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The Best Cleaning Method for Fruits and Vegetables

October 03, 2022

Posted under:   healthy livingCooking And FoodHomesteading

When it comes to what we eat, more and more people are aiming to find natural and chemical-free options. However, even organic foods can gather dirt, bacteria, or even bugs throughout the growing, shipping, and selling process. As such, it's always vital to make sure produce is properly washed and cleaned before eating or cooking with it. So shouldn't these foods be cleaned in a way that is both effective and free from chemicals?

Why is Cleaning Produce Important?

Produce is always at risk for various contaminants. When food is grown, it may be exposed to harmful pesticides as well as toxins and organisms that may be present in the soil or rainwater. During harvesting and shipping, produce then comes into contact with many different people, tools, and other food products. Finally, in the grocery store, fruits and veggies are often touched by all kinds of customers, children, and employees. Some of these people could be sick, have unwashed hands, or even drop produce on the floor before putting it back on the shelf. Even when produce appears to be clean and safe, it still could be contaminated with any number of bacteria, viruses, or chemicals. Properly and thoroughly washing produce is an essential step to ensuring it is safe to eat, even if it came from your own garden.

Are DIY Cleaning Hacks Safe?

There are many blog posts online about various "cleaning hacks" that claim to save time or work better than traditional rinsing and scrubbing. These include a variety of methods, such as rinsing veggies in vinegar or even soaking them in a bleach-water mixture. While these may be an effective way to kill germs, they also involve the use of harsh chemicals. Unfortunately, the FDA has not approved the use of chemicals such as bleach as a safe way to clean food. Even using vinegar, lemon juice, or dish soap can have harmful effects. The FDA has stated that only plain water should be used to safely wash produce.

Scrubbing Produce by Hand

While simply rinsing produce with clean water is an option, scrubbing with a brush is more effective at removing dirt and bacteria. However, this can be time-consuming and may not work well for all kinds of produce. Soft berries, for example, would easily be broken apart and ruined by any kind of scrub brush. Many people also don't have the time to thoroughly wash each and every fruit or veggie before consuming it. Even for those who are able, there's still concern about keeping the brush itself clean from contaminants or having to continuously spend money on replacement brushes. So although washing and scrubbing food by hand is an option, it's not always the most practical or reliable method.

Ultrasonic Cleaning

Alternatively, an ultrasonic cleaning device utilizes high-frequency sound waves to create bubbles and agitate the water. When produce is submerged inside the cleaner, the agitated water is able to dislodge contaminants from every surface. The high forces created by these ultrasonic pressure waves also allows the water to penetrate into the porous surface of fruits and vegetables, thereby removing germs that may be hiding within the pores and cracks. By using ultrasonic sound wave technology, no dangerous soaps or chemicals are necessary and food can still be washed with plain, clean water. During testing by a third party, the Ultrasonic Cleaner even removed 92.6% of dichlorvos insecticides (DDVP) and 94.6% of dimethoate insecticides. Additionally, fruits and vegetables were found to have 50% fewer levels of hormones and preservatives, and 94.5% less arsenic present after being washed with the ultrasonic cleaner. Plus, the device can even wash meats, eggs, grains, canning jars, and bottles- and it does all the hard work so that you don't have to.

Final Thoughts

Whether you're a gardener, chef, parent, or all of the above, you want to know that your foods are clean from both germs and harmful chemicals. Cleaning produce should actually leave it clean and safe to eat. Although you can scrub fruits and veggies with water and a brush, you probably have better things to do. An ultrasonic cleaner saves time and provides peace of mind in knowing that your food is truly clean from bacteria, pesticides, hormones, and chemicals.