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Washing Herbs

I buy fresh herbs pretty frequently and generally rinse them before using but I can't given any reason other than habit. They basically never have actual dirt or grime on them (not visible, at least), and sure other people have touched them with possibly unclean hands, but I doubt rinsing in water will do anything to bacteria.

So is washing herbs really necessary?

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  1. There is often sand and soil in?on herbs. Next time you wash them put them in a deep container, swish let sit for a couple of min. and then pull them off the top with out stirring up the water. Most likely you will see sand or dirt in the bottom.
    It can help to remove insecticides and/or insects.

    5 Replies
    1. re: chefj

      Big thumbs up. I do this even with herbs from my own garden. I picked a bunch of mint the other day, submerged and swirled, and was surprised to see the dust/dirt on the leaves that hadn't been apparent to the naked eye.

      1. re: pinehurst

        Same here. I add cheap table salt to the water to kill the insects. Doesn't always kill them but I feel better for having made the effort. lol.

        1. re: MrsJonesey

          I will try that. Thanks, MrsJ

      2. re: chefj

        Only way to clean herbs, lettuce, greens, and leeks. Based on a recent COTM author tip, I now lift the herbs with their stems out of the water and use my salad spinner to dry when I have a large amount.

        1. re: smtucker

          It also freshens up the herbs. A nice couple of minutes in an icy bath and they are clean and crisp.

      3. Of course it's necessary. All garden fruit is raised in a bird lavatory.

        2 Replies
        1. re: DockPotato

          Ha. And a bug incubator. More opportunity to improve our immune system.

          1. re: sandylc

            Saw a couple of dogs 'do their business' in our herb garden once.
            I wash everything from the garden in a sink full of warm water with a drop of iodine in it for a few seconds then into a cold water sink then into the lettuce spinner.
            Not a big fan of animal feces, two legged/four legged or with feathers in my food.

        2. When I have a bunch of herbs, I run them under the water with the bottom of the stems facing into the faucet. Once washed, I shake the extra water off, roll into a paper towel and slide into a plastic bag. They keep wonderfully.

          1. I have a (table height) raised garden bed on my deck where I grow mostly herbs and I make a habit of rinsing them. On many occasions I've found evidence of insect "visits" -- and I don't mean munched leaves. I've also found small caterpillar-like critters living on the underside of basil and sage leaves.

            1. Guess I'll keep washing, then.

              1. I rinse, but I don't know how necessary is it.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  just read above