How to Make Your Greens Even Healthier
It’s picnic season! When you’re packing up your bounty of healthy (and hopefully organic!) fruits and veggies for an afternoon snack or side dish, you’ll want to abide by these simple rules to avoid prevent eating contaminated food. It’s hard to believe, but Federal health officials estimate that nearly 48 million people are sickened by harmful germs each year!
Health eating starts at the supermarket. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends picking produce that isn’t bruised or damaged—and making sure that any pre-cut items (like lettuce or apple slices) are either refrigerated or on ice.
When you get home and into your own kitchen, take extra precautions by following the below rules.
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water before and after touching produce
- Cut away damaged or bruised areas before preparing or eating
- Gently rub produce while holding under running water (there’s no need to use soap or a produce wash)
- Wash produce before you peel it, so dirt and bacteria aren’t transferred from the knife onto the fruit or vegetable
- Use a clean vegetable brush to scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumbers
- Dry produce with a clean cloth or paper towel to further reduce bacteria that may be present
- Throw away the outermost leaves of a head of lettuce or cabbage
Once you’ve sliced and diced, you’re all set to prepare your food. Stumped on healthy ideas? Scour your favorite cookbook for all-natural options or visit sites like the Food Network’s Healthy Eating recipe section or the Eating Well website.