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Produce Bathing and You!

JimersonJimerson Super JPilot Point, TXPosts: 243 admin

I read an article today about vegetable washing. I had previously never give it much of a thought, other than thoroughly rinsing πŸ₯•πŸšΏ most things off (like, I don't wash my onions) before preparing them for cooking.

This was the article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/voraciously/wp/2019/05/31/yes-you-need-to-wash-your-produce-heres-how

If you have got expanded knowledge of vegetable washing please share your wisdom. Especially concerning πŸ„ mushrooms. I hate rinsing them so much because some of them can get so soggy! 😬


  • H_DH_D Posts: 391 ✭✭✭

    I rinse most things quickly in vinegar and water or a cap full of bleach in a sink of water (that we began in the very early 80's.) .from produce that doesnt come from me....mushrooms are tricky I just try to brush what I can off by hand dry then a quick soak before cooking.

    With that said, my opinion on conventional produce washing is..... it's pointless . all you are doing is washing he surface..all the dangers from pesticides and insecticides have already been absorbed by the produce itself om so many levels during growth ... plus you are washing the beneficial stuff off too. Also..organic produce rarely has anything growing on it like salmonella or something similar.

    Happy healing


  • Ruth Ann ReyesRuth Ann Reyes Managing Director TGN Shy of the Chi - Zone 5bPosts: 325 admin

    Hmmm...I dunno. I'm not convinced. Have you guys ever listened to Dr. Zach Bush speak?

  • JimersonJimerson Super J Pilot Point, TXPosts: 243 admin

    @Heather Duro Yeah all the washing in the world won't remove the bad stuff inside!

    @Ruth Reyes-Loiacano Got a link to a specific talk? I'm interested!!

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 2,461 admin

    Washing is good because it takes excess grit, bugs and handling bacteria off. But...this is the Washington Post, and it is known that news stories are not always accurate.

    First article flaw: Certainly wash pre-washed veggies! The article says don't bother. These can certainly have bacteria growth. In fact, most of the veggie recalls that I have seen are bagged and often pre-washed, and strangely enough, often from California or Mexico.

    Second flaw: You cannot wash off pesticides. These go throughout the plant. It is how they are designed. It is a commonly believed fallacy saying that you can wash them off of any plant material. Some say "greater concentrations stay in the peel, just peel it"...that may be, but it will not all stay there. Just look at how that is worded for one.

    Third pisdible flaw: I am not sure wiping them with a paper towel/dishcloth will remove more. In fact, it could add more. When you sterilize jars for canning or even dry your dishes, it is recommended not to dry them with anything. Air drying is preferable. Restaurants never dry with anything after a dishwasher has sterilized them with piping hot water.

    I wash mushrooms with cold running water to wash off the (sterilized) horse manure, the same way that I wash eggs (however in that case, warm water @ 11°C warmer than the egg is recommended). I don't submerge either food item.

    Some store bought potatoes are often treated with a growth suppression chemical. I assume that it will not just be surface bound either on that thin skin and I would not trust industry info on that. I don't know if in that case peeling makes any difference.

    Vinegar at high concentrations (a double strength cleaning vinegar, 10%) has been proven to kill salmonella & other bacteria. It has to be strong to kill and left on for a period of time. For this reason, I use straight cleaning vinegar to clean my own farm eggs before a final rinse, and on hard-shelled produce such as watermelon. I could use it on other produce too in the same way (straight), come to think of it.

    Of note, I heard of a study that claimed that the best probiotic is found in soil...obviously non-chemically treated (so, fully natural) soil. Society washes & sanitizes everything too much (store produce instead of homegrown, pasteurized milk vs. raw, etc.) and so we no longer take in the natural probiotics that we would otherwise. Just something to keep in mind. 😊

    Want to be healthy? Go eat dirt! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  • Marjory WildcraftMarjory Wildcraft ✭✭✭ Posts: 909 admin
  • JimersonJimerson Super J Pilot Point, TXPosts: 243 admin

    @Marjory Wildcraft I love that video! Was it actually THE Kramer?!

  • Ruth Ann ReyesRuth Ann Reyes Managing Director TGN Shy of the Chi - Zone 5bPosts: 325 admin
    edited June 2019

    @Jimerson this podcast is a good overview of his research...It starts getting good just past 15 minutes thru 35 minutes. At least, that is where the info I'm referring to is discussed.

    Basically, it goes something like this - he figured out that there is a bacteria in soil that looked a like a chemotherapy he had developed. This lead him to the realization that the 'medicinal' part of our food must have been missing. Which led him to learn that glyphosate is essentially a water soluble antibiotic, which is killing the bacteria and fungi in the soil and thus killing our guts...leading to a vertical spike in disease since the heavy introduction of the chemical.

    Where it really starts to get interesting for me is how that has cause a mono-culture in our gut microbiome and how lacking specific bacteria is almost like a plug and play for specific disease, condition, allergy, etc. Absolutely fascinating and has closed so many loops for me!

    I hope you have a listen!

  • Ruth Ann ReyesRuth Ann Reyes Managing Director TGN Shy of the Chi - Zone 5bPosts: 325 admin

    Yeah, this Doctor that I'm referring to in the post above believes taking a probiotic supplements are only perpetuating a mono-culture in our gut microbiome. Of course, he's all for fermented foods, etc. But, he recommends getting as much biome into your life as possible - ie: run around barefoot, pull weeds, eat some dirt on your veggies, hug your neighbor, pet your dog... πŸ˜€

    It's absolutely fascinating how bacteria actually works with our bodies to promote health and proper function ... and all we've done is try to sterilize it. Makes perfect sense to me why we are so sick as a result.

  • JimersonJimerson Super J Pilot Point, TXPosts: 243 admin
  • Ruth Ann ReyesRuth Ann Reyes Managing Director TGN Shy of the Chi - Zone 5bPosts: 325 admin

    Right! I don't own a single antibacterial soap...and I'll spare you the details of the other practices I follow! πŸ˜πŸ˜†πŸ˜…πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜

  • H_DH_D Posts: 391 ✭✭✭

    for the most part I agree with Dr Bush, for the record we do a lot of micro-biome work in our clinic..it truly is like @Ruth Reyes-Loiacano says closes MANY health loops people have no other explanation for or issues that arent fixed any other way) which is why I said I wash that which isnt my own..you just never know what is on that crap you get with store bought stuff..even organic from the farmers market, simply never know. Stuff I grow myself, in my own yard where I know whats going on I dont usually wash.

    @Jimerson I am proud to say I have not once ever purchased or used anything remotely like purell lol

  • ines871ines871 zn8APosts: 1,401 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2019

    Having been raised in Germany in the mountains on a farm, naturally all Organic... we never washed a thing, lol - I kid you not, eating a bit of Healthy dirt is Good for our Immune system. - Don't want to make anyone go Ewww!, but us kids as babies used to be allowed to Freely explore the world by sitting in the dirt, I mean healthy soil, & when a fat juicy worm came near, it too got explored. How do babies do that? - They stick it in their mouth. - Heck, I snapped a picture when my 1st. baby did just that: sat in the Tractor tire tracks, & chomped down that worm with the biggest grin on her face. - so you say isn't that child-abuse? - Are you kidding? it made her Immune system stronger... We went barefoot everywhere too.

    But America I found is another story on so many levels. And yet, I rarely wash anything here either. Why? - the stuff people here call "food" grown in literally tons... of every sort of "-cide" incldg. insecticides & pesticides are all POISONS for our own microbiome, making any washings pointless... Because during the entire life of whatever you are eating, all it has known is those poisons... <- That is why, amongst other reasons it is essential to be growing as much of our own food as we can.

  • H_DH_D Posts: 391 ✭✭✭

    @ines871 Id go as far to say and this is a bit off topic, a new born infant, dont clean that one off too fast either ;) I agree, when the dirt was full of the good stuff and none of the bad stuff nothing had to be washed, but these days I simply dont trust anyone more than myself. So, while Ill wash others produce (even organic and locally grown organic and take care of my own micro-biome using supplements and fermented foods to cover whatever is missing ..if I grew it in the black gold I made then Ill eat the dirt if it tags along with the food ;)


  • ines871ines871 zn8APosts: 1,401 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Agreed on the Home-births, Heather: No c-section, + wait to cut the cord, + let that wonderful Vernix caseosa be absorbed by baby's skin for two days, before giving it its 1st. bath, - But after near-death abuse, the blessing of the vernix was forceably removed.

    You have a point there Heather. - Up to now, been merely Rinsing with water that Farmer's Market stuff called food, as I don't like the idea of using diluted bleach on them. Just continue rinsing... is that okay ?

  • GrammyprepperGrammyprepper Mamaw, retired RN, jack of all trades master of none Zone 5BPosts: 172 ✭✭✭

    Like many of you, I don't do much of anything to clean my own home grown produce, nor that of my neighbor who shares, as we are like minded and we share gardening philosiphies. Purchased produce does get a vinegar and water wash. Potatoes get a good scrubbing with a scrub brush since I don't know the soil they've been grown in.

  • H_DH_D Posts: 391 ✭✭✭

    @ines871 you still need something to cut through whatever may be lying there. however maybe use a capful of colloidal silver for pathogens or vinegar should work. water alone isnt going to do the trick, I should note too, using city water to wash produce is useless as well ;)

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 2,461 admin

    I am going to follow this rabbit trail a bit further. This is a topic that I am madly passionate about.

    I had all my 5 babies at home, 2 were in water. Most were officially unattended due to legislating midwifery (a huge mistake) and the fact that I wasn't in the city, so wasn't "eligible" for home birth. I was too "old" too (never had issues though) and was told to doctor. I really didn't meet the govt's criteria...fully stupid. But, with that coming in, it pushed me to be even more knowledgeable than I had been. I worked my midwives out of a job...which is what women are supposed to do, so my traditional midwives said. I still had knowledgeable, supportive women, and my husband present. He loved the excitement of it all. He would grin a stupid grin and I would scowl. I had work to do! πŸ˜‚

    I am now prepared to help my daughters (and hopefully my DILs)...as it should be. I have stacks of books and papers. There is something to be said about those beginning moments...in every way. They should not be stolen from women, fathers and babies when there is no emergency. Ever. It is the best empowerment in the world!

    Sterilization of everything surrounding and then getting whatever bacteria from the foreign people around them, and the hospital...that is certainly no good. Getting family bacteria is certainly the best. 😊

    We left cords on until the blood stopped pumping and all that (even up to 1 1/2 hours for one), but never read about keeping the vernix on to be absorbed. That is interesting. I knew it was good stuff, though. I need to do more reading!

    My babies were fully term (no doctors stole them early as they like to do on a common basis), so there was little vernix left as far as I remember...and I don't remember it getting washed off. You see more of the vernix when the baby isn't really term. A wash was super gentle & more to remove some of other birth gunk than anything.

    I will turn back on this rabbit trail now though. I could keep following it...πŸ˜ƒ

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 2,461 admin

    So now that I have come back off the rabbit trail, haha...on the topic of even the slightest bit of bleach on food, it kills everything and it lingers on surfaces a very long time. If you are using bleach, even diluted, you are ingesting poison. It will not just wash back off the surface. It is not innert. It will continue to kill bacteria inside your body. Strong vinegar at full strength will kill bacteria and is probably your best bet for washing off anything...but it still won't get rid of the chemicals. Nothing does.

    Those chemicals are in (throughout) the plant as @ines871 said, at all stages of growth. We see this around us literally almost constantly, so it seems. We are in the middle of farm country and the sprays are getting more potent & more plentiful each year. They will spray right in front of us if we happen not to get inside in time. I and my kids have had it happen numerous times. We showered, but I am sure that was not enough. :( We breathed it in anyway.

    They say don't go out until 72 hours after a spray. We would never see the outdoors then. We wait 24 hrs for play outdoors & if the wind carries it away from our yard after application, we go out. Either way, we still have chores to do and can't fully wait even 24 hours. In the heat of summer, we can't stay in this hot house with windows closed either.

    The spray travels miles on the wind too. If you think you are eating organic...it may be closer to organic, but nothing truly is that anymore, sadly, when you consider what is carried in all layers of the air. Even if I grow our own food...technically it is far enough away from the spray to be considered organic, but it still gets it.

    The farmers wont give us a heads up before they spray. They actually get angry and indignant if you do much as whisper that thought. I love winter & early spring the best, because the air is free of the farm chemicals.

    I truly think the spray and the propaganda damages the courtesy and sense part of their brain. It is no longer common to have either in farming. It is frustrating. Even knowing two chemical farmers with non-hodgkins lymphoma...only one recognizes what caused it.

    Well, down a rabbit trail and now on a soap box. Wow, what a busy morning. 😞 Jumping off my soap box now. Sorry all.

  • Karyn PenningtonKaryn Pennington Posts: 71 ✭✭✭

    Me too, I totally agree with Marjory, ines871 and others. I rarely wash my own produce, but I do use an organic produce spray for things from the store. We're buying less and less (Yay!), but we did just get some grapes with that powdery feel to them and I sprayed and rinsed those.

    But yes, dirt is good for you, especially, your own organic dirt that you keep improving. People are losing their immune systems because they don't eat enough dirt!

  • Leslie CarlLeslie Carl Posts: 262 ✭✭✭✭

    @Jimerson as far as washing mushrooms; you can gently wipe them with a clean towel or if you want to be more thorough, you could use a mushroom brush and gently brush them, do a quick rinse and pat dry with a clean towel or paper towel. Those are the only 2 methods I could find that are used by chefs.

    I've also read that there are studies showing that baking soda is more effective than bleach or vinegar at removing pesticides on the surface and even under the skin. Baking soda can help break apart pesticide molecules. But it cannot penetrate as far in as some pesticides do, so it is not a 100% removal solution. Still, it gets the majority, which is definitely needed.

    Here's a quote from one of the articles about baking soda found here - https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-pesticides-apples-idUSKBN1CW2KV

    "Using super-sensitive, high-tech tests, the researchers checked on and within the apple for pesticides and measured pesticide concentration within plant tissue. Rinsing the fruit in the baking soda solution for 12 minutes was most effective for removing thiabendazole, they found, while a 15-minute baking soda rinse was most effective for getting rid of phosmet."

    "Some of the pesticide passed beyond the apple’s surface, with thiabendazole going four times deeper than phosmet. None of the washing methods could fully remove the residue."

    When I wash my store bought veggies, I also spray them with colloidal silver and let them sit for 5 minutes before rinsing, which will mitigate any bacteria, fungus or viral pathogens that the food may have come in contact with while being handled by others.

    This is the recipe I like to use for veggie wash:

    1 cup of water

    ½ cup of vinegar

    2 tsp. baking soda

    2 tsp. salt (dissolve completely)

    ½ cup colloidal silver

    Salt is also good at pulling out any microscopic bugs while the vinegar is good at breaking down any waxy substances.

  • Obiora EObiora E Posts: 519 ✭✭✭✭

    I don't wash off much of anything before cooking or eating, especially not something that I grew and harvested or foraged. If I do it may to wash off some of the dirt on it but otherwise no.

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