We all know that it is important to eat lots of fruits and vegetables in our diet to stay healthy and to give our bodies a fresh array of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients on a daily basis. And kudos to those of us who choose produce over the many packaged and processed choices in the local supermarket.
Picture this, your son is accompanying you on your grocery shopping trip and about 20 minutes into the excursion, professes his life-threatening hunger…you panic! You completely forgot to pack a snack. Frantically, you scan around you for something quick and easy you can buy to prevent an oncoming tantrum. You lock eyes with a box of “fruit snacks.” After glancing at the ingredients, half of which you cannot pronounce or identify, then looking at the sugar content (15 grams in one tiny little packet and we all know that won’t fill his tummy), you put the box back. Instead, you reach for an apple. Without any way to wash it, you quickly wipe it on your shirt and assure yourself it won’t hurt this one time and surely this is a much better choice than those chemical laden “fruit snacks.”
While this Mama did choose the healthier option and certainly should receive praise for opting for the apple over the sugary chemicals being marketed for children, the apple may have contained just as many if not more harmful chemicals but without any label saying so! It seems almost criminal to be kept in the dark about the amount of pesticides and other chemicals found in our fruits and vegetables at the supermarket.
Not only is most of the produce in your local grocery store sprayed with multiple pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals to keep away unwanted pests during the growing processes, but many are also prayed with chemicals to halt the ripening process after picking, and then sprayed with more chemicals to speed up the ripening process after transportation to your local store! How else could we have beautiful looking bananas, papayas, peppers, melons and other fruits that traveled hundreds if not thousands of miles to reach you? Unless that produce was locally grown and picked just a day or two prior, you can guarantee some form of chemicals have been used to ensure it looks perfectly ripe when you see it on your grocery store shelf. Yuck!
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), at least one pesticide was found on nearly 75% of all fruits and vegetables tested by the US Department of Agriculture. How dangerous are these pesticides? The EWG cites that U.S. and international government agencies have acknowledged the link between pesticides and a variety of health problems, including:
- brain and nervous system toxicity
- hormone disruption
- skin, eye and lung irritation
So what can we do to avoid these harmful chemicals in our fruits and vegetables? One option is to eat organic or at least buy the “dirty dozen” organically. The “dirty dozen” and “clean fifteen” are lists put out yearly by the EWG that list the most pesticide laden produce and the least pesticide laden produce so consumers can make economical and informed choices about which produce to buy organic and which to buy conventional. Unfortunately, many people simply cannot afford to buy anything organic or simply cannot source all of their produce organically.
Regardless of your situation, it is important to wash your produce thoroughly before consuming and this Fruit and Veggies Wash contains all-natural ingredients that you can use either as a soak or as a spray! If you do choose to soak your produce in the wash, try to limit soaking time to between 5-10 minutes or you may risk losing some of those precious water-soluble vitamins and minerals. Another option is to spray your produce and leave the spray for 30 seconds before thoroughly scrubbing under running water.
This Fruit & Veggie Wash removes all of the residues you can see as well as the ones you can’t see, has germ-killing properties, AND as an added bonus…it smells amazing! I find it even helps my produce to taste better because you don’t have that chemically taste that many items have from the wax and other harmful ingredients sprayed on them. You can make a big batch of this and put it in a spray bottle for easy use, or just make a small batch for soaking a large amount of produce after a trip to the supermarket. As long as you stick to this basic ratio, you can easily make smaller or larger batches.