A Few Myths About Washing Produce

No, you don't need produce wash
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2015 5:30 PM CST

(Newser) – Obsessed with using produce wash, or cavalier about biting into unwashed organic fruits and veggies? Modern Farmer dispels a few myths about cleaning produce:

  • "Produce wash is a must": Yes, produce wash claims to destroy more bacteria, but the Center for Food Safety reports that tap water is as good or better.
  • "Organic and homegrown produce is clean": Uh, no. Organic farms may control conditions, but people still feel those apples in grocery stores. As for homegrown, play it safe and wash unless you irrigate with drinking water and are "confident in your soil quality."
  • "Prewashed lettuce needs re-washing": Nightmare exceptions aside, don't bother. Just make sure that pre-washed produce isn't contaminated by your messy cutting board.
  • "All veggies with skins need peeling": No, but you might get a produce brush to wash them.
  • "Wash produce the second you get home": Only if you're super-obsessive, but then wash again before eating. Problem is, washed produce may spoil faster and all produce can grow bacteria while stored.

Read what Modern Farmer says about mold, or see the Philadelphia Inquirer's advice on how to avoid food poisoning at home.

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