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9 Simple ways to clean fresh produce during Monsoons

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Monsoons bring relief from the scorching heat, but they also bring increased humidity and the risk of contamination to fresh produce. Properly cleaning fruits and vegetables becomes crucial during this season to remove dirt, pesticides, and potential pathogens. Here are nine simple ways to ensure your fresh produce is clean and safe to consume during the monsoon season:

Rinsing with water
Rinse fruits and vegetables under cold running water. Use your hands or a vegetable brush to gently scrub items with firm surfaces like potatoes or cucumbers. This helps remove surface dirt and some pesticides. Effective for most produce items and easy to do.

Soaking in vinegar solution

Fill a bowl with water and add 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water (e.g., 1 cup vinegar to 3 cups water). Soak fruits and vegetables for 10-15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly under running water. Vinegar helps to kill bacteria and remove pesticides.

Using baking soda solution
Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 2 cups of water. Soak produce for 10-15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Baking soda helps to remove surface residues and pesticides effectively.

Saltwater wash
Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in a bowl of water. Soak fruits and vegetables for a few minutes, then rinse well. Saltwater can help in removing dirt and some pesticides.

Steam cleaning
For leafy greens and delicate herbs, steam them briefly over boiling water. This method helps to remove dirt and potential contaminants without losing nutrients. Gentle yet effective for fragile produce.

Using commercial vegetable wash
Follow the instructions on a commercial vegetable wash product. These products are specifically formulated to remove residues from pesticides, waxes, and other contaminants. Convenient and designed for thorough cleaning.

Peeling and trimming
Peel fruits like apples, pears, and carrots, and trim outer leaves of leafy vegetables like lettuce or cabbage. This reduces exposure to contaminants on the outer surface. Removes surface contaminants effectively.

Avoiding stagnant water
Avoid washing produce with stagnant water, especially during monsoons when water may be contaminated. Use clean running water instead.

Drying properly
After washing, pat dry leafy greens with a clean cloth or use a salad spinner. Ensure all moisture is removed before storing to prevent bacterial growth.Reduces the risk of spoilage and prolongs shelf life.
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