How to REALLY clean your fruit and veggies!
It’s Fresh Veggie Day!!
Honest, I’m not making it up.
Did you know there was such a thing?
Do you know who touched your peaches?
And when’s the last time you ate a vegetable?
Come on, be honest. I’m talking more than just two hesitant bites of broccoli or that wedge salad smothered in blue cheese dressing.
It may have been a while*
Well, guess what? If you’re not eating enough veggies you’re missing out.
Good for our digestion and supportive for our immune system, our in-house nutrition educator claims that we’re all supposed to get 5-7 cups of veggies per day.
Yup. That’s what she said.
If you’re like most people chances are you’re more in the 2-ish cups per day range.
We all know that eating your veggies is an important part of a healthy diet. Most of us don’t. And you’ve got to wonder why.
So let’s make a change. Here. Today. On National Veggie Day. A commitment to eat more veggies.
After all, they’re a great source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
Science even says that when we eat more fresh fruits and veggies we become more attractive (and who wouldn’t want that?) [note to self: eat more veggies]
What’s on YOUR produce?
Even if you eat lots of veggies you don’t want to be eating all the unseen stuff that comes with them.
Shocker alert, what I’m talking about here can even be on the organic produce. That means you’re not getting a pass just because you buy organic vegetables (although I highly recommend that, especially for the Dirty Dozen).
Sure, those veggies all look delicious and tempting in the grocery store. There’s a lot more to it than the eye can see though.
According to the FDA, your fresh food being sold in the grocery store might be contaminated. And there are a lot of ways that can happen. But no one is sharing that info with you at the grocery store. Not the FDA and certainly not the produce manager.
That’s right, a whole bunch of uglies may be coming home with you, those beautiful bell peppers, that amazing eggplant, and all those other yummy veggies. How? It’s simple.
We’re so used to buying pretty looking produce at the grocery store that we tend to forget it has to grow on a farm somewhere before it gets to the grocery store.
There may be mold, bacteria, or other contaminants in the soil or the water used to grow the crops. But you can’t see it, all you see is the produce.
Another source of contamination for your food?
Poor hygiene among the workers. Anywhere from planting to harvesting to packaging to the grocery store. It can happen. Sure we know you wash your hands, but what about all those other hands?
You don’t have any control over that so it only makes sense to wash your produce for you to be sure it’s really clean.
Have you ever noticed how shiny some produce is? (apples and cucumbers, I’m looking at you). That’s because the producers coat it with wax.
Considered an “edible coating” it helps to reduce wilting or shrinking, can reduce the amount of scarring when all that produce is stacked on top of each other and is supposed to make them look shiny and appealing.
The problem is you really don’t want to be eating all that wax. It doesn’t taste good and wax has no nutritional value.
Mold, bacteria, wax, dirty water? That’s a lot to think about. Almost makes you want to think twice before crunching those carrots. But you know you need your veggies.
So how exactly do you get rid of all of that gunk on your food?
You wash it.
I’m not talking a quick rinse-and-shake under the kitchen faucet. I mean actual washing with a good, high-quality produce cleaner. One that strips all of the icky stuff so you’re just left with tasty tomatoes and other delicious vegetables.
At this point you may be thinking, “There’s already a product out there that I can use to clean my produce.”
You’re absolutely right.
There are commercial fruit and veggie cleaners. In fact, they’re sold right in the cleaning aisle at your local grocery store. The problem with the other products is that they’re not all that clean either.
A study by the University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension Service study found chlorine was a common ingredient used to get rid of mold and bacteria on produce.
I’ve talked about bleach before and how it’s not great for your laundry room. So why would you want to eat it? (hint: you don’t).
What you really want is a good quality fruit and veggie wash. Something that is 100% plant-based, non-toxic, and made with organic ingredients. This way you can rinse away the chemicals that are all over your fruits and veggies without adding toxins in the process.
So wash your hands.
Wash your produce.
And get 5-7 servings per day.
*If it’s been a r-e-a-l-l- -l-o-n-g time you probably want to check that crisper drawer in the fridge. You may need a good non-toxic Everyday Cleaner to freshen up before you go to the grocery store to stock up on, and get ready to eat, your veggies.
https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/fresh-veggies-day/ – June 16, 2020
Bolton, Jason, et al. Bulletin #4336, Best Ways to Wash Fruits and Vegetables. University of Maine Cooperative Extension Publications. 2020. https://extension.umaine.edu/publications/4336e/. Accessed: May 18, 2020.
Cornell CALS. 2020 Worker Health, Hygiene, and Training. https://gaps.cornell.edu/educational-materials/decision-trees/worker-health-hygiene-and-training/. Accessed: June 8, 2020
Food & Drug Administration. 7 Tips for Cleaning Fruits and Vegetables. 06/10/2018. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/7-tips-cleaning-fruits-vegetables. Accessed: May 19, 2020
Whitehead, R.D., et al. You Are What You Eat: Within-Subject Increases in Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Confer Beneficial Skin-Color Changes. PLOS One. Published: March 7, 2012. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0032988#s2. Accessed: May 18, 2020.