How do I clean fruits and vegetables - Vinegar, lemon or soap?

How do I clean fruits and vegetables - Vinegar, lemon or soap?

The arrival of the summer, besides the sun and the high temperatures, brings us a lot of juicy fruits and vegetables that we are eager to eat. But much of this variety is eaten exclusively with its peel - such as strawberries, cherries, vanilla, tomatoes or apricots - and that is something we are right to worry about.

Pesticides and insecticides, as well as the soil that remains in the various vegetables, necessarily need removal.


Experts divide into two types of infections related to these foods:

  • Mechanic - contamination from dust, slurry, dirt and other factors that may be on the ground and generally come into contact with the plants.
  • Chemical - the contamination mainly related to fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides.


How can we effectively remove these substances from our vegetables and fruits?

Initially, an important mistake that is sometimes made in our zeal to clean up unnecessary substances is the use of soap, especially dishwashing liquid. Fruits and vegetables have pores on their surface, and that means that everything we place on them is absorbed inside. That's why we never use chemical drugs of any kind.

The safest solution is the very good washing with plenty of water, preferably drinking, in order to remove in the first place anything that causes "mechanical" contamination. When we are going to eat fresh fruits or vegetables with their peel, then the washing should definitely be thorough.

Certainly there are pesticides used in crops that are absorbed by the plant itself and are not removed by washing. However, modern drugs are manufactured in such a way that they do not penetrate the inside of the plant. So a very good wash will clean our fruit or vegetable from microbes, bacteria and chemicals.


Vinegar & Lemon

Vinegar is claimed to be the most appropriate means of 'mechanical' infection, but we must not ignore that many microorganisms manage to survive in acidic conditions. So it is good to have a measure of its use, but also to our assurance that we have 'exterminated' all the harmful substances.

But surely its use is not prohibitive. So if we want to use it, especially for cleaning vegetables that is certainly more prone, let's do it right.

  • The ratio is 1 part of white vinegar and 3 parts water. Put them in a bowl and put our vegetables and fruits there.
  • We grind our food separately to clean well the soil that is hiding on their surface.
  • Finally, after emptying our solution in the sink, we wash the fruits and vegetables with clean, running water.

Alternatively, for some fruits and vegetables, with a soft casing such as berries, strawberries or grapes, you can use lemon juice to help prevent their taste.


Tips for storing and processing vegetables and fruits

Although it is generally recommended to wash the vegetables and fruit before putting them in the refrigerator, it is advisable to know that it is not enough!

The drawers, like the shelves, may at first sight not look, but they are usually very dirty. Bacteria and other microbes can grow under your maintenance conditions, and if other foods leave leftovers (eg, dripping) then the situation becomes even worse.

Use protective bags to store them in the refrigerator. Make sure to loosen them so that mold does not develop from moisture. Generally, moisture contributes to the appearance of mold, so our fruits and vegetables should be stored dry. To absorb unnecessary moisture, you can also apply kitchen towels where you plan to store your food.


Important hygiene tips

Always wash your hands - and your children's - if you come into contact with dirty fruits and vegetables.

Storing outside the refrigerator, for a reasonable period of time, helps to break down the pesticide.

Always wash fruits and vegetables, whether you plan to cook them, eat them fresh, or store them in the refrigerator.

Do not miss to wash those foods that remove their peel, such as apple, melon, avocado or watermelon. Whatever is on the surface with the knife is transported inside if we do not take care of cleaning it.

To clean food with a hard surface, use a brush.




Aggeliki Koskeridou

Holistic Doctor – Counseling Psychotherapist

Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

MSc c. Health Psychology

insta: dr_aggelikikoskeridou_official 

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