It is that time of year again when the colors of spring abound and farm fresh produce begins to flourish. As a dietitian, I get very excited about the availability of fresh berries, lettuces, and other garden delicacies. When asked what my favorite food is, I have honestly answered, “vegetables.” Try not to hate me!
However, as it is with most good things, there is a potential downside to consuming a diet high in fruits and vegetables; and that is consuming a diet high in pesticides. So, today I am going to share some tips on lowering your pesticide load while enjoying nature’s healthiest foods!
1. Always buy produce grown in the USA.
2. Download the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” list from the Environmental Working Group at www.ewg.org/foodnews/ . If you consume foods on the “dirty dozen” list regularly, consider buying organic for those items.
3. Wash all fruits and vegetables in a 10% white vinegar and water solution. Simply fill a large bowl or sink with water adding ¼ cup vinegar to every 2 cups of water. Soak produce for 10 minutes and rinse well.
4. If you need a quicker technique, keep a spray bottle with white vinegar under your sink; spray fresh produce well and rinse after a few minutes.
(note: berries are perishable and should be washed just before serving)
5. Enjoy your garden-fresh fruits and veggies!