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The Best Way to Wash an Apple So You Consume Fewer Pesticides

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Whether you pick them by hand from a local orchard or buy them from a supermarket, apples are an essential part of the fall season. They also happen to contain more residual pesticides than any other fruit or vegetable. If you want to enjoy a wholesome snack without consuming toxic chemicals, your best bet is to wash your apples using a method approved by science.

As TIME reports, researchers from the University of Massachusetts recently put three apple-sanitizing strategies to the test. One of the cleaning agents analyzed in their study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry was Clorox bleach. After coating organic apples in the pesticides thiabendazole and phosmet, they washed them in a solution of water and bleach, which is what commercial farmers do to clean their apples before sending them to distributors. They also bathed apples in straight tap water like many consumers do at home.

But the method that works best falls between using heavy-duty chemicals and giving them a plain rinse: To rid your apples of as many pesticides as possible, try washing them in water and baking soda. A 12- to 15-minute baking soda scrub removes practically all of the pesticides on an apple’s surface, something neither bleach nor water alone can do.

Even after devoting that much time to sterilizing your snack, the researchers warn that your apple won’t be 100 percent pesticide-free. The only way to avoid eating the chemicals that seep beneath the skin is by peeling off the outer layer, which unfortunately also gets rid of healthy fiber and vitamins. If you’re an apple lover, perhaps you should start buying organic, or take comfort in the fact that the vast majority of apples don’t contain enough pesticides to cause real harm.

[h/t TIME]

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toyohara, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0 (cropped)
Meet Japan's Original (Not-so-Fresh) Form of Sushi, 'Funazushi'
toyohara, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0 (cropped)
toyohara, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0 (cropped)

When it comes to sushi, fresh is usually best. Most of the sushi we eat in America is haya-nare, which involves raw seafood and vinegared rice. But in Japan, there's an older form of sushi—said to be the original form—called funazushi. It's made from fermented carp sourced from one particular place, Lake Biwa, and takes about three years to produce from start to finish. The salt it's cured with keeps the bad bacteria at bay, and the result is said to taste like a fish version of prosciutto. Great Big Story recently caught up with Mariko Kitamura, the 18th generation to run her family’s shop in Takashima City, where she's one of the very few people left producing funazushi. You can learn more about the process behind the delicacy, and about Kitamura, in the video below.

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Bibo Barmaid
Bibo Barmaid Is Like a Keurig for Cocktails—and You Can Buy It Now
Bibo Barmaid
Bibo Barmaid

To make great-tasting cocktails at home, you could take a bartending class, or you could just buy a fancy gadget that does all the work for you. Imbibers interested in the hands-off approach should check out Bibo Barmaid, a cocktail maker that works like a Keurig machine for booze.

According to Supercall, all you need to turn the Bibo Barmaid system into your personal mixologist is a pouch of liquor and a pouch of cocktail flavoring. Bibo's liquor options include vodka, whiskey, rum, and agave spirit (think tequila), which can be paired with flavors like cucumber melon, rum punch, appletini, margarita, tangerine paloma, and mai tai.

After choosing your liquor and flavor packets, insert them into the machine, press the button, and watch as it dilutes the mixture and pours a perfect single portion of your favorite drink into your glass—no muddlers or bar spoons required.

Making cocktails at home usually means investing in a lot of equipment and ingredients, which isn't always worth it if you're preparing a drink for just yourself or you and a friend. With Bibo, whipping up a cocktail isn't much harder than pouring yourself a glass of wine.

Bibo Barmaid is now available on Amazon for $240, and cocktail mixes are available on Bibo's website starting at $35 for 18 pouches. The company is working on rolling out its liquor pouches in liquor stores and other alcohol retailers across the U.S.

[h/t Supercall]

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