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What is the first thing I do when I purchase all my groceries every week?
Relax, sit and enjoy a cup of coffee while everyone else unloads the groceries for me! (Umm, just kidding, a girl can dream)!
Actually, the first thing that I do once I get home is put away the groceries and wash the produce. I commit about 20-30 minutes to prep and wash my fruits and veggies for the week. This way, I waste less food and eat more fruits and vegetables during the week.
Do I really Need to Purchase Organic?
In my opinion, unless we grow our own fruits and vegetables ourselves or purchase them from someone we trust, we likely won’t know the farming habits where our produce was grown.
I try to buy as much organic produce as possible but it is not always realistic due to cost and availability. In my own ideal world, I wouldn’t have to worry about chemicals on fruits and veggies. Unfortunately, this isn’t an ideal world and waxes and harsh pesticides coat the majority of conventional produce. The Environmental Working Group can help you make the best choices concerning produce with their Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen lists. I refer to this list all the time.
If you can’t afford organic produce at all, you can still enjoy the health benefits of non-organic produce. Don’t worry, excellent health can still be achieved and I would encourage you to buy non-organic fruits and vegetables!
How to Wash Your Fruits & Vegetables
Think about all the nasty germs that may have touched your produce before arriving in your kitchen. Trust me, I sure do! It starts with the person who picked it, the warehouse or factory worker who sorted it, the produce guy at your grocers, and children and adults passing by with their shopping carts. Have I convinced yet to thoroughly wash your produce (hint, it does not matter if your produce is organic or conventional)?
To Wash Your Fruits and Vegetables, You will need:
-1 cup of water
-1 cup of plain white vinegar.
-A decent-sized bowl or clean and disinfected sink.
Mix together the water and vinegar. Place your fruits and veggies in the large bowl or clean sink and fill it with water. Pour your mixture of water and vinegar into the sink or bowl. Make sure that the fruits and veggies are fully submerged in the water. Swish and stir around for at least a minute and scrub for a minimum of thirty seconds. I leave it to soak for a good hour. Rinse well under cool water. I prefer to rinse several times to make sure that all of the vinegar has been rinsed properly.
If you are washing strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries, use extra caution. I use the same method as I do with the other produce, but I use less soaking time. I soak the berries for about 10 minutes. Also, I swish the berries around very gently. No one wants vinegar flavored berries! Don’t forget to rinse well.
If your produce is not organic, all you need to do is take some additional steps:
– Peel conventionally grown cucumbers, eggplant, potatoes, and apples.
– If you live close to a Farmer’s Market, you can purchase your produce there. Chances are it may contain fewer pesticides because many small farmers grow their produce with minimal, if any, agricultural chemicals.
Do you purchase organic or conventional produce?