I remember growing up in Jamaica and picking fruits like mangoes and red star apples from the tree and eating them or seeing neighbors pick fruits and eat them without hesitation. The fruits were grown naturally without any fertilizer or chemicals so there was no concern that it would be harmful.
We knew when fruits were ripe it could be picked and eaten or if the fruit was not ripe to be picked and it was picked prematurely then the most you would get would be a stomach ache for a few days. Farmers would pick their crops naturally and either take or send to the markets. Nobody would be concerned that fertilizers or chemicals were used to help the plants grow. Now when I go to the supermarket to shop for fruits and vegetables I look for organic options the done use fertilizers or chemicals. Even with the organic options I am not the least bit comfortable in eating or using the fruits or vegetables without thoroughly washing them first.
I wash our fruits and vegetables with only water and usually leave berries, grapes, cherries etc. in a strainer and water running on it for awhile to get off any residue. Can we talk about romaine lettuce and how some of them have dirt and grind on them once you open up the package. I usually let the lettuce sit for a bit in water and then use a mini brush to clean it off before preparing.
Take my concerns about fruits and vegetables being clean and then add COVID-19 to the equation and it’s no joke. When the pandemic first started we would multiple our washing and cleaning of fruits and vegetables by 10. I researched information from the CDC on if there were any dangers with food and though they stated that there was none identified, I still used caution because there were and still is a lot of unknowns related to COVID-19.
The reality is when I ask friends and family how they are handling cleaning fruit and vegetables now during COVID-19 they have been taking some of the same precautions. Life as we knew it and our old normal may not return so our continued adjustment to the new normal will be continuous.
Do you wash your fruits and vegetables before eating or using?
Stay safe and be well!