Most people, especially those who aren’t regularly occupied in food preparation, will eat their grapes, apples or nuts right from their container. This could be a recipe for illness and disease.
If you are interested in keeping yourself safe from the bacteria, viruses, and toxins that are laced on some of your favorite foods, read on to learn more about why you should wash them.
Which Foods Should You Wash?
There are some foods that obviously need to be washed thoroughly before eating. For instance a head of lettuce or bunch of spinach; These vegetables could have residual dirt or other particles that don’t just alter the eating experience, they could cause digestive problems.
1. Fruits and Vegetables with Edible Skins
Many green, leafy veggies – kale, collard greens, broccoli, etc. – can contain dirt, sand, pebbles and even the occasional live insect.
Even fruits featuring a tasty, edible skin should be washed thoroughly. A quick bath in vinegar water, or a vinegar water spritz and towel dry, is a great option for apples, pears, peaches and other fruits with edible skins.
According to the information provided by the FDA, washing food before eating it can help to reduce the ingestion of food- borne illness. Norovirus is one of the most common food-borne viruses and the most common culprit in disease outbreaks in the US.
Some of the symptoms caused by this especially unpleasant virus include stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.
2. Fruits and Vegetables with Inedible Skin
You may think that if you’re going to peel your apples, carrots or cucumbers, you won’t have to go through the trouble of washing their skin.
Fruits like cucumbers, pumpkins and watermelon spend most of their life ripening in an agricultural setting that’s rife with pesticides, rodenticides and food-borne toxins that can cause diseases. If you peel your fruits and veggies without washing them first, all these pathogens could be passed inside and then reach your dietary tract.
3. Tin Cans
Even though you aren’t going to eat the can, the lid prevents all the bacteria from entering the food sealed inside. The tops of these packaged food items need to be washed before you open them.
While the food industry has tight regulations about sanitation in their production facilities, the transportation industry is all about speed and efficiency.
You never know if that can of soda was sitting next to a festering dumpster for several hours before being shipped to your local store. Be sure to wash off the outside of any packaged foods – especially tin and aluminum canned goods – to prevent whatever is on the outside from reaching what’s inside.
4. Nuts & Dried Fruits
Nuts and dried fruits can be sourced from all over the planet and there is no telling where these foods have been and for how long.
Nuts and dried fruits may have been kept in less than sanitary conditions or exposed to harmful agricultural chemicals and pesticides.
Unless you are buying organic produce with clear directions that the contents have been washed and are ready to eat, you may want to consider washing these foods.