When we buy fruit or vegetables, we know that it is necessary to wash them. This is because the food has travelled a long way before it reaches our kitchen and has collected a whole host of bacteria and other undesirable residues on it. Especially when it's on the shelf in your supermarket, it can be touched by hundreds of different hands before it's picked up by yours.
In addition, those from far away countries can, unfortunately, be invaded by pesticides, which are not restricted or controlled in the same way in all countries. Some recipes recommend soaking fruits and vegetables in white vinegar or cider vinegar to remove any pesticide residues that may be embedded in them.
Why not wash some foods?
But while it is recommended that you wash your food before eating it, in some cases it is not necessary and may even be counterproductive. There are certain components in our food that means it's better to cook them to kill bacteria rather than to soak them in water. This is the case for chicken, mushrooms, eggs, but also onions and fruit that are not eaten with the skin. But why is it better not to wash these foods with water?
Which foods are best left unwashed?
Never put chicken in water. The meat is already fragile and contains many bacteria. If you wash the chicken, they could multiply. They are not necessarily killed by the heat, which can lead to a risk of salmonella for example.
The shell of the eggs is not completely sealed. Like chicken, if you put them in water there is a risk of bacteria growth which can lead to salmonella.
Onions do not need to be washed, simply because they already have protection: their skin, which you remove before eating the vegetable.
Like onions, avocados have skin that is removed before eating. If you put your fruit in water and the water accidentally gets through the skin, your avocado could turn black if you don't eat it very quickly.
We are often tempted to wash mushrooms, but this is not a good idea. Usually, when we buy them, they have already been pasteurised. Therefore, they don’t need to be washed again. Putting them in water makes them waterlogged, which makes them lose all their taste.
This article was translated from Gentside FR.