Do You Have To Wash Produce Before Peeling It?

Vegetables and fruits are an important part of the American diet. According to a study published in AHA Journals, there is quantifiable proof that eating 5 servings per day of fruits and vegetables yields a lower risk of death. Translation: Eat your fruits and vegetables if you want to live longer. And while most people accept the necessity of eating produce, actually incorporating these foods into daily meals can be a challenge. But that's not the only struggle.

Additionally, once you become a regular fruit and veggie eater, Healthline reveals many people must confront the question of whether or not to remove the peels. As the site points out, the peels contain many essential vitamins and minerals, but the peels of these fruits and vegetables can vary wildly. Some can have undesirable textures like pineapples, garlic, and avocados. Still, others just taste downright blah and bitter. And even worse, some have peels that can be covered in wax or dirt and need a scrub. But if you decide not to eat the peels of vegetables and fruits, do you still need to clean them before peeling them?

Don't use soap or bleach

According to the Centers for Disease Control, if you are not washing your fruits and vegetables before you peel them, you are increasing your risk of consuming grimy dirt and germs. The CDC explains that peels can be a cesspool for microorganisms and if you don't wash your produce before you peel it, some of those microbes can make their way to the juicy flesh of your fruits and vegetables. The good news is washing the skins is relatively easy, and you can even involve the kiddos to accomplish this task.

How should you go about washing the peels? The CDC warns that you want to shun the temptation to use any type of soap or bleach. Instead, the health organization recommends simply giving your fruits and veggies a shower under the kitchen faucet, and that is true regardless if you are peeling or not peeling. You can also use a vegetable brush on some of those produce items with thicker, heartier skins. The FDA also says you want to dry off your produce after you wash it. The government agency explains that a paper towel will do the trick and help to further rid your vegetable and fruit skins of any lingering bacteria.