eli5 Does rinsing fruits & vegetables under water before eating actually do anything to clean them?

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eli5 Does rinsing fruits & vegetables under water before eating actually do anything to clean them?

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Yes. Water is a universal solvent so will dissolve most things and carry it away. So any surface level dirt or bacteria can be washed away and clean it to some extent.

u/drafterman makes a great point, and to extend it, pesticides and herbicides are water-soluble meaning they are designed to wash off. With the amount of chemicals that our produce get exposed to, a good washdown is a fantastic idea.

There was an interview with a person from the CDC I saw several years ago when there was concern about romaine lettuce. He said they had research that showed rinsing fruit and veg (he said never use any soaps or other products) didn’t decrease the incidence of any food borne illnesses or reduce the amount of pesticides or herbicides but he still always rinsed his fruit and veg.

From that I basically changed my own policy in our house. If it was easy to rinse like an apple, then do it. But if it’s hard or annoying like lettuce and I don’t want to do it and will choose something unhealthy to eat rather than rinse my lettuce for a salad, I don’t do it. We’ve never gotten sick from contaminated fruit or veg and we eat way more fruit and veg now than we used to.

Other people handle that stuff before you buy it. That should be reason enough to give ’em a rinse at the very least!

Wash off cut pineapple- it’ll help decrease the bromelain amount, which helps avoid burning your tongue and roof of mouth.