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View Full Version : Washing raspberries?? Do you wash them?



tulip255
09-26-2007, 04:30 PM
I was watching Ina Garten this afternoon. She was making a fresh fruit parfait. She said you should never wash raspberries because they absorb too much water. I know you must be gentle with raspberries but I always wash them by lightly rinsing them off with water. Do you?

Gumbeaux
09-26-2007, 04:33 PM
Maybe the title of this thread should have read "Ina Garten does stuff the wrong way". :D

manetta
09-26-2007, 04:56 PM
Honestly, I don't. I like to live dangerously. :D But they are the only thing I don't wash.

Anne
09-26-2007, 04:56 PM
I don't wash the raspberries I pick from my garden but I would if they were store bought.

TieKitty
09-26-2007, 04:58 PM
I rinse mine off right before I use them.

novice baker
09-26-2007, 05:04 PM
I rinse mine too.

Canice
09-26-2007, 05:21 PM
I don't typically wash them, but when I have I fill a large bowl with cool water and then put the raspberries in for a wash so the water pressure doesn't break them.

AndreaU
09-26-2007, 06:15 PM
I do rinse mine, but only right before I use them.

Gumbeaux
09-26-2007, 06:17 PM
I don't wash the raspberries I pick from my garden but I would if they were store bought.

Why? Why? Why?

barbara-cook
09-26-2007, 06:28 PM
I grew up picking raspberries - my father grew them and we sold them to a store. Of course, we would eat a lot of them while picking - no washing involved there. But if my mom used them for dessert or something, she always washed them gently.

I have never bought raspberries from a store or even a fruit stand. They just don't look the same! They always look so shriveled! And the price! I've seen them for $4.99 a 1/2 pint. I feel sorry for the people that have never experienced them fresh off the bushes. If there were a place around here that had 'U-pic' raspberries, I'd be there in a flash.

Oh, by the way, when I picked them for my dad, I was paid 10 cents a pint when I started picking at age 6. When I picked my last pint at 18, he was paying me a dollar a pint. I know it was a bribe, but it worked! I could make about $40 in a good day (and this was in the early '70's.)

Rinse gently and enjoy!

sneezles
09-27-2007, 08:54 AM
Honestly, I don't. I like to live dangerously. :D But they are the only thing I don't wash.

Ditto! And sometimes they don't even make it home from the store!;)

Hammster
09-27-2007, 09:08 AM
I wash them just before I use them. They go moldy pretty fast if washed too soon and not well dried.

testkitchen45
09-27-2007, 10:21 AM
I wash (rinse) all berries right before I use them. Ina may want to live dangerously, but I'm not OK with the idea that one of the farm workers might have just visited the Port-O-Let. :eek: :D I've cringed every time I've seen Ina open some berries and just dump them into her recipe. :p

Cook's Illustrated debunked the myth that you shouldn't wash mushrooms, either, on the premise that they don't absorb that much water during a rinse, so it doesn't hurt them. I imagine berries are the same way--they're out there in the RAIN, after all, and not getting mushy and absorbing water! :D

Robyn1007
09-27-2007, 10:29 AM
Why? Why? Why?

My guess would be because she knows what pesticides she puts on (or doesn't put on) and who's hands have touched them when they come from her own garden.

Anne
09-27-2007, 11:14 AM
Robyn - you pretty much called it right. I garden organically and not near any roads, smokestacks, etc. so there is no reason to wash them. The only reason I wash my garden veges is to get rid of dirt or the occassional aphids. Fruit that is off the ground doesn't have those problems. I also don't wash the wild berries that I pick.

tulip255
09-27-2007, 09:43 PM
I think I will continue to rinse my berries. Thanks.

KAnn
09-27-2007, 11:15 PM
I have always noticed that Ina doesn't wash her berries and I mention it to my foodie friends often! lol I wash all produce very well especially after I have spent time working in a Wild Oats....I rinse berries just before using them. I only buy organic strawberries and raspberries, but I really believe that rinsing is important.

JHaris
09-28-2007, 12:01 AM
I still rinse anthing I have not picked myself.

When the children were small I would go out to Highland Orchards near West Chester, Pa where it was "pick your own." We picked so many baskets of strawberries, but it is a good thing they didn't weigh the children before and after. I just assumed that they were free of any harmful spraying products. They claimed they were. Their blueberries, raspberries, peaches were always the best. If I hadn't picked them and the fact of the reputation of the orchard who claimed their fruits were free of insecticide, I wouldn't wash. Sun warmed, ripe strawberries.... who could resist them!!!!

ClaraB
09-28-2007, 04:38 PM
I wash (rinse) all berries right before I use them. Ina may want to live dangerously, but I'm not OK with the idea that one of the farm workers might have just visited the Port-O-Let. :eek: :D I've cringed every time I've seen Ina open some berries and just dump them into her recipe. :p

I hope you don't seriously think a gentle rinse in water alone is going to remove bacteria from your berries (or anything else, for that matter). You need soap and a fairly vigorous scrub to do that, and you can imagine what that would do to berries.

I've never washed raspberries, for the above reasons, and only rinse strawberries to remove visible dirt. I do this for aesthetic reasons only, and don't presume to think that it makes the food any safer :rolleyes: .

Canice
09-28-2007, 05:37 PM
Similarly, Clara, when people buy commercially grown apples that are drenched in pesticides and then given a nice wax sealant -- I've always wondered what net effect one can expect of running them under a little cold water?

ljt2r
09-29-2007, 12:08 AM
I wash my berries in a bowl of water with veggie spray in it (and then rinse in "clean" water). My intent has never been to remove bacteria, but rather to help dissolve any pesticides (or wax in the case of other fruits and veggies). But I hate raspberries and only do this for my daughter so I really don't give a hoot what shape they are in. :p I suspect at the age of 2 she doesn't either.

testkitchen45
09-29-2007, 05:09 PM
I hope you don't seriously think a gentle rinse in water alone is going to remove bacteria from your berries (or anything else, for that matter). You need soap and a fairly vigorous scrub to do that, and you can imagine what that would do to berries.

I've never washed raspberries, for the above reasons, and only rinse strawberries to remove visible dirt. I do this for aesthetic reasons only, and don't presume to think that it makes the food any safer :rolleyes: .

Did I say "gentle" rinse? Nope--I hold small handfuls under running water and let the water flow pretty hard through my hands. I'm careful not to hurt the berries, but I can't imagine eating commercially grown berries and not doing so. So yes, I seriously think that some sort of rinse is preferable to just hoping for the best. ;) :) I also have yet to see any food that's watered or rained on be harmed by the "rain" coming from my faucet. :D I have no pesticide or bacteria concerns with my home-grown blackberries, but I swish those by vigorous handfuls in water--after soaking them for a few minutes--b/c teeny bugs like to get into all those nooks and crannies. Doesn't hurt the blackberries one bit (and yes, I know the OP said raspberries, but blackberries are famous for releasing little critters when you get the berries into water--no harm to the berries, and I don't care to eat anything with six legs :p ).

On hard-skinned fruits & veggies, I rub them thoroughly with soap and water, including the ones where I won't eat the rind (watermelon, cantaloupe).

dorothyntototoo
09-29-2007, 05:26 PM
You might find this article interesting. Basically it says not to waste your money on "produce washes," and use plain water.

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/columncc/cc000630.html

ClaraB
09-29-2007, 07:14 PM
Did I say "gentle" rinse? Nope--I hold small handfuls under running water and let the water flow pretty hard through my hands. I'm careful not to hurt the berries, but I can't imagine eating commercially grown berries and not doing so. So yes, I seriously think that some sort of rinse is preferable to just hoping for the best. ;) :) I also have yet to see any food that's watered or rained on be harmed by the "rain" coming from my faucet. As I said in my first post, scrubbing with soap and water is the only effective way to get bacteria or pesticides off produce. Water has surface tension that binds the water particles together and prevents them from picking up other particles. Soap reduces the surface tension of water and thus allows the water to pick up other particles and rinse them down the drain. So no, I'm not "just hoping for the best", but I'd rather not waste my time rinsing berries when they're not going to be much cleaner anyway. I'd rather take the minuscule probability of the bacteria/pesticides actually doing any damage to me. Although I do agree, the insects I can do without :D ....

testkitchen45
09-29-2007, 08:33 PM
As I said in my first post, scrubbing with soap and water is the only effective way to get bacteria or pesticides off produce. Water has surface tension that binds the water particles together and prevents them from picking up other particles. Soap reduces the surface tension of water and thus allows the water to pick up other particles and rinse them down the drain. So no, I'm not "just hoping for the best", but I'd rather not waste my time rinsing berries when they're not going to be much cleaner anyway. I'd rather take the minuscule probability of the bacteria/pesticides actually doing any damage to me. Although I do agree, the insects I can do without :D ....

Huh. That's kind of scary. I wash whatever I can, but many items are difficult to wash--prebagged spinach, berries, etc. . . I never trust the bag that says "prewashed! ready to eat!"; isn't that how so many people got e.coli from bagged spinach? Is there any way to properly clean delicate fruits & veggies that can't be rubbed with soap? (And yes, I skimmed the thread but am getting kind of tired; could have missed it. :o )

ljt2r
09-30-2007, 12:35 AM
You might find this article interesting. Basically it says not to waste your money on "produce washes," and use plain water.

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/columncc/cc000630.html

That article is interesting. I admit I only skimmed it, but I did not see any reference to the annoying wax on a lot of fruits and veggies. That's what I love my wash for--bell peppers, apples, grapes, etc... they all just feel a lot cleaner after I use the wash. I can actually feel that the wax (or that powdery stuff on grapes) is gone.

Canice
09-30-2007, 01:16 AM
I'm glad this conversation has been limited to a few types of berry, and not gone into the realm of fresh herbs. ;) :eek:

I claim no expertise on pesticides or the science of cleaning produce, but I can't resist pointing out that Clara is an Ob/Gyn nurse. And I would very much appreciate her continuing to choose "soap and a fairly vigorous scrub" over "water flowing hard" through her hands when it comes to notions of killing bacteria. ;)

Julie O
09-30-2007, 03:50 AM
Water has surface tension that binds the water particles together and prevents them from picking up other particles. Soap reduces the surface tension of water and thus allows the water to pick up other particles and rinse them down the drain.

While it's true that water has a higher surface tension than some other liquids, it is not correct that it prevents them from "picking up other particles". Why else would water be considered the universal solvent? It dissolves many things very well.

A water wash won't kill things like E. Coli, but it certaininly can reduce the number of "bugs" in the produce through the rinsing process. I just do a water wash for all produce. I've never seen a study that convinced me that other washing techniques (especially the commercially available produce washes, which are usually a mixture of basically baking soda and water and a little bit of a soap).

testkitchen45
09-30-2007, 08:27 AM
I claim no expertise on pesticides or the science of cleaning produce, but I can't resist pointing out that Clara is an Ob/Gyn nurse. And I would very much appreciate her continuing to choose "soap and a fairly vigorous scrub" over "water flowing hard" through her hands when it comes to notions of killing bacteria. ;)

I'm with ya, and I do just that (scrubbing) on whatever fruit or veggie can handle it. But since we can't scrub our berries, we've gotta just do our best to get them clean as well as we can. :)

(A little OT, but probably in the back of our minds: isn't it amazing how many e.coli scares the food industry has had just in the last year or so? :eek: )

ClaraB
09-30-2007, 12:10 PM
I claim no expertise on pesticides or the science of cleaning produce, but I can't resist pointing out that Clara is an Ob/Gyn nurse. And I would very much appreciate her continuing to choose "soap and a fairly vigorous scrub" over "water flowing hard" through her hands when it comes to notions of killing bacteria. ;)
My patients appreciate it too :eek: :p .

I did a search on cleaning produce last night, and discovered lots of conflicting information. I'd be really curious to know if there are scientific studies comparing the effectiveness of different cleaning methods. In the meantime, I'm not going to lie awake at night worrying about the cleanliness of my food - there are just too many other things out there to worry about ;) .

honeygirl1971
09-30-2007, 01:46 PM
Clara, what would you say about washing with a water-vinegar solution? That's what my doc told me to do here with all raw produce when I was pregnant since I'm not immune to toxoplasmosis...:confused:

I wash all my produce. Depending on what it is and what's going to be done with it, I either use water, a vinegar-water solution, or this soap (http://www.lcdpmarseille.com/produit.php?id=233) I bought here that is specifically for washing fruits and vegetables. It is actual soap, and organic, not one of those "produce washes," but I don't know much more than that.

ClaraB
09-30-2007, 02:45 PM
Clara, what would you say about washing with a water-vinegar solution? That's what my doc told me to do here with all raw produce when I was pregnant since I'm not immune to toxoplasmosis...:confused:
Hmmm.... well, I looked around the net again, and found this NPR article (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=14540742)about washing produce. Apparently Cook's Illustrated has researched this, right down to culturing samples in petri dishes :cool: , and they found that a solution of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water was the most effective at removing pesticides and bacteria, although plain water also worked reasonably well. So, I stand corrected :o . Your doctor knew what he was talking about - hang onto him!

Although I still won't be washing my raspberries, 'cause I don't like soggy berries.....

Gumbeaux
09-30-2007, 03:03 PM
My guess would be because she knows what pesticides she puts on (or doesn't put on) and who's hands have touched them when they come from her own garden.


Robyn - you pretty much called it right. I garden organically and not near any roads, smokestacks, etc. so there is no reason to wash them.

Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United States Department of Agriculture say that fresh fruit and vegetables should be washed before consumed. There aren't any exceptions given for organically grown fruits or vegetables nor are there any exceptions given for where the food is grown.

ljt2r
09-30-2007, 06:35 PM
Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United States Department of Agriculture say that fresh fruit and vegetables should be washed before consumed. There aren't any exceptions given for organically grown fruits or vegetables nor are there any exceptions given for where the food is grown.

That's just crazy, for stuff that is grown in your own backyard and free of dirt (i.e., hanging off of bushes in the air). I suspect they don't give that exception because it is obvious. Either that or frankly they are just over anal.

Guess I live on the edge. :rolleyes:

ljt2r
09-30-2007, 06:36 PM
Hmmm.... well, I looked around the net again, and found this NPR article (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=14540742)about washing produce. Apparently Cook's Illustrated has researched this, right down to culturing samples in petri dishes :cool: , and they found that a solution of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water was the most effective at removing pesticides and bacteria, although plain water also worked reasonably well. So, I stand corrected :o . Your doctor knew what he was talking about - hang onto him!

Although I still won't be washing my raspberries, 'cause I don't like soggy berries.....

Did they (CI) address the wax issue? Personally that is my biggest reason for washing fruit and veggies--I hate that wax. Helena--does your vinegar solution get rid of the wax on stuff like bell peppers?

Gumbeaux
09-30-2007, 07:27 PM
That's just crazy, for stuff that is grown in your own backyard and free of dirt (i.e., hanging off of bushes in the air). I suspect they don't give that exception because it is obvious.

Fruits and vegetables grown in your backyard can be easily contaminated by dust, pollutants, insects, birds, dogs, cats, insects, rats, squirrels, dirty water, water runoff, manure, and a whole lot of other stuff.

I agree with the experts that say you should wash fruits and vegetables grown in your own yard.