South Beach Diet - Hydrogen peroxide as vegetable wash?

06-16-2011, 02:35 PM
Being on South Beach I'm trying to eat so many veggies, and buying all organic veggies isn't financially feasible for me most of the time. I've heard that soaking vegetables in a sinkful of cold water with 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide will kill germs and remove pesticides. Does anyone know if this is true, or have you tried it? Also heard the same thing about Clorox brand bleach, but that's a little scary for me.

06-16-2011, 03:12 PM
There have been several consumer reports about vegetable washes over the year (ever since they first started appearing on the market), and the experiments have always found that plain water does as good a job as any of the vegetable washes.

Anything strong enough to "kill germs" may also be strong enough to destroy nutrients.

A soak in plain water will do every bit as good as any of the soaks. Although even here, the tests usually found that a really good rinsing does nearly as much as a soak. Also, fifteen minutes of soaking was as good as an hour.

I've also read that the large organic farms use organic pesticides that are as dangerously toxic as the inorganic ones. Only there are no tests being done for these pesticides, or looking at the effects these have on people.

Also, many small farms are organic or virtually so (using little to no pesticides of any kind), but are too small to afford the certification process. That means that local small-farm produce, whether it's organic or not, tends to be better than most grocery store produce, organic or otherwise, so if you can shop from farmers' markets and CSA's you tend to pay less than organic prices, and often no more than grocery store non-organic prices (If you get to know the vendors, and are friendly, consistent customers they'll often "throw in" freebies and extras). And the produce is so much fresher that it takes five to ten times as long to spoil, which means you don't have to shop quite as often (although if you have one close, it still pays to only buy what you can use until the next farmers market).

06-16-2011, 03:58 PM
Kaplods, I was actually hoping you'd respond because I knew you'd have good info. Unfortunately for me the farmer's markets here in Brooklyn are extremely commercial and the prices are not any less that the supermarket, sometimes more than the organic produce at the health food store. It makes me crazy...but that's another story for another day.

06-16-2011, 04:06 PM
Can you grow your own? At least some of them like lettuce, herbs, etc?

06-16-2011, 04:12 PM
Oh and I just saw this:
Choose what you buy organic
Makes a lot of sense to me. Thick skin (peeling) is ok non-organic and stuff like spinach, strawberries etc. is better organic.
Definitely reduces what needs to be organic.

06-16-2011, 04:13 PM
I wish. I live in an apt. with no outdoor space, not even allowed to have window boxes. I don't even have a kitchen window suitable for herbs or anything. If I had a terrace I'd do one of those topsy turvy planters for tomatoes or something.

06-16-2011, 04:52 PM
The idea ingesting the peroxide or bleach doesn't sound much better than the germs and pesticides :(

You might like GSE (grapefruit seed extract). I'm sure health food stores would carry it but I've never bothered to look locally. I just buy about 2 or 3 bottles of it a year off amazon (4 oz for about $12), but I use it for cleaning stuff besides fruit and veggies too. Just a few drops in the soak water. It is a natural antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, and antiviral...and is perfectly safe to ingest diluted. Also full of antioxidants and bioflavanoids, and has anticarcinogenic properties. I love it! Some people even drink a few drops of it in a small glass of water daily because it can get rid of candida and is purported to have lots of other benefits and uses, but I wouldn't really know about that. I only tried drinking that way once, and it tasted HORRIBLE.

06-16-2011, 05:15 PM
I hadn't heard of grapefruit seed extract so I looked it up

I hate saying this, because people love their herbal supplements, even when there's no science behind them (and even when there's a lot of science against them), but to me, it seems that the product doesn't live up to it's hype, but read and research for yourself.

The first and most readable source I read was from wikipedia

On wikipedia, you do have to check the number and sources of the references cited, because some of the articles are more thoroughly researched and/or biased than others. It's the most readable, but you have to check other sources too, or check out some of the references.

A couple tablespoons of sea salt or a shot of vodka, vinegar, or citrus juice added to a sinkful of water would make a more reliable and effective antiseptic wash, but both could change the flavor of the produce, and I think that's the real issue. Any antiseptic strong enough to do significantly more than plain water would have to be in concentrations likely to be detectable in the flavor of the washed produce.

But water is sufficient, really it is. And there's no need to (and even some good reasons not to) sterilize produce before eating it.

Good old-fashioned running tap water is the best way to wash vegetables. There's no need to scrub hard or soak.

06-16-2011, 05:59 PM
Yea, I've seen that wikipedia. I have a tendency to research everything to death lol. There are studies that say a supplement helps an ailment, and you can just as easily find another that says otherwise.

That's why I said it's "purported" to have a host of other benefits and uses. Some say it can cure everything from candida to cancer and back. But alot of those ideas are based on anecdotal evidence and personal experiences only, like many other supplements there simply have not been enough studies done to know for sure either way. I only mentioned the possibilities because the information is very widely available and debated, and if you look up GSE you are sure to run across it.

None of that really matters for this purpose though. The fact that it is a good as a cleanser for produce (and pretty much anything, I even put a few drops in mop water) isn't questionable. It has been used as a food-grade antimicrobial industrially for a long time :)

06-17-2011, 08:55 AM

Here is a link to both the "Dirty Dozen" and the items which have the least pesticides. I'm blessed to have lots of avenues for organics but I use this list and always buy the listed "Dirty Dozen" organic.

I pulled a homemade recipe for a veggie wash off the 3FC Beck thread last fall. It made sense to me. Unfortunately, it's at my other house. I'll post it when we get back there if I don't find it in the thread before that. I'll also peruse the commercial version and ask the produce guy when I'm at Whole Foods today.

06-18-2011, 01:12 PM
I would like to chime in on this subject. First, I'm going into the health care field, and through the course of my education I have taken many science based courses, most recently Microbiology. I also have a vested interest in health and nutrition.

I feel it is perfectly safe to use hydrogen peroxide to wash fruits and veggies. You can also include vinegar. You would simply rinse away any residue left over from the wash just as you wash away soap from your dishes and body. Do a google search on "how safe is it to wash produce in hydrogen peroxide and you will find what your looking for.

In regards to a Clorox bath (Clorox brand only, not bleach) this was first presented by Dr. Parcells back in the day, and is taught by Ann Louise Gittleman(The Fat Flush) among others as a viable way to wash away pesticides on fruits, veggies, and even meats. The soak time is based on the skin thickness and how easily pesticides will penetrate the product. Do a google search for Clorox bath by Dr. Parcells and you will find the information needed.

I personally feel these methods are safe; even safer than consuming pesticides which cause cancer.

For others who are interested in nutrition and how food is produced, and the use of pesticides watch a series on You Tube called, "The World According to Monsanto". It's a wake up call.

Best of Luck in the choice you make.

06-18-2011, 06:40 PM
Well, I want to say that I did do the peroxide wash when I bought my veggies this week. I am most concerned with removing pesticides and I have heard (though can't confirm) that peroxide does do that. Kaplods, I also looked up some of the stuff you referenced about organic pesticides which really scared me - one in particular that involved copper may be linked to Parkinson's disease, which my mother has, and which I worry about getting myself. In any case the produce tasted fine (I soaked in a sinkful of cold water with 1/4 cup hp for 15 mins. then drained, then soaked in a sinkful of plain cold water for 15 minutes, then rinsed, then dried) and I'm hoping it will in fact last longer in the fridge, which is one of the "claims" made about the hydrogen peroxide soak.

06-21-2011, 05:45 AM
I'm interested in hearing if you think your produce stayed fresh longer.

Here's the recipe given to me:
In a spray bottle mix:
1 c water
1 c white vinegar
1 T baking soda
juice of 1/2 lemon

Spray produce. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Rinse off.

I have never tried this.

06-21-2011, 07:17 AM
Debbie, is that supposed to remove pesticides?

06-21-2011, 02:53 PM
The thing is repeated tests show that none are any more effective than plain water washing of at least a minute under running water. Im one test, I don't remember all of the washes tested, but they included washing in running water for at least one minute, quick rincing, soaking in plain water, washing with Palmolive dish soap and then rinsing, a commercial vegetable wash, and I believe peroxide and also vinegar. I'm not sure on the peroxide, because many of the commercial washes are a peroxide base, and I might be confusing that.

The pesticide content was the same in all tests except the unwashed group, and the washing less than a minute group.

Even washing with the Palmolive (assuming you rinse thoroughly) was declared safe, it was just unnecessary. So you're not doing any harm, but you're not doing any good either.

06-21-2011, 03:46 PM
Kaplods - did even washing with plain water remove pesticides, or just germs?

06-22-2011, 08:17 PM
Pesticides. In fact, I believe pesticides were the only contaminant measured in that particular study (the one that used Palmolive as one of the cleansers).

There've been other studies that have found much the same or similar results with bacterial and viral contamination.

Most of the studies I've read have tested for either pesticides alone, or for pesticides and the most common harmful bacteria (such as e.coli). Fewer have tested for viruses (but that's also because viral contamination is less likely).

I've read in popular literature (where the research wasn't sited directly or the article didn't give enough information for me to find the actual research) in magazines like Readers Digest, Prevention Magazine, and women's magazines, that some studies have found that some of the washes did a slightly better job of killing a specific bacteria, but that those products killed the good bacteria (probiotics) along with the bad.