Since I was a child, my mom always told me to rinse my fruits and veggies. I was never allowed to simply pick a berry from the bush and eat it. I would hold onto it until it could be washed. This followed me through adulthood. In fact, if I see someone who does not wash their freshly picked or store-bought produce, they will hear the same lecture my mother would tell me.
I decided to investigate this a little bit further. Jordan Taylor’s article, “Do You *Really* Need to WashFruit Before You Eat It?” gave me a few answers and brought up a few good points.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you wash your produce to avoid food-borne illnesses like the norovirus, or even E-Coli. Think about it this way, if you are at the store examining the perfect apple to buy, what do you look for? Is it crisp? Shiny? No bruises or dents? It might look simply perfect. But what you do not consider is the fact that it was pulled out of the garden, put on a truck, sent to the store where it is handled by employees and many other customers before you. Physical contaminants like dirt, pebbles, insects andpossibly pesticides are all lingering on this seemingly perfect apple.Here is the unexpected twist; you can still get sick even if you wash your produce. Washing does remove some of the bacteria, but not necessarily all of it. Some bacteria can be deeper in the surface than water can simply not rinse off. However, it is still beneficial to avoid the additional bacteria that water does rinse off!
In conclusion, it can only help you to wash your fruits and veggies and mom was right!