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So.. I'm trying to avoid the dirty dozen and eat more organically, especially with a toddler now. But my in-laws keep bringing me these huge bags of non-organic grapes (black seedless). I know, I know... what's the problem? Well, what can I do to use up these grapes without also ingesting all the pesticides? I really don't want food to go to waste but knowing that grapes is high on the "dirty" list is pretty discouraging. Am I over-thinking this one? Any suggestions appreciated! Thanks everyone!

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  1. I suppose it might help somewhat to peel them, but IMO fussing over ingesting topically-applied pesticides from food is an exercise in futility and an attempt to fool yourself into a false sense of security. God knows what contaminants in the ground, water, and air are getting into your food. Organic food production can only control so much.

    Then there are the chemicals in construction materials, furnishings, vehicles, and so on. Personally, I don't even wash my produce on a consistent basis. I'm not convinced that a mere rinse in water has any effect on surface contamination other than to wash off soil particles.

    2 Replies
    1. re: greygarious

      I know... I really vacillate a great deal from one spectrum to the other, depending on the day! Thanks :)

      1. re: jdubz16

        I understand your thoughts but, I've been eating fruits and drinking tap water since I came here and am quite healthy. I wash everything carefully and do the best I can. Also, what about the harvesting of these fruits etc, organic or not, how clean are those hands.

      1. re: Karl S

        Yes, I'm over-thinking it? Haha... sigh...

      2. Not to worry. Pesticides are low in calories ........you'd have to eat about 40 tons of grapes to be affected.

        1. Use some of that fruit and veggie wash, be gracious and say thank you, then enjoy them!!
          I love grapes semi-frozen (in the freezer for an hour or so), in salads, and of course as is.....
          Yummy problem to have! Don't over scruitinize it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Ttrockwood

            I love frozen grapes!!! I should remember to do this this summer.

          2. I wash grapes with soap and water, then rinse well. Probably doesn't get rid of all (some?) of the pesticides, but does remove the dirt/dust which also contain contaminants.

            1. thanks everyone!!!

              i still have about 4lbs of grapes though so any suggestions for how to use them would be helpful (in addition to freezing them, it is still cold over here!)

              5 Replies
              1. re: jdubz16

                make raisins? I did "accidentally", by leaving 1/2 lb of grapes in the plastic clamshell container, in the back of the fridge. A month (or two?) later, I had some beautiful raisins! Or, I suppose you could dry them in a dehydrator, or on a rack in a sunny spot.
                Or, a Veronique treatment for sauteed chicken breasts or veal or pork paillards. Sautee the halved fruit with chopped shallot as part of the sauce.

                1. re: jdubz16

                  or, wash, dry, cut into smaller clusters... and take to work! Make a little sign which reads "washed" so that co-workers or visitors will be more likely to partake :)

                  1. re: jdubz16

                    You could make jelly. Uses up a lot of fruit.

                    1. re: jdubz16

                      This sounds wonky, but roast them!! They're a great addition to salads and sides, and go well with any more bitter veggies like broccoli rabe, arugala....
                      I made this a while back and my friends and i really loved it:

                      1. re: Ttrockwood

                        Ditto this -- my favorite is cauliflower, grapes and onions, tossed with oil and lemon, roasted at about 450 til the cauliflower browns. Stir occasionally. Roasted cauliflower is always delicious, and the grapes turn into little bombs of sweetness.

                    2. Most pesticides can be removed/reduced by a brief soak in either diluted bleach or hydrogen peroxide. Use 1 tsp. bleach to 1 gallon of water and soak 1 minute then rinse well. With a standard 35% HP, dilute 1 part with 11 parts water, soak 2-3 minutes and rinse well. I personally prefer the diluted bleach, having lived in places where chlorine was added liberally to drinking water. If that makes you uncomfortable, use a dilution of white vinegar and water instead.

                      1. grapes grow to those large sizes because they absorb the chemicals that are sprayed on them or the grapes are dipped into the chemicals. it's not topical. grapes will never grow to those large sizes without chemical help. it's IN the grapes. no way around it.
                        4Lbs of grapes to serve friends...?

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Gastronomos

                          Why would they be dipped, they're already picked. They can't get bigger because of dipping, right.

                          1. re: treb

                            some varieties are dipped on the vine....

                        2. I sometimes roast chicken parts in a big pan, along with pearl onions (frozen), grape tomatoes, and seedless grapes, drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette. They are tasty but also pretty, being the same size but different colors.