Certain fruits and vegetables may contain pesticides and bacteria that can make you ill if eaten. Yet, though this is a well known fact, still there are people that stubbornly refuse to wash their fruit and veggies!
If a fruit has a thick skin, (bananas and avocados come to mind) don’t fret it. As long as you’re not going to eat the peel, it’s not as necessary to wash it.
But, if the fruit or vegetable is thin-skinned, ALWAYS RINSE it before eating. A good practice is to soak it in water infused with some hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar.
Here’s a short list of fruits and veggies you’ll definitely want to wash before eating. Better safe than sorry!
- Lettuce - If a fruit or vegetable is to be eaten raw, you really do want to wash it. Lettuce is a prime example. Dirt and small bugs are likely hiding in nooks and crannies of lettuce. A little care upfront may save you needless suffering.
- Berries - Berries are a good example of a thin-skinned fruit that you don’t peel, so you should wash them before eating. According to the 2016 “dirty dozen” list compiled by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), strawberries topped the list, containing some of the highest concentrations of pesticides found.
- Apples - ranking second in pesticides, apples have long been contenders on the “dirty dozen” list. Buying organic, (and rinsing before eating,) is a sure way to keep additives and food-borne illnesses away.
- Celery is another frequent star of the “dirty dozen”. It’s easy for dirt to accumulate in the grooves running along its stalk. A quick rinse or a bath of vinegar and water easily solves this problem.
- Potatoes and other root vegetables grow completely underground, so they’re covered with hard-packed dirt. Unless you want that hint of “earthiness” in your food, make sure to wash and scrub potatoes and other root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, cassava, and yams, before cooking.
- Spinach and other leafy greens are infamous for hiding dirt and bacteria. Soak them and spin them thoroughly before eating. It’s a good idea to give pre-washed, or even triple-washed packaged spinach at the grocery store a bath and a spin.
A little extra caution with fruits and veggies may save you from agonies of e coli illness, stomach cramps, diarrhea, or worse.