Do you have to wash all fruits and vegetables you bring into the kitchen, or are there some you can skip? It’s well known that produce can harbor harmful bacteria and viruses, including the germs from the hands of anyone who touched it before it reaches your shopping bag, Hobbert notes on Chowhound. Washing it with a 10 percent vinegar solution is more effective than rinsing alone, Chemicalkinetics says, though it does leave a smell you’ll want to rinse away.

You should wash fruits and vegetables with inedible rinds (melons, say), latindancer explains. When a knife comes into contact with the rind or peel, it spreads surface bacteria to the interior.

Besides biological contaminants, pesticides can linger on fruit and vegetables, even if they’re organic, CanadaGirl says. Most organics are treated with natural pesticides you’ll want to wash off. Apples usually have a shiny coating of wax, which is perfectly natural, Chemicalkinetics says, but you’ll want to wash it off along with any dirt or bacteria clinging to it.

And if you think you’re safe because you’re roasting your vegetables to a temperature no microorganism could survive, think again. Those veggies could harbor dirt and grit, and nobody wants to feel like their dental work is being sandblasted, sunshine842 says.

Discuss: Washing Fruits and Vegetables

Photo by Flickr member loco’s photos under Creative Commons

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