Organic Fruits and Vegetables: Should we wash them or not?

Organic Fruits and Vegetables: Should we wash them or not?

Organic Fruits and Vegetables: Should we wash them or not?

Many people these days are looking for products that have been produced organically, biologically and without the addition of pesticides or other enhancers. This is an attempt to reduce the chemicals that enter our house and therefore our dinner table. Additionally, organic fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants that are not found on many other products. Unlike conventional vegetables and fruits, organic is not perfect in appearance and unfortunately this predisposes the ‘non-aware’ consumer negatively rather than positively. If something does not look aesthetically perfect, the more likely it is that nature has put its hand in its development without any change by humans, which should be much appreciated and not rejected.

 Why Should We Prefer Organic Products?

Organic, biologic products are produced without chemicals. This is very important, as they are intended for consumption and many times in their raw form. Accordingly, a fruit or vegetable that has been treated with a large amount of chemicals is much more dangerous to consume, with respect to the corresponding organically cultured product. Simultaneously, nature is burdened by the many chemicals and complex culture procedures used. Therefore, by choosing organic fruits and vegetables we relieve the planet and promote a friendlier attitude towards the environment.

The question that arises now relates to organic products and if you need to wash them before consumption. Should we wash a fruit or a vegetable before consumption, even though it has grown organically?

 Wash or Not?

Although opinions differ, it is important to know that washing is desired. Even in organic fruits and vegetables, there is soil that can stay attached on them during collection and transportation. Furthermore, there are insects that might be resting on the fruit or vegetable that is intended for us to consume. Therefore, clean water is a powerful ally in our cleanliness.

On the other hand, thorough washing with detergents or even bleach is unnecessary in the case of organically cultivated products. Since there are no pesticides or other chemicals that should concern us, the risk of putting chemicals on an organic fruit or vegetable would be irrational. Therefore, very often, consumers feel confused and end up not washing the products they buy.

 What if I am unable to wash something before consuming it?

If you cut a fruit from a tree or if you visit an organic garden and are prompted to pick the products you need yourself, the dilemma is not so intense. You may very well try out such a fruit or vegetable, even if you are unable to wash it. The only thing you risk to consume is a tiny percentage of soil, along with the delicious fruit you selected. Rightly or wrongly, our body is accustomed to consuming such substances. Therefore, you will not get sick or put your body at risk.

Always keep in mind that the organic cultivated foods are extremely beneficial to humans. If you can, wash all fruits and vegetables with water – if not, enjoy the fruits of nature without guilt!

Anna Cortesi
Registered Dietitian, Clinical Nutritionist
Personal Nutrition Coach
www.anacortesi.com

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