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Food expert issues warning for home cooks cleaning their store-bought produce: 'I wonder if [they] have washed their hands'

You can adapt this recipe to fit your needs.

Comprehensive baking-soda hack for washing store-bought produce

Photo Credit: @budgetbyte / Instagram

Is there anything baking soda can't do? One Instagrammer shared a genius hack to wash your fruits and vegetables using the household staple. 

The scoop

In a popular Instagram Reel, Monti Carlo, senior food editor for Budget Bytes (@budgetbyte), explained her favorite technique to wash produce before cooking. 

"How many times have you seen people pick up tomatoes? I wonder if those people have washed their hands," Carlo says in the clip. "Probably not." 

A thorough wash is essential before cooking your favorite dishes, and that's where Carlo's baking soda hack comes in. 

All you need is a bowl, water, and some baking soda. Carlo adds eight cups of cold water and two teaspoons of baking soda and mixes them together. While this is enough for her tomatoes, you can adapt this recipe to fit your needs. Carlo's cleaning formula is one-half teaspoon of baking soda for every two cups of water. 

She lets her tomatoes soak in the water for 12 to 15 minutes, and after rinsing, they're ready to eat. 

How it's helping

Your favorite fruits and vegetables have likely been handled by multiple people before they reach your kitchen, from farmers to fellow food shoppers. Not only have they been exposed to unwashed hands, but produce often has wax, dirt, and surface pesticides clinging on, even after a water rinse. 

This hack helps remove stubborn contaminants from produce, making them as healthy and nutritious as possible. 

This hack has been scientifically proved to remove surface pesticide residues and other contaminants and is more effective than tap water and bleach. It is the superior option to other chemical produce cleaners that could introduce more toxic contaminants to your food and the environment. 

What everyone's saying

Instagram users were thankful Carlo shared this simple solution in the comment section, wondering how some could bypass washing produce. 

"I use this recipe on all my produce," one user wrote. "I love how easy it is."

"Haven't tried baking soda before! So much cheaper than fruit/veggie cleaner," another Instagrammer said. 

A user added: "Why are people not washing their fruits and vegetables?"

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