My aunt is a fan of organic food. That day when I went over and saw her preparing meal, I was surprised to see her not washing them before pouring into the wok. She told me that she does not have to worry about pesticides with organic food.
Is that true?
Not really. Pesticide which residues on fruits and vegetables used to be the consumers’ key concern. However, organic or not organic, just imagine bugs are laying eggs on them and snails may have crawled on them. Even if the organic veggies are not touched by pesticides, they may have been touched by people along the way from the field or orchard before it reaches supermarket. In other words, the contamination may have started at the farm, warehouse or in the grocery store. So, even organic produce may carry bacteria. Bacteria such as Listeria and Salmonella may all be lurking on your fruits and vegetables, whether they are organically grown or conventionally grown. These bacteria may cause food-borne illness.
We need to eat fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet, but certainly not the insects, chemicals and bacteria that come along with them. So, wash your fruits and vegetables before you eat them, especially for produce and greens that are eaten raw. Here are few practical washing tips:
- Before you wash the fruit and vegetable, wash your hands first.
- Rinse the produce under running water instead of soaking it.
- For veggies like lettuce or cabbage heads, you may want to peel away the outer layer.
- Even if you want to peel the fruits before eating, it is still important to wash it first. Talking about that, Do You Wash Your Banana Before You Peel Its Skin?
- I have seen people using chlorine washes before rinsing it away with water. I do not recommend that you use soap or detergent to do that. Commercial sprays and washes sold for cleaning vegetables really are not much better than cleaning thoroughly with plain water. So, save your money.
- If required, scrub melons or cucumbers with clean vegetable brush.
- Apart from that, wash pre-packaged fruits and vegetables, even if the label claims they are pre-washed.
Washing is an important step, but it still does not guarantee elimination of contamination. The challenge is to stop bacteria from growing and bacteria needs three things to do that – water, nutrients and right temperature. Therefore, it is important to clean them dry before storing them in fridge.
Though we can wash whatever ways we want when we prepare our meals at home, things can be very different when we eat out. You never know how restaurants do the same. We just have to trust them thet do. If you have read the post of You Don’t Want To Know How Your Food Is Prepared in Restaurant, you may want to eat home. No matter what, eating fruits and veggies is still a must for balanced diet. Don’t be scared away.
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