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Rinsing Veggies?

Hi! I'm new to gardening, veggies and I'm usually paranoid about tiny microscopic bugs.

I've just harvested my first carrots and radishes. Is rinsing these root veggies with water enough to clean them for direct consumption? Or do I need a vegetable rinser/peel the skin/cook em?


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Super Green Thumb
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I bet lots of new gardeners have concerns like this.

It might help to think about how we got where we are. I don't mean in the last 50 or 100 years. How about the last 50 or 100 generations? More generations of humans lived completely without knowledge of microscopic life than have lived in the few short years since Leeuwenhoek and his microscope.

Ours is a very successful species living in every corner of Earth. For the most part, we got there with a very limited technology.

I always rinse the vegetables that I bring into the kitchen - usually, rinsing them outside first. Store-bought veggies, I may even use dish soap to clean them. Some people have wondered about that but I also use dish soap on my dishes . . . so, this seems reasonable. I may use the same scrubber to clean some veggies that I use for cleaning the dishes. Peel things, yes - most fruits and vegetables I prefer peeled.

Now that I have said all that -- my garden vegetables are wholesome food. I am not nearly as sure that store-bought produce is either wholesome or safe. I am far from sure that processed food is either wholesome or safe.

I am 100% more interested in eating produce from my own garden than elsewhere.

Steve :)
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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Ha! I feel the same way. I think about how many hands the produce in the stores have handled them and where they might have been. How the veggies were processed and shipped and how they were grown....

Some of what I grow in my own garden, I could eat, freshly washed by the rain. :D. Root veggies receive a good dunk in a tub of water to remove any grit, but I wouldn't waste the good nutrients in the peel. Yes you need to wash the dirt off, and it may take repeated washing -- all of which I try to do in the garden so as not to waste the washing water down the drain (I started -- and we had a good discussion in -- a thread about this some time ago). But again, you know what kind of water you are using to do the washing.

In my kitchen, any store-bought produce receives a good soapy wash -- I prefer to use Dr. Bronners Peppermint liquid soap -- and thorough rinse. And even then, I thickly peel off the outer skin of non-organically grown produce.

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The idea of washing the fruits or vegies you buy is to wash off the remaining pesticides or herbicides or any other nasty chemicals that may be used during the growing period. So, wash them with running water is always the best practise.

As for the micro-organism, this is a tricky one. washing will get rid of them, but by how much? no body know. If you cook the vegies, they will be fried and no problem when eaten. But for salad, you hav to be careful.

Wash them until they looks clean, peel if it need be (potatoes, etc). After that, just have faith that you won't get sick. :P

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Super Green Thumb
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If you grow organically, there should be nothing on your garden veggies that would make you sick. Since my carrots tend to be a bit rough, with root hairs, I wash the dirt off and go over them with a vegetable scrub brush. Just water and the scrub brush. Anything from my garden besides the carrots, I just rinse lightly to get dust off and be sure I'm not eating any little spiders or anything. But tomatoes and peppers I have been known to pick and eat in the garden, no rinsing.

As other people have noted, I am more careful about store bought veggies than my garden grown.
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Super Green Thumb
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Root veggies need enough washing to get the dirt off them. Greens I always wash in cold water. Once that is done I have no qualms about eating them fresh from the garden. No further washing, peeling or cooking necessary. You probably have more bacteria in your mouth than on those just rinsed veggies. Not to worry. Bacteria is everywhere.

Occasionally we hear of Salmonella outbreaks from store produce. It is usually caused by unwise use of manure on the crops. This should never be a problem in our home gardens if we compost manure first, or put it on in the fall to let nature work it over by spring.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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