Should you wash your fruits and vegetables before eating them? I know I do!
There are several reasons why you should take the time to wash your fruits and veggies before eating them.
To begin with, unless your fruits and vegetables are organic, they grew up in fields covered in pesticides and herbicides. Although the pesticide residues on fruits and vegetables are considered to be at safe levels for human consumption, do you really want those extra chemicals on your food? Once your fruits and vegetables were ready for harvest, they were handled by several different pairs of hands in the fields and orchards, then in the warehouses, and finally again in your grocery store. Bacteria such as Listeria, Salmonella and E. coli may all be lurking on your produce, whether they are organically grown or conventionally grown. These bacteria all cause food-borne illness and need to be washed away.¹
Maybe you only buy organic fruits and veggies, so you don’t believe there’s a need to wash your produce, well think again!
Organic fruits and vegetables may not be grown with pesticides, but they’re still susceptible to “pesticide drift,” which is what happens when the wind blows chemicals from a nearby conventional field. Pesticide contamination can also happen during packaging, since many produce companies use the same warehouses to package both organic and non-organic produce.
But the biggest reason to wash your fruits and vegetables is to get rid of germs, according to Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst with the Environmental Working Group.²
But I’m eating an orange/banana/cantaloupe you say, there’s a peel on it, I don’t need to wash that! Wait, do I?
The fact is, yes you should even wash produce that have inedible peels such as bananas and oranges. The reason is this: As you peel them, your hands can get contaminants — such as pesticides or bacteria — on them, and this could transfer to the fruit inside. Another thing to remember is that you should wash produce immediately before serving (rather than before you put it away), because washing produce can actually shorten the shelf life of the product.³
Mix ingredients listed below then pour in clean spray bottle. Spritz on fresh produce generously. Sit for 5 minutes then rinse off well.
1 cup water
1 cup vinegar
2 TBS baking soda
2 TBS lemon juice
Note: Make sure to first combine ingredients in deep container since there will be some fizzing action.
Still not sure about the right way to wash fruits and veggies? Read this article from Huffington Post.