The year 2020 has brought about a lot of changes in our lives. We’ve become master chefs, ASAP now means After Sleep And Pochha (kidding ?), remote working & virtual parties are cool and face masks are an absolute necessity.
With hygiene being the top priority, cleaning fresh fruits and vegetables has also become a weekly ritual in our households.
While it is true that cooking kills germs, we often use them raw in salads, moms love using fresh herbs to garnish food and fitness enthusiasts make smoothies without heat. Cleaning produce before consumption is even more important for families with kids and the elderly. So we decided to put our thinking caps on and analyze 5 methods of cleaning fruits and vegetables. Here is how safe and effective each one is.
1. Only running water for 20 seconds or water mixed with kitchen ingredients (baking soda, turmeric, etc)
Pros: The easiest and most cost-effective method as everything is already available at home. Also, all ingredients are safe to ingest.
Cons: Just water can’t get rid of all germs and microbes. Hot water may cause wilting. Furthermore, no conclusive scientific evidence exists that proves baking soda or turmeric are effective against viruses.
2. Washing with soap
Pros: Again, easy to do as all of us have soap and regularly use it to wash hands.
Cons: Doing the same to edibles leaves a residue which when ingested in large quantities poses a risk of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and other forms of gastrointestinal distress, reports HuffPost India. The same has been reiterated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
3. 100% natural origin products like Veggie Clean
Pros: Its formulation is 100% safe, all-natural, and free from chlorine/alcohol/soap. Even though this method requires diluting 1 capful of product in 2 litres of water, soaking fruits & veggies in it for 5 minutes, rubbing them individually and rinsing them under running water before wiping them clean, there isn’t any residue, aftertaste or smell left behind.
Cons: According to Livemint, it cannot be used to wash mushrooms.
You can try it by ordering online here.
4. Cleansers or alcohol-based wipes
Pros: They offer the benefit of speed and convenience as we don’t have to measure ingredients and make a DIY cleanser.
Cons: Dr. Sonu Goel explains that “vegetable sanitizers” are fit to use only if they have disinfectants like potassium permanganate in them. According to The Hindu, food-grade perfumes and chemicals present in these products can cause unknown long-term effects on our health.
5. Dish Washing Liquids
Pros: They are great for cleaning cutlery, knives, plates, pots, and pans in which we cook and serve food.
Cons: Since the surface of fresh produce is porous, harmful chemicals may seep into them, says LA Times. This method may end up causing more damage to our bodies.
In conclusion, while warm water is unarguably a good option to remove around 90% of impurities, it has to be supplemented by gentle rubbing or sunning for 1-2 hours. Chemical-free products like Veggie Clean win as the scientifically proven formula eliminates 99.9% of germs and pesticides with minimum effort.
Because when it comes to our health, it is better to be safe (and stress-free) than sorry.