In the America, less and less fruit and vegetables are sprayed with pesticides and pesticides to prevent pests and diseases in our food. Still, it is wise to keep washing your food properly.
Many fruits and vegetables that you find in Dutch supermarkets come from abroad. And there are often less strict health rules. It is also better to rinse organic crops before eating them. Although they do not contain pesticides, they can contain bacteria and parasites.
It is therefore wise to (continue to) scrub your fruit and vegetables before you eat them. But how do you actually do that?
The best time
Sometimes fruit and vegetables can also contain bacteria and viruses, such as E. coli, salmonella and listeria. According to the US Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (FDA), contaminated food makes 48 million people sick every year. Fortunately, you can protect yourself well by washing your fruits and vegetables well before consuming them. The best time to do this, according to nutritionist Karina Heinrich, is right before you eat. “It is not wise to wash the products and then store them again. Bacteria love moist places, so when you wash the products and keep them for a while, new diseases can develop. Moreover, too much moisture can cause fruit and vegetables to spoil faster. ”
The first step, according to the FDA’s Marc Sanchez, is to make sure you yourself are free of bacteria. “Start by washing your hands well with soap or water, which will ensure that no microbes are transferred from your hands to the fresh produce,” says Sanchez. “When washing, use running water and rub your hands vigorously over the fruits and vegetables to remove dirt and micro-organisms from the surface. For products with a hard skin or a solid surface, you can use a vegetable brush if necessary. In addition, it is wise to avoid hot water. This can ensure that micro-organisms can reach the stem or the end of the vegetable. ”
Do you really want to make sure your food is free from pesticides? Then, according to nutritionist Heinrich, it is best to not only wash the products with water, but a little baking powder.to use. “Rinsing fruit under the kitchen faucet can remove dirt, but a lot of research shows that adding baking soda to the water is the best way to eliminate pesticide residues. Use a vegetable brush when washing products with a thick skin and throw away the outer leaves of vegetables such as cabbage and lettuce before washing. ” The best way to wash your fruits and vegetables with baking soda is to first clean the counter and then fill it with cold water. Then sprinkle four tablespoons of baking powder over it. “Then soak your food in it for five minutes, rinse with cold water and pat dry,” explains Heinrich. “It is better to let berries or other soft fruit soak less long, because otherwise they will become too moist.
Products with the highest risk
Although it is generally wise to wash all fruit and vegetables carefully, according to Heinrich there are a number of products that deserve extra attention. “You should wash lettuce in particular. Preferably even three times. In addition, the Environmental Working Group has made a list of fruits and vegetables that have the greatest risk of carrying residues of pesticides. Products from that list are: strawberries, spinach , kale, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery and potatoes. More than 90% of the strawberries, apples, cherries, spinach, nectarines, and kale tested positive for residues of two or more pesticides. In fact, 18 different types of pesticides were found in kale. ”