3

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Washing fruits and veggies: is it necessary?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created June 15, 2010 at 2:32 AM

What is the rationale behind washing fruits and vegetables?

D628a7339e8567f7246fc0cf652acacf

(639)

on June 16, 2010
at 03:46 PM

Presumably the eggs are in the dirt, which ought to come off with water. Anyway, it makes me feel better...

Dfd71315b44a74520ead7d6752e70fc7

(678)

on June 16, 2010
at 01:26 AM

That is a question I would love answered archaea. My uninformed opinion would be that if you are buying local produce, warm water and dish soap should be enough because they tend to rely less on chemicals or pestisides. If you're buying conventionally grown produce from agro-businesses, I think the chemical use would be more severe and possibly harsher. I think I may have to make more of an effort to clean my produce or suck it up and purchase more organics.

D339c39d94d65460e28128174845f423

(821)

on June 15, 2010
at 08:28 PM

Many wash with a solvent. We get one made from citrus extract. Some people use dish soap.

A1a4882d31414600b2cab395a5b17161

(699)

on June 15, 2010
at 02:51 PM

So are these eggs removed by a simple rinsing?

70d9359a2086e890a4c3bccb2ba8a8cb

(2254)

on June 15, 2010
at 03:48 AM

I realise it can't do any harm to wash/rinse, but is there any evidence that just using water actually removes any of those chemicals rather than just removing visible dust/grit particles? I remember reading somewhere that some chemicals tend to 'adhere' to the surface of the vegetable (besides the fact that some of them are beneath the surface) making them difficult to get rid of just with water. These days, just in case, I peel non-organic produce whenever possible.

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5 Answers

4
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 15, 2010
at 03:15 AM

Commercially grown produce is sprayed with wax, pesticides, chlorine derivatives, etc. You do want to wash to get a least some of it off. Ingestion of some of those things over time can't be good for you.

This all in addition to what Andrea is talking about for organic food.

Not properly washing vegetables is partially responsible for the spinach brouhaha a couple of years ago.

3
D628a7339e8567f7246fc0cf652acacf

on June 15, 2010
at 02:38 PM

Two words: parasite eggs.

Esp for berries that grow right on the ground. Like strawberries. Mmmmm.

D628a7339e8567f7246fc0cf652acacf

(639)

on June 16, 2010
at 03:46 PM

Presumably the eggs are in the dirt, which ought to come off with water. Anyway, it makes me feel better...

A1a4882d31414600b2cab395a5b17161

(699)

on June 15, 2010
at 02:51 PM

So are these eggs removed by a simple rinsing?

2
Dfd71315b44a74520ead7d6752e70fc7

(678)

on June 15, 2010
at 03:26 AM

Personally, a little grit and dirt never killed anyone. Mark Sisson jokes about eating dirt but there is some merit to it, I think. It's not the grit that will get you, it's the chemicals that can throw you for a loop. So then you have to ask yourself, "is this clean dirt or chemically dirt?"

I try to buy organic and local grown food as much as possible. But sometimes you just can't so you deal and buy conventional crops. My general rule of thumb is that if it is organic, I won't bother washing it. I get my Spinach from Trader Joe's and it's been pre-washed. Maybe I'll find a bit of grit in there but I'm personally OK with that. What I'm not OK with is pesticides and chemicals so if I do have to buy conventional produce, THAT'S when I'll give them a rinse in the sink. My laziness overcomes my cheapness so I tend to go organic with anything that I will eat the peel (apples, carrots) and will save money eating conventional when I'm peeling it (oranges, the rare banana).

I wash to get rid of chemicals and embrace organics to circumvent that issue. Others, like Andrea, dislike grit and dirt and wash for that. To each his own.

D339c39d94d65460e28128174845f423

(821)

on June 15, 2010
at 08:28 PM

Many wash with a solvent. We get one made from citrus extract. Some people use dish soap.

70d9359a2086e890a4c3bccb2ba8a8cb

(2254)

on June 15, 2010
at 03:48 AM

I realise it can't do any harm to wash/rinse, but is there any evidence that just using water actually removes any of those chemicals rather than just removing visible dust/grit particles? I remember reading somewhere that some chemicals tend to 'adhere' to the surface of the vegetable (besides the fact that some of them are beneath the surface) making them difficult to get rid of just with water. These days, just in case, I peel non-organic produce whenever possible.

Dfd71315b44a74520ead7d6752e70fc7

(678)

on June 16, 2010
at 01:26 AM

That is a question I would love answered archaea. My uninformed opinion would be that if you are buying local produce, warm water and dish soap should be enough because they tend to rely less on chemicals or pestisides. If you're buying conventionally grown produce from agro-businesses, I think the chemical use would be more severe and possibly harsher. I think I may have to make more of an effort to clean my produce or suck it up and purchase more organics.

2
33995f61a5ef2f3856dba8f520fff4dc

on June 15, 2010
at 02:54 AM

Well, I just ate some lettuce from my garden tonight. I washed each leaf individually and then gave them a whirl in the salad spinner...I still managed to get some grit in my teeth. I planted these myself, and used no chemicals whatsoever. I did, however, use manure to fertilize. Wash my fruits and veggies-you better believe it!

0
C53665c3f012fa1ede91033b08a8a6e7

(2269)

on June 16, 2010
at 10:59 AM

If it's organic, I usually don't bother unless I see obvious dirt or bug poop or whatever. Still alive.

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