Eating fresh fruits is an excellent way to stay healthy and get rid of too many unnecessary pills and commercial medicines. Every household most likely has fruits prepared on the dining table, the kitchen counter, or in the refrigerator. This makes fruits very accessible to every family member.
Because fruits are often served in each household, it’s very important to make sure that these fruits are clean and free from residues of harmful pesticides and untidy handling. This is no different from making sure your vegetables, meat produce, and other food produce are clean too.
Why You Should Wash Fresh Fruits
The reasons you need to wash fresh fruits and other produce seem pretty obvious. You consume fruits to stay healthy so you wouldn’t want to defeat that very purpose by eating fruits that aren’t washed yet, giving you the risk of getting sick from food-borne illnesses.
Fruits can become contaminated while they’re growing due to harmful substances that are in the soil or water. Aside from that, improper and untidy handling among farmers or workers during harvest, packing, and transporting also contribute to contamination.
Whether you are buying fruits from your local store, market, or a farm nearby, and even when you pick your fruits straight from your own garden – it’s equally important to wash the fruits before peeling and eating them. Yes, even though you buy or get organic ones, it is still best to wash them thoroughly first.
Important Things to Remember
- Choose fruits that are not bruised, moldy, or damaged. When buying pre-cut fruits, check to see if they have been refrigerated or stored on ice.
- Perishable and pre-cut fruits should be stored in the refrigerator in your home until you are ready to consume them.
- Wash the fruits only right before you eat them. Washing fruits before storing them can hasten their spoilage.
- Before and after washing or handling the fruits, ensure that your hands are also clean by washing them thoroughly with soap and warm water.
- Use a sharp knife to remove the damaged or bruised parts of the fruits. You don’t have to throw them away just because you see that one spot is injured.
Tips to Wash Fresh Fruits
These tips are different ways to wash fresh fruits at home. Take note that not all are applicable all the time. It depends on the household items you currently have or it depends on what type of fruits you are washing. But most of the time, it depends on your own preference.
- Mix 1 part vinegar with 3 parts water and soak the fruits in the mixture for 10-20 minutes before rinsing under cool running water. Use your hand to scrub soft-skinned fruits like tomatoes, apples, and grapes. Use a fruit brush to scrub tough-skinned fruits like watermelons, apples, and oranges.
- Create your own spray mist by mixing one tablespoon lemon juice and two tablespoons baking soda per one cup of distilled water or use the same vinegar to water ratio. Pour the mixture in a clean spray-topped misting bottle then spray the fruits. Let the mist stay on the fruits for 5-10 minutes before rinsing under cool running water.
- For waxy and tougher-skinned fruits, use a clean fruit brush to scrub the skin or surface gently but firmly to remove harmful residues. You can scrub for about 30 seconds while rinsing under running water.
- Simply wash fruits under cool running water. Although the use of vinegar as a winning agent has been tested to be effective in removing harmful residues, experts suggest based on studies that water alone can also clean the fruits effectively. Source: Spark People
- Wash the fruits before peeling. This prevents the contaminants from being transferred from your knife to the fruits you’re going to eat.
- Never use soap or detergents when washing your fruits. These household items contain strong chemicals that may be toxic when ingested. Soaps and detergents shouldn’t even be in contact with the food you eat.
- There is no need to purchase commercial or special fruits cleanser or produce wash. Some of these cleansers may contain the ingredients in making soap and detergents that are harmful when consumed even when it’s just indirectly.
Sometimes, the way you clean your fruits depends on where you actually get them. Most fruits sold in grocery stores are already washed compared to those sold right from your local farmers’ market but even then, you really can’t be too sure with the handling and the processes that take place before the fruits reach your household.
The rule of thumb is to wash your fruits thoroughly regardless of where you bought or got them. This is the first step to ensuring that you and your family are safe from harmful contaminants.