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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Washing Strawberries

I wasn't happy to see that strawberries are on the "Dirty Dozen" list again this year.  You can check out the list here.  These are items that test positive for traces of pesticides.  I don't know if that means the surface of the item is found to contain pesticides, or if they are all throughout.  I suspect all throughout.  But what if you can't afford to buy all organics, all the time?

I wash practically all my produce thoroughly with dish soap and rinse with vinegar.  That way, at least I remove the pesticide residue from the surface.  And I tend to be a bit of a germaphobe, so I'm not just washing to remove pesticides, but also dirt and germs--I don't know how many hands have handled my produce before I buy it.

Now, you may be thinking, "Ewww, washing strawberries with dish soap?  I don't want to taste soap on my berries!"

Well, I have a method that I will show you.  It only takes few minutes, and your produce is guaranteed not to have any soap residue.

Step 1 - Place berries in a colander placed inside a bigger bowl.  I have them here in my salad spinner. (Picture in the top left.)
Step 2 - drizzle some dish soap over them and fill the bowl with water.  Swish them about to wash them. (Picture in the second column, top.)
Step 3 - This is the key!  Rinse with vinegar.  Vinegar will dissolve all the soap with just a few sprays.  You could rinse and rinse and rinse under water, and you'll still have a few soap bubbles.  I keep a bottle of vinegar in a spray bottle right by my sink for spraying down my counter tops and washing my produce.  You can see in the pictures in the middle column and the right-hand column, that the vinegar makes the soap bubbles disappear.  I spray until I hardly see any suds.
Step 4 - Now rinse in plain water.  I did this twice, and you can see in the bottom left picture that there are no suds left.
Step 5 - Now drain and enjoy your berries!

Click to enlarge.

Remember I said I do this with most of my produce.  I don't wash my lettuce or celery with soap, I just rinse them.  With apples, oranges, lemons, and such, I just hand-wash each item, but you could easily wash a batch in the colander, like the berries.

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