12 March 2020

Be a Preparer, Not a Prepper: Veggie Wash

With all the hype about washing your hands, and using proper protocols for coughing and sneezing, I've been wondering about just how safe the fruit and veg we buy is.

It's been handled by goodness knows how many people. It's been breathed on. Possibly sneezed and or coughed on (I know - gross! but it's reality). 

And then we pick it up, bring it home, put it in the fridge and eventually eat it, sometimes cooked, sometimes raw. 

So I've been thinking about this, and about just how sanitary our fresh produce is, regardless of COVID-19 or flu or any other crisis,and shuddering. Trust me when I say my imagination has run riot.

Now it's time to get it back under control and think about this.

A few years ago it was recommended by the USA FDA that even fruit and vegetables that were peeled should be washed thoroughly under running water to get rid of the pesticides and bugs and germs lurking on them.Washing under running water is a waste of water and money. Instead this Veggie Spray will clean all your produce safely and cheaply, without wasting water.

Best of all you can make it yourself, whenever you need it, with ingredients you should already have in the pantry.

You will need:

1 cup water
1 cup white vinegar
1 tbsp bicarbonate soda
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Step 1. Combine all ingredients in a tall jug or very deep bowl. The mixture will fizz and froth - remember mixing bicarb and vinegar to make volcanoes as a child?

Step 2. When the mixture has settled down, pour into a spray bottle. Shake well before each use.

To use: Spray fruit and veggies all over with spray. Let sit 2 minutes. Scrub skin with veggie a brush (this will kill any viruses). Rinse in clean water. It is important to let the solution sit on the produce so it has time to work, and it is just as important to rinse in clean water, drain and dry.

The lemon is acts as an antibacterial, the vinegar kills bacteria and helps to dissolve the wax and pesticide residues found on the skins of many fruits and vegetables.

I spray, wait, rinse in a sink of clean, cool water and then drain on a clean tea towel on the sink to dry. 

When whatever I've washed is dry, it gets packed into Fresh'n'Crisp bags and put into the fridge, ready to use. 

So while there is no direct link between fresh produce and coronavirus, it hasn't been ruled out and I'd rather be safe than sorry. 

And honestly, it doesn't hurt to wash fresh produce before eating regardless.

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