Cleaning Nonorganic Produce:
For many, buying organic isn’t always an option whether it’s the cost of the weekly grocery bill or the availability of organic produce. Here are a few simple ways to reduce your exposure to many harmful chemicals found on nonorganic produce. It does add a little more time in the kitchen but the overall pay back on your health is well worth is.
For fruits you want to remove the skin with either a peeler or a paring knife. I can hear you saying but its important to eat the skin… YES it is but not when you are potentially ingesting harmful chemicals. Use your nonorganic fruits to make a fruit salad adding chia and ground flaxseeds for the boost of fiber and to help balance the blood sugar.
The SOAK & SCRUB! For nonorganic vegetables (peppers and celery) and fruits (apples, grapes & cherries) you can make your own acid wash.
- In a large bowl of water add 1 cup of distilled vinegar
- Allow them to SOAK for 15 to 20 minutes
- Follow up with a good SCRUB (using a vegetable scrub brush) for 45-60 seconds. (*Grapes and cherries do not need to be scrubbed but should soak for longer ~ 60 min)
When picking produce from the grocery store or the market one thing to keep in mind is where was grown? Try to avoid produce that was grown in Mexico, their pesticide laws are much looser than Canada’s or the US (not that ours are much better!) Strawberries and lettuce are the two foods that you should always buy organic. The wash and scrub are virtually ineffective for cleaning them!
Every year the FAD puts out a list of the dirtiest produce, called the “Dirty dozen”. They contain the highest amounts of pesticides and are the ones that you DO want to buy organic if available. They also produce a list of the “Clean dozen”, produce with low levels of pesticides and isn’t as important to buy organic.
We are now entering Farmer’s Market season, where buying local and organic is incredibly convenient, much easier on the pocket book and you’re supporting local farmers, which is a win for everyone!