Is there anything more delicious than a bowl full of fresh strawberries?

But hold up just one second! Before you bite into those ripe, red beauties, you should make sure you’re cleaning off any nasty residue that could make you or your family sick. You don’t want to bake bugs into your perfect strawberry rhubarb pie, and you definitely don’t want chemicals mixed into your strawberry sangria.

Follow these trip to make sure you’re doing all you can to make your berries as wholesome as nature intended:

Before you begin

Don’t wash berries until you’re ready to cook or eat them. Strawberries are like little sponges, and they soak up moisture whenever present. This means premature rinsing can cause them to go bad much more quickly.

Save time with organic

If you’ve purchased organic strawberries from a local farmer or shop, you only need to wash them off under cool water. Lay them on a paper towel or clean lint-free towel and lightly pat dry. Then they’re ready to eat or use in your very best baked goods.

Get rid of pesticides

If you’ve purchased non-organic strawberries from the grocery store, you should assume they’ve been conventionally grown using lots of pesticides. You’ll need to take a bit more precautions to keep your family safe. Strawberries are one of the most-sprayed crops on the market, so if you take extra time to wash one item well, it should be strawberries. (Don’t worry โ€” your berries won’t taste like vinegar.)

Step 1: Fill a large bowl with 4 parts water to 1 part white vinegar.

Step 2: Completely submerge berries in the bowl. Soak for 20 minutes

Step 3: Drain the berries from the vinegar mixture, and rinse thoroughly with cool water. Lightly pat dry with a lint-free towel or paper towel.

Step 4: Eat away! You’re now ready to safely enjoy one of summer’s most satisfying fruits!

Also see, Fresh summer farm stand juice.

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Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. Sheโ€™s thrown away just as many meals as sheโ€™s proud of.