So you’ve finally decided to purchase organic produce. Or perhaps you made the commitment to grow your own veggies, without the use of pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. Fantastic! If you purchased your produce, you most likely paid a premium price for good quality organics. The last thing you want to see is little beasties feasting on your top dollar purchases.
Organic doesn’t mean that no pesticides were used at all. There are regulations, so it means that more environmentally friendly ones are being used. It also depends on the actual grower itself. Small farmers sometimes don’t use any chemicals and may employ more biodynamic practices. Organic is important to me and for a few reasons. First of all, compared to conventionally grown produce, organics forgo or use less toxic versions of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. Also, certified organic lets me know that the produce is non-GMO. Pesticides don’t know when to stop killing. If they are toxic to insects, how can they not be harming us? So when it really comes down to it, I would rather eat an insect than consume poison.
What do you do about the unwelcome bugs on your produce? Make a visit to the compost barrel? Allow the chickens to gorge themselves? Throw it in the (gasp!) trash? Here are some simple ways to remove theses critters…
- Soak produce in cold water for 10 minutes, then rinse under a running stream of water.
- Soak in a solution of apple cider vinegar. Use about 1/4 cup to a sinkful of water. Allow to soak 10 minutes and then rinse.
- Soak in a solution of equal amounts of salt and lemon juice, 1/4 cup each, allow to soak 10 minutes, rinse well.
- Use a vegetable brush, be gentle with leafy greens.
- For foods that will be cooked-add the veggies to a pot of hot water, cover, and allow to sit a few minutes.
- Grapefruit seed extract- add about 10-15 drops into a sinkful of water, add produce. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes, then rinse well.
- Very cold water with salt added can also help to remove insects.
- Hydrogen peroxide- use 1 tablespoon per gallon. Add produce, let sit 10 minutes, swish and rinse.
Hopefully, some of these suggestions will help to minimize unwelcome guests on your fresh produce. Also realize that there are government regulations that “allow” a certain amount of insects (and other undesirable substances) in our food. So unless you avoid anything and everything that is mass produced in a factory of sorts, you are in fact, eating some insects.
Ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente.
A healthy planet begins with you!