Do I really have to wash off my innocent-looking raspberries? But what if they are organic? Is it safe to buy non-organic?
I know, it’s frustrating. It’s hard enough having to decide which items to buy organic and then on top of that you have to consider that your fruits and vegetables are contaminated with pesticides and bacteria.
Before I get into the why and how to clean your produce, let’s quickly discuss the Dirty Dozen. As you may know, these are the produce items you definitely want to buy organic, as it’s a known fact that they are highly infused with pesticides. In fact, the EWG (Environmental Working Group) stated that these items supply your body with over 90% of your chemical pesticide load (read that one more time).
The 2019 Dirty Dozen List
+ Bonus: Hot Peppers
I’m not saying this to alarm you or discourage you from buying conventional fruits and vegetables, but to be aware of what is happening in the agricultural industry. If you don’t have the luxury to always buy organic, I recommend choosing foods on the “Clean 15” list, which contain much lower traces of pesticides. The list includes avocados, onions, cantaloupes, papayas, pineapples, and sweet corn.
I’m buying organic – Do I still have to rinse my produce?
The answer – absolutely yes.
There are two main reasons to wash your produce every time. For one, “pesticide drift” is a common occurrence, which refers to the process of wind blowing chemicals from nearby conventional fields onto organic crops. Secondly, bacteria contamination is very common (I’m sure you’ve heard about your favorite produce getting hit with E. Coli at some time or another on the news, but also consider how many people touch your produce before it actually lands in your hands).
How To Clean Your Produce
Water and scrubbing is a good quick option for removing any superficial germs and bacteria, but for a more thorough clean, I like to bask my produce in three things – vinegar, water, and lemon juice.