My guess is, you probably eat a lot of raw fruits and vegetables. And no doubt, you’re avoiding foodborne illness. For me, giving fruits and veggies a quick rinse just isn’t enough. Many say soaking your produce several minutes is enough, but I soak mine for several hours in a huge bowl. I also like to add a few drops of a food grade lemon or orange essential oil. This is especially true for produce such as grapes, apples, or strawberries that are loaded in pesticides!
Fruit and veggies with stems (apples, pears, peaches, peppers, nectarines) Bacteria and dirt gets trapped at the blossom end and stem ends so it’s best to just cut both off. For apples, I use my essential oil soaking method above and typically peel the skin off the apple before giving to my kids. Ditto for peaches and nectarines, peeling the skin off reduces pesticide exposure.
Fruits and veggies with rinds (oranges, avocados, melons) Even though you don’t eat the rind, you still want to wash and rub the produce gently with a brush in the sink. Bacteria can get stuck in the crevices and pesticide residue could be lurking on the rind, both of which can be transferred to the knife you use which in turn can get transferred to the edible part. Yuck!
Vegetables with lots of crevices – (Broccoli and cauliflower) I typically soak these overnight in a mild food grade essential oil solution. You’ll be surprised in the morning how many bugs you’ll find floating on top of the soaking bowl. And they’re not organic bugs.
Vegetables with thick skin – (zucchini, summer squash, winter squash, cucumbers) Brush skin under water and rinse before cutting. You could also peel the outside. I always do for my cucumbers.
Do you ever eat produce without washing it first?
Leafy greens – Soak for an hour in essential hours, drain in colander and then I give them a shaky shake on my front porch. Even if you buy the ones that say they’re “triple washed” wash again…safety first!