Do you wash your fruits and vegetables? Sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t. Even though we aren’t always diligent about it, it is a good habit to get into. While washing your vegetables isn’t a guarantee you will remove everything that could make you or your family sick, it can help.
The reasons you would want to wash them would be to:
- Remove dirt and debris
- Minimize bacteria present
- or wash away potential pesticides
But, does washing your vegetables help?
- Yes it helps remove dirt and debris!!
- Yes it helps remove bacteria (however, removing all bacteria isn’t always beneficial to health)
- Yes it will help minimize exposure to pesticides, but not totally eliminate.
- Unfortunately, It may not protect your kids from specific resistant bacteria such as E.Coli or Salmonella!
According to the International Food Safety Council, the E.Coli bacteria has made itself very resistant to cleaning, after it has clung to your produce effectively. It develops a film over itself to ensure survival. Sometimes, those little buggers even lodge themselves within the flesh of your produce, that would not be removed with any cleaning method. However, if they have not developed their film that helps them cling on, and are loose, they can be rinsed away. This is the same case with the salmonella bacteria.
So, if for any reason, you can minimize the exposure to pesticides and bacteria, it most definitely should be a practice you could teach your kids.
This is our practice for cleaning our fruits and veggies. But, we wait to clean the produce until we are ready to eat. Cleaning early and then letting sit on a counter, may encourage more bacteria to begin growing. When we are ready to eat or use our veggies, we use a two step process:
1) The vinegar soak Vinegar has been shown to kill almost 99% of bacteria, 82% of mold, and 80% of virus promoting germs, after a 10 minute exposure. Our spray bottle includes:
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups white vinegar (with 5% acidity)
Then, placing our veggies in a bowl for a good soak, the kids spray them liberally. Let soak for 10 minutes.
Step 2) The elbow grease under running water. Simply by rubbing your fruits and veggies with your hands can be effective in cleaning your food.
This easy practice can help keep your kids well! Check out our tomato lips we found in our garden yesterday
So, do you wash your produce?