Should you wash your vegetables?

3 points to make you think

Should you wash your vegetables?

Why is it even important?

Washing your vegetables isn't something you would naturally think about especially when the product says organic or washed ready to eat. In recent years there has been an increase in outbreaks of illness associated with bacteria on vegetables and in fruit juices.

Vegetables host important sources of nutrients for our bodies. These nutrients allow your body to obtain energy, fight off diseases and repair itself every single day. Foodborne bacteria can contaminate vegetables at any stage of their production process. Why is it, we allow this product to be digested with the potential of human infection.

 Here are the 3 key points

1- Salmonella and E-coli

Salmonella and E-coli, has been found in fresh produce by a number of different ways, by contamination with fecal material, contaminated irrigation waters, use of organic fertiliser, direct contamination by animals and contamination from handling processors and complacent hygiene methods. 

2-Dirty hands

Have you ever watched people in the fruit & vegetable isles. People are continuously touching, sniffing, licking and even rubbing produce on their clothes, then putting that shiny apple back on the shelf and all ready for the next unaware consumer. In recent times stores and farmers have been hit with people doping fruits and vegetables with foreign objects. If metal pins can be slipped into your food what else can be carried on with grubby hands. 

3-Pesticides

If you're buying organically this doesn't mean you're in the safe zone. If you think about where most of the products are stored, transported and handled, you can gage that cross contamination is likely to happen at any stage. All before it hits the shelves and ready for your consumption. There is a lot of research into the human effects of pesticide residue. This includes central and peripheral nervous system damage, cancer, allergies, potential of food intolerances or hypersensitivities, reproductive challenges, and immune system dysfunction. 

Have you convinced yet?

Here is a researched washing method 

you can do at home.

 

1-Start by rinsing your produce first under tap water,

2-Then let it soak in warm water with 2 caps of apple cider vinegar and half a squeezed lemon. This recipe is to increase the PH level of the water, increasing the ratio of acid to alkaline and making a natural cleaning product.

 

3- Scrub or rub produce with a fine brush (bottle brush) or washcloth.

4- Rinse under tap water 1x more time and drain in a strainer until dry. 

Washing your hands under tap water doesn't kill bacteria and this is the same for your delicious vegetables.

Give yourself and the whole family important sources of nutrients without all the potential nasties. 

References

Pezzuto, A., Belluco, S., Losasso, C., Patuzzi, I., Bordin, P., Piovesana, A., Comin, D., Mioni, R. and Ricci, A., 2016. Effectiveness of washing procedures in reducing Salmonella enterica and Listeria monocytogenes on a raw leafy green vegetable (Eruca vesicaria). Frontiers in microbiology7, p.1663

Farha, W., Abd El‐Aty, A.M., Rahman, M.M., Jeong, J.H., Shin, H.C., Wang, J., Shin, S.S. and Shim, J.H., 2018. Analytical approach, dissipation pattern and risk assessment of pesticide residue in green leafy vegetables: A comprehensive review. Biomedical Chromatography32(1), p.e4134.

Coroneo, V., Carraro, V., Marras, B., Marrucci, A., Succa, S., Meloni, B., Pinna, A., Angioni, A., Sanna, A. and Schintu, M., 2017. Presence of Trihalomethanes in ready-to-eat vegetables disinfected with chlorine. Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A34(12), pp.2111-2117.

Grewal, A.S., Grewal, A.S., Singla, A., Kamboj, P. and Dua, J.S., 2017. Pesticide residues in food grains, vegetables and fruits: a hazard to human health. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry and Toxicology2(1), pp.40-46.

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