Access to truly organic produce can be difficult here in Ecuador. And like elsewhere in the world, many consumers do not have the option of choosing organic over conventional products due to its higher cost.
Apart from a weekly trip into town to go to a major grocery store or to the weekend outdoor market, we buy a large proportion of our produce from the back of pickup trucks. These “roving markets” are super convenient since they come directly to one’s house. An added bonus is that different trucks come on different days and thus provide buyers with rotation of options. Two thumbs up for total convenience.
HOWEVER, apart from any possible pesticides and/or waxy coatings on their surfaces, fruits and veggies sold in markets and from the back of trucks are in frequent contact with dust, hands, and honestly who knows what else. I’m actually one of the last people to be a germ-a-phobe but I nevertheless want to ensure that what I put in my body and the body of my kiddos (especially when it’s going in raw!) is not going to make us sick from chemicals or germs.
So, just like I teach my boys to wash their hands before they eat, we always wash our produce beforehand as well!
A super simple recipe for a fruit and veggie wash is to fill up a salad bowl or your kitchen sink with filtered water and then add 2-5 drops of therapeutic grade lemon essential oil. The “therapeutic grade” part is actually very important since you are adding this to your food [Find out where to buy Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils]. The number of drops you use obviously varies on the size of your container; 2 drops is good for a medium salad bowl and up to 5 drops for your kitchen sink.
Swish the water around and then let your produce soak for 5 minutes or so. Be sure to dry well afterwards if storing to increase its shelf life.
Some tips and tricks:
- Even if you plan to peel your produce you still should wash it well beforehand to prevent cross-contamination.
- Add a 1/4 cup of white vinegar to your sink full of water and lemon oil for an extra boost.
- If your veggies are particularly dirty, use a clean scrub brush to get the outer layer of grime off.
- I always carry a small bottle of therapeutic grade lemon essential oil in my bag (for a lot of different reasons, actually) but it always comes in handy when we buy fruit for a snack while we’re not at home. I put a drop on an apple, rub it around and then rinse with clean water (or wipe off with a napkin or tissue if I don’t have access to water at that moment). Presto, peace of mind!
- A 15 ml bottle of lemon essential oil contains 250 drops and costs $11.25 wholesale (Find out how to get wholesale prices HERE). This translates to at least 50 large batches of fruit and veggie cleaner!
- Use your lemon essential oil to give your cutting boards a deep clean! Combine 2-3 drops of lemon essential oil to 2 tablespoons of salt and scrub the surface with a clean scrub brush. Let sit 5 minutes, then rinse. Great way to get rid of odors after cutting onions, garlic, etc.
Lemon essential oil and many others are available to be delivered to your doorstep almost anywhere around the world, including here in Ecuador! We are especially lucky in Ecuador because the world´s highest quality producer of essential oils has an organic farm, essential oil distillery, and health-spa right near Guayaquil. They ship essential oils via “Servientrega” (Ecuador´s “Fedex”) right to your doorstep for only $5. Learn more about the farm and spa here: http://www.thehealthygringa.com/index.php/2015/09/30/field-report-a-day-at-young-living-ecuador/
You can sign up to purchase oils at wholesale prices via credit card in Ecuador here: Find out how to get wholesale prices HERE . Just make sure to select Ecuador as your country to minimize shipping costs.
Feel free to contact me using the contact form on the sidebar if you have any questions.