Frannie knows it’s important to eat her fruits and vegetables, so she eats an apple every day. Before she eats her apple, Frannie always makes sure to wash it so it is safe to eat. Sometimes washing fruits and vegetables can waste a lot of water, so for this week’s Water-Wise Wednesday, Frannie is going to teach you how to wash fruits and vegetables while conserving water!
First, it's always important to have clean hands when handling produce, so wash your hand before grabbing your fruits and vegetables.
Next, fill a clean bowl or pan with clean potable (that means water that is safe to drink) cold water.
If your produce has thick skin, you can use a vegetable brush to clean the surface. If you do not have a vegetable brush or if your produce does not have a thick skin, let it soak for 1 to 2 minutes in the cold clean water. There are some fruits and vegetables that are too fragile to soak, like raspberries. Put these types of fruits and vegetables in a colander and spray liberally with clean water. Be sure to collect the residual water with a bowl for use later.
After washing, wipe the produce down with a very clean cloth or towel. This will help remove leftover dirt and bacteria.
Now you can use the leftover water for other uses like watering plants.
Here are some other tips to consider when washing fruits and vegetables:
- NEVER use soaps or detergents to wash produce.
- Don't have a sink or bowl to wash your produce in? Fill a spray bottle with clean water and use it to wash apples and other fruits.
- Don't forget to wash your homegrown and farmers market fruits and vegetables.
- You do not need to rewash packaged products that say "ready-to-eat," "washed" or "triple washed." You will save water by not rewashing these items!
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