first post + washing produce

First post first post first post!!! I’m excited. Can you tell? I have so much to share with you guys! So let’s get started.

FYI I am blogging camera-less, but should have my camera back in a week or so. Don’t get your hopes up too much. I am a sorry excuse for a photographer.

To kick off the new blog I wanted to share a really good tip for cleaning your produce. Have you ever wondered how many people handled and picked up that piece of fruit you decided to buy? Have you ever wondered if those produce washes marketed at the grocery store actually work? Do you think that washing your fruit under the sink really cleans your produce? Well, if you haven’t wondered all these things, I have.

A few months ago I attended the UCLA Food Science lecture The Science of Sweetness. Among learning a ton of really interesting stuff and seeing the Executive Pastry Chef for the White House,  Bill Yosses, I learned about the importance of washing your fruit in acid, specifically white vinegar (5% acidity). Experiments have been done comparing produce washed in water versus produce washed in vinegar then subsequently rinsed in water. What has been found is that bacteria levels were significantly lower in the produce washed in the vinegar solution. According to this article  rinsing produce in a vinegar solution (1 part vinegar to 3 parts water) and then washing in regular water after can remove up to 98% of bacteria on the outside. Water on the other hand, was found to remove less than 85% of bacteria. And those fruit washes work just about as well as water. The acid works because bacteria cannot survive in a highly acidic solution. A highly basic solution might work to kill bacteria also (future experiment?).

So there you have it. This article also gives some more useful information on the topic and some helpful hints for how to clean your produce, such as using a spray bottle with the 1:3 solution to spritz on your fruit. The article also mentioned that scrubbing your produce was found to do a better job than water or fruit cleaners at killing bacteria. Now you know! Although, I can’t say I’ve ever gotten food poisoning from an apple.

How do you clean your produce? 


7 responses

  1. a) doesn’t that make the outside of the fruit smell gross? or does the water rinse get rid of that stank?

    b) how many people get sick from eating fruit? has pinned that down? 11 percentage points doesn’t seem like a big difference

    • a) the water rinses of the smell/taste of the vinegar. i notice no taste of vinegar after washing.
      b) like i said, i do not believe i’ve ever gotten sick from eating unwashed or washed in water fruit. but that being said, this post is merely intended to inform audiences that food washes marketed at the grocery stores are a waste of money. 11% points is not likely to make a huge difference, especially with produce grown using pesticides. however, organic produce grown without pesticides has been found to have higher bacteria content than non-organic. so if you’re buying organic produce this procedure may be of more importance.

  2. Pingback: apple + pear juice | mt

  3. Awesome article, Lauren! Thanks for compiling this. I juice fresh, raw veggies every day and have been relying on rinsing and scrubbing. I may try the vinegar/lemon wash in the spray bottle since that’s pretty easy and seems like it is a good precaution… :)

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