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From the Kitchens of Pancho Villa has been awarded the honor of "WINNER" in the "Cookbooks: International" category of the 2014 International Book Awards!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Fruits and Vegetables, How to Wash

For at least the last 25 years I have been obsessed, yes, I think that is the word for it, with washing my fruits and vegetables with soap and water before I put them in the fridge.

Many years ago I was headed into the grocery store to do my usual weekly shopping. In the parking lot I passed a woman who was changing her baby's poopie diaper in her car before she went into the store. It was obviously a poopie diaper by the way the mother had to repeatedly wipe the bum to remove the residue.

I happened to meet a friend while I was close to the mother's car. We stopped to chat before I continued into the store. For some odd reason, I watched the mother finish her duty, pick up her baby and start for the store. She didn't use baby wipes for her hands so I assumed she would go to the restroom to wash her hands. Well, I was wrong!

My friend and I had just finished chatting and I walked into the store behind the mother. She put her baby in the cart and headed for the produce section of the store. Wait, the restroom is on the other side by the greeting cards!!! Not only did she not wash her hands or disinfect them, but she started handling fresh fruit! Holy crap! (sorry about that) I did my shopping and from that day to present, I wash all of my fruits and veggies with soap and water! Bananas, apples, pineapple, potatoes, even broccoli!

I use a mixture of dish soap and water on a clean sponge or cloth. Scrub it all around and rinse it. The broccoli is a little different. I put some soap and water in a large plastic bowl and swish it around, rubbing the top of the florets. Then rinse it very well under running water. You are not using enough soap to taint the flavor and because you are rinsing immediately, your family won't even know you used soap.

As back-up for my way of thinking, here is an article from USA Today that I am including.

Think about all the different people who have handled your produce. From farm workers to packers to retailers to customers. How many of those had a cold and coughed or sneezed on your food. Pretty disgusting to think about. You can protect your family by taking this one small precaution.

Kind of sure if you went to the bathroom before handling food, you would use soap to wash your hands not just rinse them under running water! 

Here are some more experiences from the readers and followers of this blog.  We may all learn something from them.  That is, after all, the reason we are here!

Leslie writes:
To be honest, this is a great idea, and we do it too!
I used to work at a grocery store, and aside from the 'known' cart problems, what you aren't seeing is what happens IN the produce back room. I've seen entire crates of tomatoes or heads of lettuce being dropped onto the floor. Floors that are covered with dirty water, other rotting produce material and lord knows what else. It is then picked up, and put right back into the crate and hauled out and put on the shelves. Yep...after seeing that...EVERYTHING gets a soap and water bath! And doing that, really helps on broccoli. Those little worms tend to let go quickly while they're trying to hide among the florets, sneakly lil buggars! :)

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