A number of years in the past, I took dwelling a cicada that was hiding in a bunch of curly kale from a grocery retailer in Harlem. This previous fall, I discovered six bugs in a bunch of escarole from the farmers market (some useless, some alive). And over the weekend, I noticed a snail (a dwell snail!) on a bunch of purple kale on the Park Slope Meals Co-Op.
These are among the many causes that each time I wash my greens, I’m grateful I’ve taken the time—and it may well actually be simply 5 minutes—to take action. I am not grossed out by the bugs and the filth in my leaves (I wish to assume it is a fantastic signal, a welcome reminder of the place our meals comes from, and a miracle of resilient life), however I’m glad that none of it ended up in my dinner.
Which is why I used to be stunned to learn an article on Epicurious that made a case for not washing produce. It is a messy, time-consuming trouble, the author Becky Hughes argued, that creates a barrier to consuming greens with out even eliminating “all the farm chemical compounds and the inevitable germs.” Her final level? The anecdotal proof that she’s nonetheless alive and effectively to this present day.
Hughes did say if there may be “seen filth on a head of lettuce, or grit in a bunch of parsley, [she]’ll (grudgingly) give it a rinse,” however I, for one, know I have been fooled by clean-looking leaves one too many instances. I’ll always remember the lentil salad I ruined by neglecting to clean the spinach. The grit crunched between my tooth with each chunk.
As a believer in washing leaves, whether or not I am planning to cook dinner them or eat them uncooked, I wished to verify I wasn’t cuckoo. Greens could be in want of a rinse even when they give the impression of being completely clear, proper? I soaked cilantro, chard, and purple leaf lettuce—all of which regarded pretty clear to start with—in chilly water, then rigorously eliminated the leaves and photographed the remaining grime that settled on the underside of the bowl.
This is just a little photograph proof that my salad spinner shouldn’t be for naught:
The preliminary water soak eradicated many of the bigger specks of filth—and as soon as I gave the greens a spin within the salad spinner, I noticed that the water that had collected within the leaves was a brownish shade I might not readily devour.
I do not imply to fearmonger, or to even counsel that this quantity of grit and filth will hurt you. I am merely saying that there is a cause to clean your leafy greens (even when you are going to cook dinner them), and that the jiffy it takes to take away the grime may get you a greater style and texture, too.
So far as kitchen instruments go, I take into account the salad spinner an important one (and hey, do you know you may also use it to dry delicate clothes gadgets?)—however you’ll be able to at all times simply use a bowl of water and a tea towel.
We initially shared this story in July 2017, however we at all times welcome a reminder to clean our greens. Do you wash leafy greens? What about different produce? Inform us within the feedback under.