What's the most efficient way to clean produce when the water isn't safe?
July 9, 2011 8:40 AM Subscribe
What is the most efficient and effective way to wash produce when my tap water is unsafe (microbes/heavy metals)? I live in China, and cook a lot.
Rinse in tap water to get most of the dirt off
Right now my procedure looks like this:
Fill a shallow bowl with a mild tap water/bleach solution, dunk and swish produce for 15-30 seconds
Fill a shallow bowl with bottled water, dunk and swish
The bottled water is cheap ($1.55 for a 5-gallon bottle) but this process is slow and strikes me as inefficient, both in terms of time and materials. We cook 5-6 nights a week, and buy fresh produce every day from the market.
What's a better solution?
I was thinking of a big food-grade plastic tub filled with bottled water and a small amount of bleach. Rinse with tap water, then place the produce in the top half of the big tub and gently agitate. The heavy metals and remaining excess dirt sink to the bottom, and the bleach kills the microbes. This tub (3-5 gallons?) would last me for a week or so, provided I didn't agitate too much to stir up the bad stuff from the bottom.
Would this be sufficient, or would the bleach lose its effectiveness, or stick to the food in dangerous amounts, or would the heavy metals dissolve in sufficient concentration to still be dangerous?
What other methods could I use on a daily basis that are easier but still effective?
posted by joshwa to science & nature (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite