Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Washes for Produce

When I was going through chemotherapy, my doctor instructed me to wash all of my produce with kitchen soap before consumption. He explained that my body would not be able to handle the bacteria that manifests on produce, or the chemicals used in their upbringing. I was not a fan of this idea. Washing my veggies with Dial soap just did not seem right to me. To counter his idea, I explained my own process of cleaning with vinegar and water. He smiled at me, in a bewildered sort of way (as he always does) and once again repeated his prior statement.
Typically, I follow my doctors instructions to point, but with this, I think I may have listened to him once. Instead, I decided to take my chances with the new produce washes found in most local grocery stores. I used them through my year of chemo and heavy medication, but stopped them shortly after. My sister and I often questioned these products, and wondered if they actually worked. Elisa Huang's article in Bon Appetit magazine finally gave me some clarity on the whole debacle. To sum up her findings, she explained that most sprays were made of plant product and essetial oils, but any product that contain chemical-based ingredients (such as detergent) should not be used. In others words, the products are OK to use, but one is better off with peeling the outside layers of fruits and vegetables where applicable, along with maintaining a clean work environment, as to not cross contaminate what is clean and what is dirty.
I never did get sick while using these sprays...but I never really got sick with out the use of them either. Now I know the sprays are safe, but I am still not sold that they work better than my natural (and cheaper) methods. It may be a bit more time consuming, but I am back to using vinegar, along with peeling, as my wash of choice.

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