How To Create Your Own Produce Cleanser – Three Easy Steps

As times rapidly accelerate, we have become a generation of fast results with minimal exertion. Social medias have exploded; making communication mouse-clicks away. With this robust technology, we have created a generation of impatience, which has trickled into nearly every aspect of our lives. Instead of dicing up our veggies we have machines that spit them out perfectly minced. 

We have dishwashers that take care of the mess after the storm, and microwaves to “zap” our food into warm, leftover delight. In the same lazy fashion, many of us aren’t taking the appropriate amount of time in preparing our meals. The result is bacteria-ridden food, glazed with germs and harmful pesticides; which are generally used to banish pests from crops and to extend product shelf life.

These toxic chemicals can be detrimental to your family’s health and have been linked to:

  • Nervous system toxicity
  • Hormone system disruption
  • IQ deficits in children
  • Cancers

With this knowledge at hand, I suggest shopping locally. Not only will you help your community’s economy, but you’ll be consuming foods that are locally sourced and fresh. Many of these farms will promise organic produce, which will be pesticide free. Regardless of where you purchase your food, it is imperative to properly cleanse all of your fruits and veggies.

It has been proven that even rinsing your produce in water alone is beneficial in removing dirt, germs, bacteria and chemicals. When compared side-by-side with a store-bought “vegetable cleaner,” the results were very similar. With this said, it seems like a complete waste of money in investing in one of these “miracle” washes.

There are some things in the produce aisle that have higher levels of pesticide residues than others. Some of the most harmful levels can be found on:

  • Strawberries
  • Peppers
  • Spinach/lettuce/greens
  • Cherries
  • Peaches/nectarines
  • Blueberries
  • Celery
  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Green beans
  • Grapes
  • Cucumbers
  • Pears
  • Squash
  • Potatoes

Instead, make your own eco friendly cleaning products with a natural wash.

You will need:

  • A large spray bottle and large container
  • White vinegar
  • Lemon Juice
  • Distilled water

Cleansing Your Produce

  1. In a large spray-bottle, combine 1/6 white vinegar, 1/6 lemon juice and 2/3 distilled water. Shake violently and store in the refrigerator.
  2. After you have purchased the produce, thoroughly wash your hands. The “happy-birthday” song in hot water with antibacterial soap works well. Make sure to extend the soap all the way up the wrists, and in the crevices of fingernails and hand-jewelry. After you have washed your hands, dry them on a clean towel.
  3. Go ahead and pull out the fruits and veggies. Place them in the large container and mist them thoroughly. Let them sit for approximately 30 seconds and rinse in cold water. Pat dry. If you are cleansing a leafy vegetable like lettuce, you will want to use the large container as a “bath” with the same ratios of vinegar/lemon juice/water.

You will want it to sit for 30 seconds to one minute before removing for the final cold rinse. Take note of any bruises or dark markings, as these areas tend to harbor more bacteria. If you spot a blemish, cut it off. If your cleansing a fruit or veggie with a texture, like a peach, use a small brush and lightly brush under a bath for the same duration. Don’t forget to pat dry, because the inconsistency of the texture can also harvest airborne bacteria. In addition, any area near the stem or which opens into the actual fruit or veggie should be discarded. These tend to be the most bacteria-prone areas.

Anytime that my family takes a trip to our local grocery, we go crazy filling our baskets with fresh fruits and veggies for salads, stews and quiches. What we fail to consider are the many hands that touch their surfaces, the nasty mists of pesticides and the natural bacteria that grow in the temperate conditions of the store. Cleansing your food of these harmful invaders doesn’t have to be extremely time consuming or expensive. With a pre-mixed bottle, and a flick of your wrist, you can sanitize your produce and give your family a safer and healthier meal.

Alexa Mehan, self-confessed day-time-TV junkie, works in the comfort of her apartment with her partner and dog Pekoe. She loves creepy artwork and surrealist paintings. Active traveler and hiker, Alexa loves the freedom of the outdoors. When she isn’t writing about the importance of going green, she is checking updates on sites like www.ecohomeinspired.com for ideas. Alexa finds herself creating various works of art when she isn’t freelancing.






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How To Grow Your Own Carrots

It is much better to grow your own vegetables from home, not only do they taste much better, but they are also much cheaper and healthier. Once you start growing your own vegetables, you will never want to go back to buying them from supermarkets.

You shouldn’t worry about growing your own carrots from home as it is quite an easy and quick process, as long as you have a little time to prepare your carrot seeds and to plant them.

Step One

The first step to growing carrots is to sow the carrot seeds. This may sound a little complicated, but trust me, once you’ve got the hang of it, it won’t ever be a problem again.

You should first make sure that you are planting your carrot seeds at the right time of year, it should say on the back of the packet when it is the best time to plant them. Most varieties of carrots are usually planted in March, if you wanted to get a start on your vegetable growing earlier than this, you can buy the Scarlet Horn or Nantes variety which can be sown in as early as February.

Before you begin sowing your carrot seeds, you are going to need to prepare your soil. You should prepare quite a large patch of soil; to make sure that it is healthy for your carrots to grow in you should dig it up and remove any weeds, stones and debris.

Step Two

You are going to need quite a lot of space to sow in your carrot seeds, the soil also needs to be quite deep so that the carrots have plenty of room to grow.

You should sow the seeds directly into drills. You should aim to sow them half an inch deep and 15cm apart.

Step Three

You need to keep your carrots healthy and fresh; to do this you should water the compost on a regular basis. If you start to notice that your carrots are wilting, this means they are not getting enough water. Give them a good soaking and this should rescue your carrots from any problems.

Step Four

It will usually take around 12-16 weeks for your carrots to grow properly. Once you believe the carrots are big enough for your use, they are ready to harvest.

Before careful when you pull them out of the ground, if it is a little tough to pull them up you can use a fork to help break up the soil around them.

Jenny started growing vegetables from her home and has really enjoyed it. She gets all her gardening equipment from http://www.gardenhealth.com/

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A bad reaction to tomato plants

My garden is growing beautifully as usual this summer. It’s been quite hot, especially in July so the plants seem to have stopped growing, but that’s ok, they all seem to be healthy.

My tomatoes are growing like weeds. I have four Sweet 100’s tomato plants that are covered in tiny green tomatoes. I can’t wait for them to ripen so that we can have a taste.

I also have five regular sized tomato plants – a variety of patio tomatoes and Early Girl Tomatoes and each of them have several large tomatoes on them in various shades ranging from green to almost red. We’ve already had about four ripe red tomatoes from one of the plants already and they were lovely. Yum.

Unfortunately earlier this evening I seem to have had a reaction to the large tomato plants. I noticed that the tomato plant vines were flopping over so I got some bamboo stakes and some plastic green tape and started staking the tomato plants and within seconds my hands and arms were on fire – burning and itching.

I’ve never had a reaction like that to tomato plants before. I knew that the leaves and plants could be irritating to the skin but I’d never experienced any problems. I had been working with my roses earlier and I had some scratches on my hands and arms so maybe that’s why the reaction was so bad … but man … I can still feel some burning! I had to go inside and take a Benadryl in the hopes that it would calm the reaction down. If I’m still feeling the itching and burning on my skin at bedtime I’ll put some hydracortizone cream on my hands and arms. Luckily I happen to have some prescription cream.

Have any of you ever had a problem with touching tomato plants in the past? Is it an allergy or just a bad irritation? I have had tomatoes come up in allergy tests but I can still eat them most of the time.

BTW Don’t forget to also check out my other gardening blog Organic Gardening Tips. I’d love to have you come visit me over there too!

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