Credit: © Tobias / Fotolia

Credit: © Tobias / Fotolia

Why should you wash your produce before eating it?

We are going to give you a look at the ugly side of produce. Why should you wash your produce before eating it? Let’s find out.

You always hear about how you must wash your fruits and vegetables. But is this really necessary? Does washing actually do anything beneficial?

The answer is yes. According to Sanja Ilic, an assistant professor and food safety specialist at Ohio State University, rinsing produce helps to get rid of things like microorganisms, soil, and pathogens like E. coli, listeria and salmonella.

But does it get rid of all contaminants?

[Washing produce] is important of course, but it is not perfect,” Ilic told The Huffington Post. “It is not necessarily going to remove everything that’s present. For some fruits and veggies, it is more important.”

Some melons, like cantaloupe have a rough texture on the outside that may foster harder to reach bacteria. It is even more important to thoroughly wash rougher texture fruits and veggies like these.

Sprouts are growing in popularity for their crisp, refreshing taste and high concentration of nutrients. However, because they grow in damp conditions, they have been known to contain pathogens and bacteria.

The Food and Drug Administration highly recommends washing sprouts before consuming them.

Also, vegetables bough in bunches like leafy greens, and fruits like apples and berries should be rinsed with cold water right before consuming them. While washing these types of produce right when you bring them home may sound like a good idea, it may not be. Washing too early “increases moisture and accelerates spoilage, micro flora and mold,” Ilic said.

There are some foods you should try your best to eat organic. Eating organic can be more expensive, and not everyone has the budget. That is why it is important to shop smart, and buy organic where necessary. We published a list of foods you must eat organic to be safe.

It is very important to check what produce contains the most pesticides. Each year, the Environmental Working Group releases a list called ‘dirty dozen’ where they list the top twelve produce with the highest concentration of pesticides.

In 2016, strawberries overtook apples to become number one on the list. The produce on this list should be washed even more thoroughly.

Especially because according to a piece in Scitable, a publication by Nature Education, pesticides may pose some serious health risks:

Pesticides are stored in your colon, where they slowly but surely poison the body. You may not realize this, but when you are eating a non-organic apple, you are also eating over 30 different pesticides that have been sprayed on the apple. Even if you wash a piece of fruit, such as an apple, there are still many pesticides lingering on it and they could have seeped into the fruit or vegetable. Strawberries, apples, carrots, celery, spinach, grapes, apples, cucumbers are just a few types of food that you should not eat if they are not organic because the pesticide level is the highest on them.

After countless studies, pesticides have been linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, ADHD, and even birth defects. Pesticides also have the potential to harm the nervous system, the reproductive system, and the endocrine system. Pesticides can even be very harmful to fetuses because the chemicals can pass from the mother during pregnancy or if a woman nurses her child. Although one piece of fruit with pesticides won’t kill you, if they build up in your body, they can be potentially detrimental to your health and should be avoided as much as possible.

So now you know why you should wash your produce before eating it. Rinsing under cold water is a simple way to do it.

However, if you want to take it a step further, you should use the ECOS Fruit + Veggie Wash from Earth Friendly Products.

The ECOS Fruit + Veggie Wash gets rid of contaminants thoroughly using plant derived ingredients.

Enjoy your fruits and veggies!

Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.

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Top 10 foods you must eat organic.
Dirty Dozen: Top 12 produce with the most pesticides.
Harvard University urges consumers to eat organic.

1. “EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.” EWG. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2017.
2. “The Dangers of Pesticides.” Nature Publishing Group, n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2017.
3. “What Does Washing Fruit And Vegetables Actually Do?The Huffington Post., 16 Mar. 2017. Web. 29 Mar. 2017.

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