Do fruit and vegetable cleaning sprays work better than water?
BY: Daryn EllerAt a time when food-borne illnesses seem to be on the rise, you can’t be too careful, says Colleen Lammel-Harmon, R.D., a spokesperson for the Illinois Dietetic Association. Washing produce thoroughly in clean water and using a scrub brush on heartier fruits and vegetables will do a good job of removing pesticides and bacteria. But commercial cleaning sprays can provide a little extra insurance. You can also make your own spray by mixing one cup water, one cup distilled white vinegar and one tablespoon baking soda in a spray bottle. Mist the fruits and vegetables, then rinse with water. Some other safety tips: Wash lettuce and other leafy greens in clean bowls rather than the sink, which may harbor bacteria. Also be sure to wash fruits like watermelon and cantaloupe. Even though you don’t eat the peel, “pesticides catch on the knife when you cut them and can get onto the flesh of the fruit,” says Lammel-Harmon.
Daryn Eller is a frequent contributor to Live Right Live Well and has written for O, Prevention, Health and Natural Health magazines. She lives in Venice, Calif.