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Learn How to Wash Vegetables the Right Way - 24 Mantra Organic
Ways to Keep Your Vegetables Fresh and Clean Especially During This Pandemic
The COVID-19 outbreak has ushered in some tough times for all of us. Due to the restriction on movement and lockdowns, shopping for groceries is no longer a spontaneous activity. One needs to prepare lists, plan routes, make minimum trips, and stock up. Amongst all these things, fresh produce has taken quite a hit. You can no longer enjoy your local sabzi mandi and have to learn how to wash vegetables.
How to Wash Vegetables: Why Should You Care?
You may have read by now that food cannot transmit viruses. It is primarily the aerosol droplets that spread Coronavirus. So why should you go through the pains of understanding how to wash vegetables and implementing the tips?
For starters, raw fruits and vegetables can be carriers for pathogens. Consider the case of diarrhoea or E.Coli infections, which are fairly common. Since in the case of Coronavirus, we are more concerned about viruses, you can consider viral transmission through food. For instance, according to a 2012 BBC report, sun-dried tomatoes were responsible for a hepatitis A outbreak. Similarly, a 2017 study discovered the links between mushrooms and hepatitis.
Hence, even though mastering how to wash vegetables may seem like a nuisance, it is an excellent practice to follow even when we put the pandemic behind us. It keeps us protected from a variety of foodborne diseases.
Here are a few excellent food safety tips on how to sanitise vegetables while also keeping them fresh!
Before we get into how to wash vegetables, here are a few pointers to keep in mind while shopping and right after your return:
- Keep your purchases within the original packaging and place it in an undisturbed spot in your home.
- If you are unable to wash vegetables immediately, let it sit in a closed, confined space for at least 4 to 5 hours before consuming or cooking it.
- Avoid leaving your grocery items in your car, garage, or anywhere outside as it may expose the food products to pest and make it susceptible to temperature abuse.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after you handle the fruits and vegetables.
- After you have washed your produce, clean the kitchen counter with soap and lukewarm water. Similarly, wash, disinfect, and sanitise any chopping boards or utensils where you may peel, chop, or store your unwashed produce.
How to Safely Wash Vegetables
Following are safe procedures for how to disinfect vegetables:
- Place the fruits and vegetables in a colander and position it under running water while rubbing them gently with your hands. Naturally, do not cut or peel any vegetable before doing so.
- You may also rinse the fruits and vegetables in lukewarm and saline water.
- If the vegetables come prepackaged, you can learn how to disinfect vegetables by wiping the packaging using an alcohol-based solution or soap and water.
- Avoid using soap or any other chemical as it may leave behind residue within the produce, making it unfit for consumption.
Now that you have learnt how to wash vegetables, you need to segregate them into the following sections:
|Class I Produce||Fruits and vegetables with a tough skin or exterior, which is normally removed before consumption||Example: Potatoes, yams, colocasia, pumpkin, ginger, oranges, pomegranates, etc.|
|Class II Produce||Fruits and vegetables with tender skins that is eaten along with the food item. You may also consume them raw.||Example: Tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, radish, grapes, berries, etc.|
|Class III Produce||Green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables||Example: Spinach, lettuce, mint, coriander, cauliflower, broccoli, etc.|
Here is a guide on how to wash vegetables depending on the above categories:
How to wash Class II and III vegetables
- Sprinkle some baking soda on the surface of the vegetables and rinse them in water. Alternatively, you can soak them in lukewarm saline or baking soda solutions. Rinse them with room temperature water.
- Use a brush or a plastic scrub to scrub the surface clean. Rinse one last time.
How to wash Class II and III vegetables
- Prepare a solution of one cup vinegar and three cups water for soaking the vegetables. This solution is excellent for rinsing green, leafy vegetables.
- Alternatively, you could combine half a cup of lemon in five litres of water. You can also combine half a cup of salt with three tablespoons of bakings soda in a litre of water to soak the vegetables for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Cruciferous vegetables have several nooks and crannies where germs can take home. Hence, you must consider soaking them for at least thirty minutes.
- Rinse them with fresh water.
Now that you know how to wash vegetables allow them to air dry before storing it in your refrigerator. Finally, ensure that your food is thoroughly cooked and follow a balanced diet to stay healthy!
If possible, choose organic fruits and vegetables wherever possible. They are definitely fresher and healthier than their counterparts as no chemicals and pesticides are used in their production or processing. Eat cleaner by switching to organic products.
Continue following the above tips on how to sanitise vegetables, and together we can flatten the curve!