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May 29, 2022 6 min read

How to Wash Fruit & Vegetables: The Importance of Eating Spray Free!

Okay is it just me - Or is it a subconscious habit to buff an apple on the shoulder of your shirt before you take your first bite? 

It has been a long taught practice to rinse our fruit and veg before we eat them. Whether it's a quick rinse under the tap, or the old rub on the shirt, the question is…Is it really enough to ‘wash’ them? Do we know what we are even trying to wash off?

While we are blessed that mother nature wrapped some of our favorites, like the banana, in its very own protection peel, how can we feel the same safety from the produce that didn't come so naturally lucky?

Now we aren’t here trying to add an extra chore to the list! The following steps are easy tools and tips to the best way to wash your fruit and veg, and in the best way we know how to toxin and waste free-ly!

Let’s do this!

Freshly washed fruit and vegetables in vegetable swag

Why Should We Wash our Fruits and Vegetables? 

It isn’t just personal hygiene that Covid has seen us improve, it is our food hygiene too! 

Just like we wash our hands to avoid bacteria, we should be thinking the same for our fresh produce!

Not to mention the hands of the lady that has to give 80% of the nectarines a good little squeeze before they make it to her basket?! Honestly, I could be a little guilty of that myself…

Many of us have already been washing our fresh produce by habit to avoid not only the nectarine hands, germs, sprays and lingering dirt that doesn’t belong in our bodies. 

After all, fruits and vegetables are the best way to fuel the body with vitamins and goodness! It should be a given that we only take in the good stuff while eating them right?

What is Our Fresh Produce Sprayed With?

Most of our commercial fruit and vegetables like the ones from our supermarket have all been exposed to pesticides and sprays at some point of their journey, unless certified organic (more on this later)! 

Well to name one of the most common groups of pesticides still used in Australian fruit and vegetable farming is…

Organophosphates. Yep. We had to read that one over twice too.

Organophosphates are still widely used in Australian agriculture as an insecticide, despite being BANNED in both EU and parts of the US! * chills * Recent reports have it listed as one of the top dangerous organic chemicals. Organophosphates are also listed as a neurotoxin! How? What? Surely not?! More facts on pesticides in Australia can be foundhere.

But! Have no fear! We are about to teach you the easy way to rid your fresh produce of nasty toxins, pesticides and other unwanted residues to make them safe for the whole family and avoid them affecting our health! 

Benefits of Eating Spray Free

Now if that little slice of pesticide talk isn't enough to make you fill up the bath and empty the fridge crisper draw manically, I don't know what will! 

  1. By eating spray free fresh produce our health benefits immensely! We protect ourselves from bacteria and other unwanted nasties that can make us and our families sick! By eating spray free we can be sure we are being fueled by goodness and feel safe knowing there's no hidden extras
  2. By shopping certified organic we can have a huge impact on our environment, as pesticides are one of the leading water pollutants and contaminants in Australia!
  3. Supporting our local organic farmers not only benefits our health and the environment but supports local business and sustainable farming! 

How to Wash Your Fruits and Vegetables: Best Methods & What to Use?

While washing your fresh produce with water with some light friction definitely removes dirt and some of the other germs and residues, it is recommended to use a vegetable wash or soap! Luckily we have just the solution!Our GFZ Dishwashing Block doubles as a Fruit and Vegetable Washing Soap. Woop woop! 

You should be able to wash all of your produce ( leafy greens we have other plans for ) in the same sink or bucket to minimize water usage, but you may find you need to change your water if you have quite a lot of produce to get through or if the water becomes too dirty! We recommend starting with the smaller or softer produce! 


What you’ll need:

  • Vegetable Wash Soap ( Ours useszero plastic bottles, toxins or palm oil)!
  • Scrubber/ Brush or Cloth
  • Tea Towel / Something to air dry everything on
  • Sink or Large Bucket/Container ( Extra points for using a bucket so you can reuse the water on your indoor plants or lawn! ) 
  • Water (Cool Temperature)

Using your fruit and vegetable wash soap simply apply to the brush or rinse under the water to create a light soapy bath for the produce to submerge in. 

How to Wash Firm Produce:

To wash harder or firm produce, for example carrots, lemons or potatoes, submerge in water and lightly use a brush with soap to remove any dirt. For these fruits and veg you can afford to be a little firmer on the friction when scrubbing! 

Rinse the produce in the water and put aside to dry. 

Even for produce that will eventually be peeled it is worth building this habit especially if they all live together in the pantry or fridge!

How to Wash Soft Produce:

Soft produce, for example peaches, berries or mushrooms, can be placed in the water and lightly wiped and washed even just with your hands, followed by a rinse off also and left aside to dry. 

Produce with pores like strawberries may take some extra work but the water and soap block should take care of most part! 

How to Wash Leafy Vegetables:

Simply submerge the leafy greens in cool water and rinse! 

A strainer or colander can come in handy here too to help drain and avoid any fly aways!

A lot of fresh produce especially leafy ones are actually recommended to keep submerged in water to prolong its life! We share more tips on how to prolong fresh produce life and reduce food wastehere!

At Go For Zero we also offer aVeggie Saver Bag that allows vegetables to breathe better, stay fresher for longer and sweat less (no more sad looking kale!) On average, it keeps your fruit and vegetables fresher for an extra 2 to 4 weeks (depending on the type of fruit and veg)! Tick tick tick!!!

Shopping Organic & Supporting Local Farmers

Many of us choose to shop organic or from local farmers markets, because if you haven’t noticed our local supermarkets like to still wrap the “organic” range in plastic… No thanks!! 

By buying certified organic we can trust that our produce has been grown and processed without the use of synthetic chemicals, fertilisers or GMO’s! 

However, it is important to practice good food hygiene and build these habits to still wash away any dirt that still may be present. 

Not only does shopping at farmers markets allow us to buy without plastic and waste and have a better chance at pesticide free fruit and veg, it gives us the ability to support local business! 

Oh before we forget! This amazing sitehere helps to find local farmer’s markets in your area! The impact and importance of supporting our local farmers is more important than ever! 

Ready to Say Goodbye to Pesticides?

We hope this article informed and inspired you on the best way to wash your fruits and vegetables so they can always be safe to enjoy! 

It’s time to ditch the quick splash of water and get the tools you needhere to keep it cleaner! Your body deserves it!

If you have any questions or advice on how else you can wash your fruit and vegetables, please don't hesitate to write in or ask via askusanything@goforzero.com.au 

With love, 

Ellie & the GFZ team xx

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