Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How Do You Wash Your Fruits and Veggies ? (A Great Guide!)

How you wash vegetables and fruits? Organic or non-organic, the washing process is important to kill bacteria, dirt (and pesticides on non-organics).
Women's Health Magazine published a great guide:

Does it have edible skin? 
Think: apples, peaches, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers 

Scrub under running water for 30 to 60 seconds. "Running water helps remove most bacteria," explains Brendan Niemira, Ph.D., lead scientist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service. Scrubbing with a vegetable brush or your fingers (to avoid bruising softer fruit like peaches) will help eliminate stubborn hangers-on. 

Does it have a peel? 
Think: melons, oranges, and yes, even bananas 

Use a vegetable brush or an unused toothbrush on the peel under running water for 30 to 60 seconds. The bristles can reach into crevices on textured skins, where dirt hides. Why bother washing it if you're not biting into it? "Microbes from the fruit's skin can spread to the flesh when you touch it with your hands or a knife," says Alfred Bushway, Ph.D., a professor of food science at the University of Maine. And even if you washed your hands, the 20 people who handled that fruit before you may not have. 

Does it grow in a bunch? 
Think: berries, grapes 

Cut off stalks and stems where dirt can hide, dump the fruit into a colander, and hose down with your sink's spray nozzle for at least 60 seconds. (A too-brief rinse will redistribute the dirt, not remove it, according to tests conducted by Alan Johnson at Northeast Laboratories in Connecticut.) Patting the fruit dry with paper towels will further cut down on bacteria, says Sandria Godwin, Ph.D., a professor at Tennessee State University. 

Is it leafy? 
Think: spinach, lettuce (even prewashed mixes) 

Discard the outer leaves and run the rest under cold water for 30 to 60 seconds. Dry with a salad spinner or blot with paper towels. Prewashed mixes are FDA-approved for eating straight from the container, but Godwin discovered "huge differences" in how well various brands of bagged greens were cleaned. So don't wait for a recall—take a few minutes to wash it yourself.

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