Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. Your local markets carry a wide variety of nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables. However, harmful bacteria that may be in the soil or water where produce grows can come in contact with fruits and vegetables and contaminate them. Fresh produce may also become contaminated after it is harvested, such as during storage or preparation.
Eating contaminated produce can lead to food borne illness, often called food poisoning.
Veggies and fruits are picked, sorted, thrown on a truck, taken off a truck, sorted again, boxed, and unboxed all before they reach the display case, where they're fondled by other customers before they meet you. Experts estimate 20 people will touch a tomato before you slice it for your salad -- and that's in addition to the animal waste that can mingle with produce on the long journey from farm to table.
Carefully wash all fruits and vegetables before eating, even if you don't plan on eating the skin. When you peel or cut vegetables and fruits, the bacteria from the exterior can travel inside. Keep any prepped veggies, such as sliced tomatoes, at 41 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler until you eat or cook them.
Some vegetables are always sold with some soil on them. It's good practice to remove as much soil as possible when preparing vegetables.
Loose vegetables may involve a bit more preparation than if they are pre-packed, but as long as this is done carefully there is no need to avoid them.
Bear in mind that more heavily soiled vegetables may take longer to prepare for cooking.
It is also important to note that although soil was considered to be the most likely source of the 2011 E. coli contamination, this is not known for certain.
Many commercial farmers and supermarkets use a preserving wax on fresh produce in order to enhance its appearance and give it a longer shelf life. Although the manufacturers of the wax claim that it is a harmless ingredient, studies are beginning to prove otherwise. Soaking your fresh veggies in food wash before packing them away will not only remove this wax; it will also ensure that your veggies taste as good as nature intended them to.
How to Remove Pesticides from Fruits and Vegetables?
Washing fruits and vegetables with 2% of salt water can help in removing most of the pesticide that appears on the surface of fruits.
Make a solution with 10% vinegar and 90% water and soak all your fruits and veggies in them and stir them thoroughly. Be careful while washing fruits with thin peel and berries, as the solution can damage their outer skin.
Keeping your food and vegetable in warm water for a short while can help you remove pesticides and chemicals.
Wash all produce thoroughly under running water before preparing and/or eating, including produce grown at home or bought from a grocery store or farmers’ market. Washing fruits and vegetables with soap, detergent, or commercial produce wash is not recommended.