Wash ‘Em Don’t Kabbash ‘Em

Don’t Let COVID-19 Keep You From Eating Fruits And Veggies

Eating healthfully is important now more than ever as we all do what we can to protect ourselves and our families from the novel coronavirus. That being said, browsing the produce aisle can be a scary prospect these days! Tell your kids not to get too excited; they’re not off the hook from eating their veggies just yet. 

By shopping carefully and following best practices, such as wearing a mask and practicing vigilant hand hygiene, you can shop safely. And there are more options than ever for delivery of fresh and healthy food. But what happens after your broccoli crowns and fresh bunch of arugula come home? Some people have been advocating for washing produce in soap and water to reduce the spread of the virus from fruits and vegetables that are frequently handled and exposed to the air. But many doctors warn that this could be a bad idea because accidentally ingesting soap residue can cause diarrhea or vomiting. Furthermore, experts say, the soap and water wash is an unnecessary extra step. 

In fact, there is actually no scientific data supporting the claim that your cabbage or celery stalks can transmit or cause COVID-19.  That’s not to say you shouldn’t wash your produce, but you can continue the typical practice of  rubbing your fruit and vegetables under running water. Using a vegetable brush or scrubber is a good idea for those with hard skins. This process also helps to remove pesticides. 

Still not convinced and considering your options in the frozen food aisle? Unfortunately, there also is no research to support buying frozen fruit or veggies as an alternative. Frozen items are at risk for any potential contamination during the packaging process as well. And if they are contaminated, the virus would likely only remain preserved along with it’s frozen accompaniments. 

When it comes to your apple-a-day and your leafy greens, fresh is always best. It may seem counterintuitive, but this is truly a case of the benefit outweighing the risk. Considering the viral shelf-life could actually be considerably less than the time it takes you ginsu your carrots, squash and red peppers into a healthy stir-fry dinner; it’s worth the potential nominal risk to be able to work with a fresh palette of healthy foods.