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How to Wash Produce and Why

The Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen
According to the Environmental Working Group, the following are the dirtiest and the cleanest fruits and vegetables with regard to their pesticide load.

These dirty fruits and veggies may take more than a soak and a gentle scrubbing to make them safe to eat. In fact, you might want to buy organic when it comes to these items:

1. Peaches
2. Apples
3. Sweet bell peppers
4. Celery
5. Nectarines
6. Strawberries
7. Cherries
8. Kale
9. Lettuce
10. Imported grapes
11. Carrots
12. Pears

On the flip side, this list comprises what’s considered the cleanest produce, though I still recommend washing each of these thoroughly:

1. Onions
2. Avocados
3. Sweet corn
4. Pineapples
5. Mangoes
6. Asparagus
7. Sweet peas
8. Kiwi
9. Cabbage
10. Eggplant
11. Papayas
12. Watermelon
13. Broccoli
14. Tomatoes
15. Sweet potatoes

Now that you know how to clean your food, you can start doling out advice like Produce Pete from The Daily Show. But whatever you do, pass it on. This is one bit of knowledge that’s important for all of us.

Read more: Basics, Diet & Nutrition, Food, General Health, Green Kitchen Tips, , , ,

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+ add your own
8:13PM PDT on Sep 24, 2012

good info thanks

1:25PM PDT on Jun 1, 2012

I recently realized you have to wash everything, even kiwis cuz when you peel them, the germs get inside..

washing whole heads of lettuce and cabbage is a pita..

washing an onion?

10:06AM PDT on Apr 11, 2012


2:52AM PDT on Oct 11, 2011

Thank you.

11:44AM PDT on Oct 7, 2011

The fact that she recommends washing your hands with antibacterial soap before cleaning your veggies negates anything she says.

11:01AM PDT on Oct 7, 2011

I always add vinegar to the water I wash my vegetables in and then give one or two more rinses in clear water, If some veggies have a lot of bugs, I use salt instead and the bugs will float free.

5:02AM PDT on May 28, 2011

Thanks for sharing the great info.

2:50PM PDT on May 3, 2011

Thanks. Very good information.

12:37PM PDT on Apr 6, 2011

Thanks for the information Mel. I wondered also about the antibacterial soap, as I have read it will damage fish. Also I have found with mushrooms that they get rubbery if water is used?

11:44AM PDT on Sep 7, 2010

Some interesting information there, thank you.
eg, I thought water would spoil the mushrooms.
Also some interesting comments :)

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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