This Is the Safest Way to Wash Produce

Kiss the dirt and grime goodbye with this produce-washing tip.

When your mom told you to eat your vegetables, she wasn't messing around. Produce provides a wealth of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that you'd be hard-pressed to find in other food. The only drawback? If you're eating traditionally-grown fruits and vegetables, you're potentially ingesting a host of pesticides. If you're opting for organic, you'll get all that grit and grime from the ground. You might even crunch down on some critters, too.

Luckily, that doesn't mean every apple or carrot you dig into will put your health at risk. In fact, there's an easy way to reduce the number of contaminants on the surface of your produce. Better yet, all you need is one item you probably already have in your kitchen cabinets.

According to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the key to safely and effectively washing your produce is baking soda. Surprisingly, researchers found that a baking soda solution was more effective at removing pesticide residues from apple than either tap water or a solution containing bleach.

In the study, it took 10 to 15 minutes of soaking produce in a 10 milligram per milliliter solution of baking soda and water to remove common thiabendazole and phosmet, a common fungicide and pesticide, respectively. However, if you find yourself somewhere without a box of baking soda in reach, that doesn't necessarily mean you'll be getting a pesticide-laced bite, either.

A study published in the December 2015 volume of Environmental Monitoring and Assessment found that a thorough rinse in traditional tap water was effective at removing a large proportion of the pesticide residue on raw strawberries, too. And when you want to keep your produce safe back at home, This Is the Safest Way to Store Vegetables!

To discover more amazing secrets about living your best life, click here to sign up for our FREE daily newsletter!

Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more