Does anyone REALLY wash veggies with soap? Or is it just my compulsive husband?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by cook-e, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. cook-e

    cook-e

    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Home Cook
    I'm the cook here, but my husband helps by washing all fruits and vegs beforehand.  He uses soap - as in Ivory soap. For him, it's about removing any pesticides or preservatives that were sprayed on, and I get that.  It's also to ensure cleanliness from all of the handling, from farm to our table.  I get that, too. But truth be known... when he's not looking, I just rinse really, really well.  What do you do?
     
  2. tylerm713

    tylerm713

    Messages:
    477
    Likes Received:
    35
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    I just rinse veggies in water. Not sure I want my cucumbers to taste like soap.
     
  3. gunnar

    gunnar

    Messages:
    1,447
    Likes Received:
    47
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    just rinse mine as well. You could suggest that a simple solution of distilled vinegar and water will help take off any pesticides and avoid the possibility of soap residue.
     
  4. chefedb

    chefedb

    Messages:
    5,516
    Likes Received:
    177
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    What he is doing is not good. Soap residue could cause a case of dysentery or the runs and cause havoc to the stomach.. In fact in food service facilities the health dept. tells us not to use soap as such to clean slicers and other machinery as the use of them leaves a residue.. Soaps today contain all kinds of chemicals,cleaners and surficants, He may be rinsing off pesticides, which by the way are sometime oil based so will not rinse off with water and a non degreaser.  In turn he is  adding worse chemicals to the fruit and vege exterior then he is removing.

    My suggestion is take a spray bottle and put a little hydrogen peroxide in it and fill with water . Spray with that its a lot safer then what he is doing.. Don't for your sake believe me? Ask a food chemist. And let your husband read this.
     
    katbalou likes this.
  5. gobblygook

    gobblygook

    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    18
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    I just rinse.  It bothers me to no end when the cooking shows warn against rinsing mushrooms and just to use a dry soft brush.  Give me a break!  10 seconds of exposure to water isn't going to waterlog them and frankly, bulk mushrooms very often are quite "dirty".  Since commercial mushrooms are grown in sanitized cow manure, while the microbes are supposed to be dead, it's still cow manure.  I don't go overboard on cleaning mushrooms, but they at least get a good hosing off.
     
  6. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

    Messages:
    7,379
    Likes Received:
    612
    Exp:
    Home Cook
    I have used soap and sponge before.  Rinsing doesn't feel like enough.  Sometimes I use hot water if it's a hard fruit/veggie.  When I wash spinach or lettuce leaves I soak them in water and a little vinegar and then rinse them 3 times.  I'm trying not to use soap but with stuff like green peppers it's not a big deal.  Other more porous veggies like zucchini I shouldn't be doing it. 

    I've started using a fruit and vegetable wash made by Earth Friendly Products. http://images.naturalcollection.com/images/18583 - FruitVegetableWash.jpg   it makes me feel better to clean it with something.
     
  7. allium

    allium

    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    12
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    Agreed, for the most part, but when I spend $20+/lb on wild mushrooms, I'm probably not going to touch them with even a drop of water.

    Another option just came to mind: wash, pat off with toweling, and store in a paper bag. Any moisture will evaporate.
     
  8. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

    Messages:
    6,367
    Likes Received:
    129
    Exp:
    Food Writer
    Here we just rinse. The very idea of using soap on food is a turn-off.

    Gobblygook, did you see the Alton Brown episode where he tested the conventional wisdom of mushrooms absorbing water? Apparently it's one of those things we just keep passing down to each other, but nobody ever tested it before.

    Carefully weighing the mushrooms and water, both beforehand and afterwards, it turns out that there is such an insignificant amount of absorbsion as to not count at all. And that was from actually soaking them in a container of water for a period of time. He repeated this experiment several times, with different kinds of mushrooms.

    The conclusion: Giving them a quick rinse under running water will only have one effect: cleaner mushrooms. They will not, repeat not, absorb any of the water.
     
  9. dc sunshine

    dc sunshine

    Messages:
    2,753
    Likes Received:
    16
    Exp:
    Other
    I rinse in purified water.  Reverse osmosis.  No chlorine, no chemicals, no bacteria, nothing.  Especially the leafy veg.  I would never imagine using soap, but as mentioned above, a lightly acidic water rinse would not hurt, and help remove any wax off the apples and citrus etc.
     
  10. indianwells

    indianwells

    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    12
    Exp:
    Cook At Home
    I'm frankly amazed that anyone could even think of washing vegetables using soap!
     
  11. chefedb

    chefedb

    Messages:
    5,516
    Likes Received:
    177
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    When rising the mushrooms which I agree with make sure you dry very well. As if left wet, when put into a pan to saute, they will steam instead.

    If doing a lot of them put on a kitchen towel and hit with a hair drier. And for those thinking of using the fruit and vegetable  sprays sold in markets, in many brands it is Hydrogen Peroxide under different names.
     
  12. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

    Messages:
    2,270
    Likes Received:
    206
    Exp:
    Home Cook
    Using soap to wash off pesticides or whatever on food is like trying to change pest into cholera. I never met anyone who uses soap for washing food. Just use plain water.
     
  13. kcz

    kcz

    Messages:
    331
    Likes Received:
    12
    Exp:
    Home Cook
    One of the cooking magazines, I think it was CI, did the same thing with the same results.  I always wash the dirt off mushrooms.  I just avoid soaking them.
     
     
  14. gobblygook

    gobblygook

    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    18
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    Yes, but I couldn't remember the exact results (insignificant amount, but not the measurements). 
     
     
  15. chefbazookas

    chefbazookas

    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    12
    Exp:
    Other
    We always soak fresh-picked morels in salt water for a few hours and sometimes overnight.  They get a water rinse just before they're rolled in flour and fried (or put up in the freezer).  Because they're so corrugated, I assume this is as much for cleanliness as anything else.
     
  16. sizzlin

    sizzlin

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    I honestly think that we (as in society in general) have become FAR too obsessed with surgical, sanitised cleanliness.

    I may be controversial here but unless there are clods of earth hanging off my veg, I don't wash them at all.
     
  17. chefedb

    chefedb

    Messages:
    5,516
    Likes Received:
    177
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    SIZZLIN.    I GAMBLE AT POKER AND CRAP TABLES, NOT DINNER TABLES.
     
  18. tylerm713

    tylerm713

    Messages:
    477
    Likes Received:
    35
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    Along this vein, I heard an interesting theory a while back. Some guy hypothesized that society is actually making itself more susceptible to disease by using so much hand sanitizer and other types of sanitizers. He argued that the presence of small amounts of bacteria is actually healthy and keeps the body stronger. And with more sanitizing, our bodies become weaker and therefore get sicker easier.

    It may be a total crock, but it's definitely an interesting theory.
     
  19. dc sunshine

    dc sunshine

    Messages:
    2,753
    Likes Received:
    16
    Exp:
    Other
    Sizzlin and Tyler -

    I'm with you there.  Having had kids and watching the profusion of anti-bacterial products increase ridiculously over 20 years, all to kill germs which wiould normally increase a bodies immune system, we are instead  getting rid of them.  Sure, washing hands after the toilet and before dinner must be done. Babies bottles need sterilising.  But kids are getting wrapped in cotton wool, "Don't play in that mud little John/Jenny, you'll get sick!"  Ugh have had enough of it. (Ok well in tropical areas you can get sick from the soil).  If you don't want dirt on your veg., just give it a good scrubbing with a nail brush and clean water.  That should suffice.  Give highly gilled mushrooms a good swirl in a container of water, drain then pat dry.  Cook over a hot heat to get rid of any excess moisture.

    I have a beef with ppl who want to sterilise everything.  Hey clean is good, but obsessions with it and *also the introduction of all manner of cleaning products can't be advantageous.  Look at the rise in asthma sufferers for one example.  I am no scientist, so no idea if this has anything to do with it, am just saying that since many people got manic about sterilise, clean clean clean clean endlessly, people have gotten more of these types of conditions.

    Let your kids get grubby, don't mind if there's some dirt/dust in the house.  Cleaning constantly  probably stirs up more dust than would usually be in the air.  Ok, air pollution from traffic and industry  is a major cause, but that's another issue.

    So, off my soapbox (for now :)  )
     
  20. chefedb

    chefedb

    Messages:
    5,516
    Likes Received:
    177
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    Talk about over sanitizing. There used to be a product used in all surgical rooms called Physohex(a green bottle) which killed All bacteria. As stated by someone above the stuff killed the harmful as well as non harmful bacteria on our bodies. It was at one time used to wash babies after birth. Many of them got an infection soon after birth. It was traced back to the fact that Physohex killed the good bacteria that we need on our bodies to fight off others. Result is today Physohex is only available by prescription at about $50.00 a bottle and up. It used to be over counter.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011