I have checked the other questions about washing vegetables and fruit, but they don't mention baking soda. Google brings up only unreliable (random blogs that give no reference) or biased (baking soda brands) sources. So, here it goes: my grandmother swore by washing vegetable and fruit in a weak baking soda solution (I am talking about sodium bicarbonate NaHCO3, not baking powder).
I tend to follow her advice and wash fruit and vegs in a baking soda solution, but I just gave the matter some rational thought: how concentrated should the solution be? And what the heck and I doing anyway? Does it make any difference? It is not that I am obsessed with cleanliness, I just want to know whether baking soda in the water makes any difference, or if I am just wasting time (and soda).
The FDA does not suggest baking soda, just plenty of water. I have found a paper, Antimicrobial Activity of Home Disinfectants and Natural Products Against Potential Human Pathogens that indicates that baking soda and vinegar have a disinfecting action against bacteria and the polio virus, but they are consistently less effective than commercial disinfectants like Clorox (nothing strange here, otherwise why would we need Clorox, right?).
Any suggestions? Sources?