O.K. I gave in. I bought a small bottle of Fit, Fruit and Vegetable Wash. I know. I know. What was I thinking? This tiny bottle was $5.99 and I did not even have a coupon!!!
It was for the children! I had visions of them eating chemicals and pesticides---all because I was cheap and would not buy a bottle of this stuff. How could any loving parent sleep at night?
I have been using this product faithfully for about three weeks now. It does seem to change the look and feel of the food I clean it with. As I was washing a bunch of seedless red grapes, I thought to myself Am I flushing our hard-earned money down the drain (LITTERALLY)? Could I make this stuff myself? Is there something out there that works just as good (that does not cost an arm and a leg)?
I began the Clean Food Saga (as I lovingly refer to it :) ). Here is some information I found about a research study done by Dr. Walter J. Krol from the Department of Analytical Chemistry for The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. I found it to be VERY interesting!
Over the past ten years more residues have consistently been found on raw produce than on the corresponding processed commodities. This led to the hypothesis that certain types of processing or household preparation may serve to reduce pesticide residues. Hypothesizing that rinsing during the processing procedure may play some role in reducing residue levels, we initiated a study to examine the effects that rinsing produce under tap water has upon pesticide residue levels.If you did no take the time to read all of the mumbo-jumbo written above, here is the quick answer: there was NO difference in the levels of pesticide found on the produce! It did not matter if you washed it with any of the special washes or with watered down soap: they had the same effect as washing with plain old tap water for one minute.
Numerous fruit and vegetable wash products recently appeared in the marketplace. Four fruit and vegetable wash products, FIT®, Fruit & Vegetable Wash, Organiclean , and Vegi-Clean, were compared to a one-percent Palmolive® solution and to rinsing alone to gauge the effectiveness of these products at removing pesticide residues from produce.
A total of twenty-eight harvests were made including sixteen of lettuce, four of strawberry, four of tomatoes, and four control lettuce batches. Each batch was divided into seven treatment groups. One group was analyzed in an unrinsed state as received from the field; one group was rinsed under tap water for one minute. The five remaining groups were individually treated with either FIT®, Fruit & Vegetable Wash Organiclean, Vegi-Clean, or a 1% solution of Palmolive® and then rinsed under tap water for one minute. In the case of the control lettuce batches all seven-treatment groups were processed in an unrinsed state to ensure that each group contained statistically equivalent pesticide residue levels.
A total of 196 samples were processed. Detailed statistical analysis showed that in all cases at least one group was different from the rest. Pairwise comparison showed that the group that was different was the unrinsed produce. There is little or no difference between tap water rinsing or using a fruit and vegetable wash in reducing residues of the nine pesticides studied. The removal of waxes and/or dirt from the produce was not examined as part of this study.
The moral of this story is: Don't waste your money on special fruit and vegetable washes! Just sing the "Happy Birthday" song 6 times while you are washing (my scientific analysis on how long a minute really is) or set a timer. It is longer than you think... but, ask yourself as you are rinsing and singing--- Do I have more time, or do I have more money?
p.s. If you are like me and now feel guilty that you are going to be running the water so long while we are still in a drought, here is a recipe for a wash you can make yourself: Put 1/2 vinegar to 1/2 water in a large bowl. Place your produce in the bowl (anything but mushrooms). Let it soak for 5-10 minutes. It comes out clean as a whistle!