By: Nick Thomas
Due to our world changing so much recently, we are all much more conscious of germs, washing our hands, and especially what we put in our mouths. You may have been washing your produce for years, or you may have never really given it a second thought until now. Either way, let’s think it through and discuss the reality of how best to handle our produce.
Depending on the farming practices it has been grown in, most produce would be completely healthy to eat right off the plant standing in the garden; however, VERY few of us have this as a true and consistent option, so we need to evaluate our methods.
Let’s start with the many things which are now sprayed on our fruits and vegetables to either keep pests away or to help preserve them throughout the shipping process. While these may not be truly “harmful,” they are not helping our bodies and would probably be best not ingested. Also, just take a moment and think of how many hands, machines, and containers have touched the produce since it left the fields. At minimum, you know it’s been picked, and sorted, and then placed on the shelves… and that does not even take into account how many shoppers have put their hands on it while looking for their perfect choice.
Assuming you now definitely see the need to wash your produce, it is important to know how to do so most effectively. Many different ways have been suggested through the years as to how this can be accomplished; you can choose the one you feel is best. There are several “produce wash” products on the market which will work, and there is some validity to using a mix of vinegar and water; however, in all honesty simply washing your produce with tap water is very effective. The key here with whichever method you choose is to make sure you do not splash other areas while you wash. It is also worth noting that the surfaces and utensils you use to prepare your produce should be well cleaned before use.
Finally, something you may not have thought about in all this is the timing in which you wash your produce. You may feel that washing your fruits and veggies as soon as you get home from the store is best, or it may simply fit your family’s meal prep routine and schedule best. This is not a bad idea, but remember that if you choose to wash it and then put it away, you should thoroughly dry it off first. If it is left wet, it will tend to ruin much faster.
Remember that eating all-natural whole foods is always best, fresh produce being at the top of the list. Your body will thank you for keeping those greens in regular rotation, and if you feel your sweet tooth calling, reach for some fresh fruit. Keeping good nutrition is vital to staying healthy. When your body is fueled correctly with plenty of water intake, you not only have more energy and feel better, you actually are helping boost your immune system! In a time where sickness is running rampant, one of the best things you can do is make sure your nutrition stays on point!
By: Nick Thomas
Owner of Prime Performance Training, and Certified Sports Nutritionist