Wash Fruits and Vegetables

Small Step Toward a Healthy Eating Lifestyle:
Wash Fruits and Vegetables!

Wash Fruits and Vegetables

More than meets the eye!

I’ll never forget reading a report about those bowls of mints that you often see in restaurants or even at private dinners. The report described how, when tested, these mints were found to be contaminated with dust, sweat, urine and even fecal matter!

The moral of the story (besides skipping unwrapped mints in a bowl) is that not everyone washes their hands at appropriate times, and when they touch things, whatever is on their hands may get transferred to whatever they are touching.

It's not as clean as it looks.

This concept applies to the grocery store, and particularly the produce section. I saw a video of customers shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables in a beautifully arranged produce section of a supermarket. 

Judging by what was depicted by the hidden camera, it seems that by the time we put those oranges or apples or tomatoes in our shopping cart, they have been subjected to being pinched, squeezed, sneezed on, coughed on and otherwise handled by any number of people. It stands to reason then that before you put these foods in your mouth, you should wash them!

Remove toxins

In addition, if you are buying produce that has been grown with pesticides and herbicides, you will want to wash off any residue to avoid eating these potential toxins. I have heard that you can't remove pesticide residue by washing, but whether or not this is true, even if you can't remove all the toxins, every little bit helps.

Even when you buy organic, there can be dirt and other undesirable material clinging to the produce.

It makes the produce look pretty, but do you want to eat it?

Another reason to wash produce is to remove any waxes that the food marketer may have used to make the product more attractive. Many of the shiny apples that you see so invitingly displayed have been waxed to improve their color, hide their blemishes and increase their shelf life. Although these waxes are considered “safe” for human consumption, it is probably better to remove them before eating the apple.

How to wash fruits and vegetables

--Wash all fresh produce with a commercial vegetable rinse—sometimes called a “Veggie Wash,” or a weak solution of vinegar and water. (I have also heard that baking soda works, but I have never tried it.)

--Don't just use plain water. It may wash off some of the residue, and is better than nothing, but it is not really effective at removing all of the germs and other toxic residues.

--Even if you are removing the skin, such as with melons or avocados, wash the item first to avoid contaminating the inner flesh.

--Rinse with cold water to avoid opening the pores in the skin and forcing the residue into the food instead of washing it off.

--Dry produce with a clean towel or use a salad spinner for leafy vegetables to help remove all excess residue (and to make a crisper salad!). Fresh produce will keep longer if it is kept dry.

--Wait until you are ready to use the produce before washing it to increase its shelf life.

Caveat for Wash Fruits and Vegetables: Do not use dish soap or other poisonous products to wash fresh produce. Instead, use a product that will cleanse the produce but not harm you, should any residue inadvertently remain on the food. It would be counter-productive to get rid of the bacteria only to get sick from the soap!

Small step - Large reward

Medical professionals have told us that we can reduce our risk of getting sick simply by washing our hands after using the restroom and before we eat. In a similar way, properly washing fresh produce can impact wellness.

It’s a simple thing to do, but it can go a long way toward keeping you healthy and feeling well.

Eat and be healthy with my warmest regards,

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