- Albertson's grocery store: buy one get one free deal on strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries
- Bought 2 packages of strawberries (they're one of my top favorite fruits)
- Went straight home
- Left both on counter top
- Cat rubbed against one like it was catnip
- Next day, both packages super moldy!!!
- "Money" into trash
- I thought, 'was the buy one get one deal because they're older stock they wanted to be rid of???'
I'm sure #5 has nothing to do with the mold :o)
So, I've been wary about buying a lot of fruit from the grocery store especially if that deal is going on. Then I did some veggie/fruit wash web researching and didn't find much. Last night, I was back at the grocery store and I decided to buy a pack of strawberries/blueberries/raspberries/blackberries, go straight home, wash my fruit right away to get rid of any mold spores, then refrigerate.
When I got home I researched recipes again and I've concluded there are two main washes: watered down vinegar & lemon juice with baking soda. After remembering this type of thing from school:
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I decided vinegar was the way to go. I found an article from Livestrong.com which states,
"Even foods labeled "ready to eat" should be washed before consuming. While you can purchase so-called produce washes from the store, you needn't spend money on products. Instead, wash all fruit under running water for 60 seconds, using a vegetable brush on firm-fleshed fruit, such as apples or mangoes. If cleaning a soft-fleshed fruit, use your hands to gently cleanse the skin without bruising the flesh. For a more thorough clean, wash with 2 tbsp. of vinegar mixed with 1 pint [= 2 cups] water. Rinse with cool water and then allow to air dry before using."
So... does the thorough clean only apply to only firm-fleshed fruit or all fruit? Since I didn't have the time to try to contact the author/website to ask about it, I decided to go ahead and do it with a close watchful eye.
I first wanted to experiment so I didn't waste all of my fruit, again. I made 1/4 of the recipe (1/2 cup water and 1/2 Tbsp) to test on each piece of fruit. After a little over a minute had passed, I took the fruit out for examination. They all looked normal and held up without burning so I went on with washing all of it.
I left the fruit in the wash for a little over 2 minutes because I wanted to wash&dry the original plastic packaging to remove any mold spores that may be on it. BUT some of my fruit did burn only a very little bit. The strawberries and blueberries were fine but the raspberries and blackberries were sensitive to the vinegar solution. Definitely either time it for 1 to 1.5 minutes or, if you want a longer soak, I suggest adding extra water to dilute the vinegar more if you want a longer soak! I washed my fruit one package at a time so things didn't get out of hand. I used a slotted spoon to remove the fruit into a colander and keep the wash for the next round of fruit. Then I rinsed the fruit with cold running water, did a quick pat down with paper towels, and I left the fruit in their dry closed packages in front of the air conditioner (set on dehumidify) for about a minute. That last part may have been a mistake, only time will tell. Hopefully the dry air didn't carry mold spores. Fingers crossed.