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Aug 17, 2009 07:06 AM

Organic and pesticides

I know the term "organic," when listed on packaging, can be misleading. My question: is it ok NOT to wash fruits and veggies that are labeled organic and look very "clean"? I hate, for example, washing raspberries that look good, as they are so fragile, but is it safe if they're labeled "organic"?

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  1. Here's a long discussion about wasing raspberries

    Don't ever wash raspberries - Good Advice??

    You are probably just looking for someone to assure you all is well and you will get people who will do that.

    All I know is that long before pesticides, my grandmother and the grandmothers of my friends washed everything ... well. That was produce they grew in their own gardens.

    First there is the dead bug factor. Second you don't know if some animal came by and used that area for their toilet. My Italian neighbor I remember being super concerned would wash, wash, wash. Back in Italy, the guys in the fields planting and picking weren't exactly super clean about some of their habits.

    I wash. I wash well.

    1. To be organic certified you only have to be inspected for certain chemicals/ practices. Which means that other types of contamination are still possible through handling, processing, animal manure, or the environment. There has been e-coli outbreaks linked to organic food for instance, and areas in California where high levels of rocket fuel were found on organics. It is better to wash them. I think large scale organic farms are more at risk. If you have any small growers near you, call and talk to them about their practices, they are usually happy to discuss.

      To be perfectly honest, i've been known to eat a few unwashed rasberries myself, but I'd definitely wash them before serving to guests. Also, I find the gentlest way to wash raspberries is cupped in my hand under the faucet.

      1. Thanks. I hadn't thought of the e-coli factor.

        2 Replies
        1. re: nomadchowwoman

          I grow many fruits and vegetables organically, yet I ALWAYS wash them thoroughly before eating---for the reasons mentioned by rworange. However, please note that if the produce has been tainted with e. coli, washing will not make it safe. E. coli, salmonella, etc. will persist unless the item is thoroughly cooked.

          1. re: Anne

            Thanks--but yikes: so fresh berries--or anything uncooked--can't be made safe from e. coli ?