A lot of people fall ill due to contaminated food each year in our country. In our modern world, almost no food is free of pesticides. Surprisingly, even organic produce may contain pesticides.
Washing vegetables and fruits is important to prevent food borne illness and substantially reduce your exposure to pesticides.
Before we see how to wash fruits and veggies here are our additional tips:
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before and after preparing fresh produce.
- Cut away any damaged or bruised areas before preparing and eating.
- Gently rub the vegetables or fruits while holding under plain running water. There’s no need to use soap or a product wash.
- Wash BEFORE you peel it so dirt and bacteria aren’t transferred from the knife on to the fruit or veggie.
- Use a vegetable brush to scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumbers.
- Dry the veggies and fruit with a clean cloth or paper towel to further reduce bacteria that may be present.
- Throw away the outermost leaves of a head of lettuce or cabbage.
- You should also store perishable produce in the refrigerator at 40 degrees F or below.
- So here are quick and easy tips on washing fruits and vegetablesFor other veggies
- Fill a large bowl with water.
- Then add a teaspoon of baking soda.
- Add the veggies.
- Soak for a minute or two.
- Scrub with a brush. And finally, rinse off the veggies.
Washing leafy green vegetables
- Wash all leafy green vegetables, under cold running tap water.
- Then add the greens, water, and baking soda to a bowl, let them soak, drain in a strainer, rinse, then pat leaves dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.
- For leafy vegetables, such as lettuce and cabbage, remove the outer leaves first. Throw away any wilted or discolored leaves.Tip: Washing your green leafy vegetables as soon as you bring them home will make them easier to use in salads, stir fries and other dishes when you need them
Washing fruit and vegetables with a rind
Use a soft, clean produce brush to scrub vegetables and fruit under running water. Then pat dry.
- The best way to wash all types of mushrooms is to wipe them clean with a damp cloth
You can also rinse them quickly in cool water.
- Do not soak them as they absorb water, which will make them spoil faster.
- Once the mushrooms are clean, pat dry with a tea towel.
- You can also gently scrub mushrooms using a mushroom brush and then rinse them quickly under running water. After that, blot the mushrooms dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel.
- Smooth skinned fruits, such as apples, and cherries, can be washed in a baking soda bath the same way as veggies.
- Berries can be rinsed under cold water in a mesh strainer, then gently patted dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels just before you intend to eat them.
- Wash berries just before you eat them. Otherwise they will spoil quickly.
To sum it all up, for good food hygiene, learning how to wash produce is important, whether it’s organic or conventional. When washing your fruits and vegetables, making your own baking soda or salt solution may be the best option.
Or simply soaking your vegetables for a few minutes or rinsing in running water for at least 30 seconds will help the food you eat and serve be safe.