how and why we wash our fruits and veggies …even the organic ones

by Jeanne

First things first … I am loving reading all the ways people are swapping out processed foods for real food … don’t forget to sign up for our GIVEAWAY this week and let us know what you’re doing to switch things up!

Now back to business …

So by now you know our littles eat their fair share of fruits and veggies.

strawberry love PNG

But one thing we didn’t talk about yesterday is:  it’s a good idea to wash that produce before they are ingested.  Even the organic ones.

Because while it’s obvious that the conventionally grown produce could be carrying pesticide or herbicide residue on its skin, both conventional and organic fruits and veggies could be harboring dangerous bacteria, picked up from the soil or from the hands that handled it, in the truck on the way to the store, or from the lady in front of you in line who sneezed on it while picking her own selection.

In most cases, washing your fruits and veggies with water works just fine.

But some of the bacteria is pretty “sticky,” so unless you’re scrubbing really hard, it may not be released.  (Maybe there’s a way to detect bacteria on the produce you bring home … but I don’t know it.)  And maybe it’s just me, but I don’t want to “scrub” my berries because the skin is so delicate.  I’d prefer not to destroy my fruit before I get to eat it.  (My teeth and digestive juices will do enough macerating without the assistance of a potato brush.)

So how do we clean our fruits and veggies?

Remember how we told you about the anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral properties of Apple Cider Vinegar?


Add ACV.


Place your fruit in a big non-reactive bowl.

Cover by an inch with filtered water.  Add 1-2 tablespoons of ACV.  (This does NOT change the flavor of your fruit.  I promise!)


Let stand for 10 minutes.

Put the fruit in a good strainer and rinse well.


And there you have it.

I’m going to admit that while we should be diligent about using this method all the time … sometimes … sometimes we forget … sometimes we don’t have time.  But we’re pretty good about using this method consistently with berries (2 lb. containers of Organic Strawberries are on sale at Costco in Bozeman today for $7.99!!!!!  It’s like a taste of Spring and a reminder that Punxatawney Phil did NOT see his shadow!!!).  Apples.  Peaches.  Plums.  Potatoes.  Carrots.  And spinach (which has been a major culprit on Salmonella outbreaks these past few years) … which we rinse in a salad spinner instead of regular strainer.

By the way, we grow as many fruits and veggies as we can, so we know those are organic.  But we’ve got dogs who spend time out by the garden … and there are birds … and other critters (like praise dogs, voles and bunnies), so even the food we grow gets this treatment.

BIGGER NOTE:  It’s a short growing season in Montana.  Even if you have a greenhouse.  So we rely on the grocery store for a good share of the produce in our homes.  And like many of you, we live in the real world and don’t have an unlimited budget to spend on all organic foods.  

So we’re thankful for the Environmental Working Group’s yearly study of 45 different fruits and veggies that gives us a better understanding of what conventionally grown fruits and veggies we can feed our families without having a panic attack.  

The EWG has two lists … The Dirty Dozen (which now contains 15 fruits and veggies that, when conventionally grown, contain high levels of pesticides and herbicides).  And the Clean 15 (just like it sounds, these are the 15 fruits and veggies that don’t seem to absorb the pesticides and herbicides into their flesh).

6 thoughts on “how and why we wash our fruits and veggies …even the organic ones

  1. I just discovered your blog and already have some recipes marked to try (needless to say I am by no means Ina, Giada (?) or Martha because of my non loving cooking/baking desire) because you make them look so easy yet healthy while providing knowledge about why you should or shouldn’t use certain ingredients.

    I am in love with your strainer you used to rinse your strawberries and was wondering if you recalled where you purchased from and the brand?

    Thank you!!


    1. We’re so glad you like the blog!
      As for the strainer …I used to live in Los Angeles and there was a restaurant supply store called Surfas. I’m not sure of the brand. But I am sure that’s where I got it. 🙂

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