Fruity but still alive

I eat a lot of produce.  In fact, you might call me a “produce eater.”  I understand the importance of washing fresh produce to get rid of the dirt, pesticides, and bacteria that might have taken up their home on my ripe fruit.  But, most things I read just tell me to use water.  Is it just me or does that seem like not enough?  Like, water certianly isn’t going to get rid of bacteria–we MUST use soap on our hands, so why is water sufficent for my food?

I once bought some “fruit wash” at the health food store and used it for a number of months.  I cannot help but wonder what exactly the wash is doing and if, like a cure for halitosis, it is really just a manufactured product for suckers like me.  Is the $5-7 dollars once a month worth it?  Is a bit of dish soap doing much the same thing?

I don’t always use it…and haven’t gotten sick yet.  Maybe I don’t need to even use water at all?

Please advise.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Fruity but still alive

  1. Carly

    Hmm. I remember when I was in grade school, my science teacher told us one year that we ought to use soap (like hand soap) to wash our fruits and vegetables, rather than just water. So, for a while, I did. I don’t really think it made it taste any different (although I’m not sure if Bath and Body Works moisturizing Wild Honeysuckle hand soap would have the same effect as Dial hand soap). Anyway, I stopped doing that, and went back to just water. And on occasion, I don’t even do that. I just give it a quick rub with a paper towel and call it good enough. I figure, I’ve been doing this for 23 years now and I’m not sick. It’s probably fine. But, you’re right– it doesn’t feel like it should be enough. Maybe fruit just has magic bacteria that disappears in water.

  2. Will

    Water should work just fine for fruits, all pesticides are water soluble and should simply wash off. While bacteria might be an issue, water should take care of the vast majority of bacterial cultures on the surface. Your stomach acid will take care of any errant bugs anyway, and you’re more likely to ingest harmful bacteria from your hands than from fruit.

    About hand hygiene “However, in several studies, handwashing with plain soap failed to remove pathogens from the hands of hospital personnel. Handwashing with plain soap can result in paradoxical increases in bacterial counts on the skin.” They mostly remove transient bacteria from your skin. The best way to sanitize is to use an alcohol based wash.

  3. Will

    Here is the website I quoted from, should provide more information that you’ll ever want about hand hygiene.

    http://www.learnwell.org//handhygiene.htm

  4. maschinenbau

    Does anyone else remember learning “the solution to polution is dilution?” +1 for water

    I personally just rub apples on my shirt until my shirt quits changing color (from collecting the wax, gunk, etc from the fruit). Most everything else I eat gets peeled or skinned, or my wife does magic kitchen stuff to it which makes it safe for me to eat.

  5. I’m not a scientist, but I’d be less worried about most bacteria than about pesticides–which as Will tells us, are water soluble.

    Most (albeit some) things can’t hurt you in trace amounts. IE rat poison/parts in peanut butter, mercury/heavy metals in shellfish, viruses, bacteria, and pollution. Your body can handle and dissipate trace amounts of things that would hurt you in high enough amounts. My understanding is that washing your hands isn’t going to create a magical sterile environment on your hands, but kills enough bad stuff so that your immune system can take care of the rest.

  6. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Fishmeal.

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