Why Wash Your Fruit and Veg
Market garden and organic produce are as close to nature as it gets. Their skin may come in contact with matters you don’t necessarily want to end up on your plate.
Garden products are covered with microorganisms like yeast and bacteria, and sometimes insects, like worms. Although this is all quite natural, it is best to properly wash our food to avoid consuming these organisms. Also, organic matter such as soil or natural fertilizer could get in contact with food at any stage of picking or distribution.
Should we wash our fruits and vegetables more because of COVID-19? The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food recommends maintaining your good washing habits, so no need to add store-bought cleaning products to your routine.
How to Wash Your Produce
In general, fruits and vegetables should be washed with running water for about 30 seconds and then patted dry just before you enjoy them. Even if you peel them, it is necessary to wash them so that the flesh is not contaminated during slicing. This method is effective for all firm-surface fruits and veg such as root vegetables, melons and citrus fruits. The only exception to this rule is the banana!
If you wish, you could use a fruit and vegetable spray cleaner or easily make one homemade. Vinegar and baking soda are two natural products that will effectively clean your fresh produce. Just add a small amount of vinegar or baking soda to a basin full of water, and submerge and rub your food in it. Let them soak for a few minutes and then rinse with fresh water to remove any traces of the cleaner.
And what about conservation?
There are certain exceptions to this method of washing:
Berries and small fruits: these are fragile, so it is best to gently wash them with water just before consumption
Leafy vegetables and herbs: wash them ahead of time and keep them wrapped in a damp cloth in the fridge
Mushrooms: You can wash them under running water, but their texture may change. It is, therefore, preferable to rub them gently with a damp cloth or a soft brush.
Hungry for more? Discover our market this way!