A recent story on NPR had a credible authority who had run tests saying a 30 sec. rinse in a 3 to 1 mix of water and plain vinegar was the best method. I'm not sure I'd use it with berryies though.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Cameraman

        Interesting - and vinegar is a lot cheaper than commercial rinses. The rinses all seem to contain types of surfactant to help remove whatever is there. I am not as concerned now that we are mostly eating our CSA produce since it's certified organic which eliminates the pesticide issue. My husband brough home a Mexican-grown mango the other day and I scrubbed and scrubbed it. I do worry about pesticides that are banned in the US - they're way too dangerous for us here but we can eat them?

        Cowprint - do you use dish soap to wash?

        1. re: drucie

          The report specifically said don't use anti bacterial soap. I can't tell you why.

          1. re: drucie

            yep, here it's called "Fairy" but in the US I used Dawn. I keep a spray bottle of a few drips to a whole bottle of water around too. It's good for delicate things (and applying stained glass window film, but that's a different board...)

            I figure if it's safe enough to wash my dishes and untensils with, it's safe enough to wash my food with.

          2. re: Cameraman

            Put me in the vinegar camp. I don't use it on very delicate berries, but it's ok for strawberries as long as it's quickly rinsed off with cold water.

          3. i wash berries just before eating. Find they stay fresh much longer this way. I just give mushrooms a good wipe doen with a damp cloth. Never had problems yet- but I guess time will tell!

            1. Am I wrong in just rinsing my fruits and veggies with tap water? Other than that, anything that holds on to grit gets a soak (e.g. greens), and possibly a few changes of water. I didn't realize that people actually use a cleaning product on their produce.

              2 Replies
              1. re: madgreek

                It would never occur to me to wash food with soap or vinegar or peroxide. I do exactly what you do. I'm pretty sure nearly all my produce is pesticide-free, but even if it weren't, would the FDA allow something to be sold that was poisonous unless subjected to what seems like an industrial-strength scrubbing?

                1. re: madgreek

                  I don't think you are wrong. I only rinse my berries if they are dirty. With berries, if there's something on them that needed anything stronger, there's no point, because it would be already absorbed into the flesh of the fruit.

                  I sometimes use a little dish soap on apples to get the wax off if I am eating the peel. But other than that it's just water.

                2. The Google machine is a modern wonder! Here's the link to the NPR story:
                  It's very informative.