Hygiene: Washing Vegetables


[Original Subject: Washing Vegetables]

The Chinese/Taiwanese eat an abundance of vegetables (and fruit). A lot of time involved in the preparing of a meal involves washing vegetables. I am wondering what others feel are the best methods and techinques for doing this?

Obviously, a lot of rinsing is required to get the dust and dirt off, usually two or three rinsings. Those are necessary initial steps.

After that there is usually a soaking procedure. Some years ago, my wife and I commonly used a commercially available solution to “soak” the vegetables for ten minutes or so. We then switched to “soybean powder” at the advice of some people in the local open-air market. Later a doctor told us that he didn’t think either of those two methods were good, and that we should use salt and a little vinegar to soak the vegetables. We did that for several years. Then, we were introduced to this aerator concept — this is a machine with a long thin hose and a metal bubbler head. You put your vegetables in a large basin of clear water (after rinsing, as explained above), put in the bubbler head, and turn on the machine, and it pumps O3 in there for 20 minutes. This is supposed to be the latest high-tech solution to the demands of vegetable washing.

I am wondering if anyone can offer criticisms of the above methods, and/or suggest better methods based on their experiences of living in Taiwan and associating with the local people.


20 minutes of O3 (ozone) is dangerous for your health so I think that is a method that you should avoid.


I have a question about pigs liver – one of my favourites. A Taiwanese colleague told me that he’s stopped eating liver because of the excess amount of antibiotics fed to local hogs that ends up stored in the liver.

Is this true and if so, does cooked antibiotic residue carry any health risk?


Hart and Sandy, really!
All these years of chowing down on veggies and innards and you are just now raising these questions?
If it ain’t got ya by now, you’re either immune or have a lot of get-out-of-jail free cards…


I’ve heard the salt method is good. I soak stuff in saltwater all the time–I’m sure it kills germs, but not sure if completely rinses pesticides away…



My wife always uses regular table salt to clean fruits with. I find it a little strange, but she says Taiwan uses a lot of chemicals so this is the only way to clean them really good. As for veggies, I’ll have to ask her again because as I remember she just uses water.



You mean a quick shake under the tap ain’t good enough???