- Describe why it’s important to wash fresh produce
- Properly clean a variety of fruits and vegetables using a few different methods
If you search the World Wide Web you will find arguments for not washing pre-washed produce like lettuce or using a vinegar wash for everything grown in the ground. How do you know what’s best for you and your family? Well, that starts with understanding exactly what you are at risk of facing. Bacteria, pesticide residues, and mold are all on the list. Of course, there is also a concern for the process. It doesn’t matter what solution you use if the process is flawed. That’s where most issues start. Tainted tools and utensils render all other efforts mute.
Teach the Teacher
Tools & Materials
- Fresh harvest from the Lab
- Potable water
- Paper towels
- Salad spinner
- Pesticide residue
- Potable water
Introduction (10 minutes)
Begin the lesson by asking the question “Should we wash fruits and vegetables before we eat them?” Then describe the reasons to do so and review each of the methods for cleaning various produce.
Activity (20 minutes)
Following a harvest of fresh produce in the Lab, have the Students clean the harvest. If possible, have them wash a single variety in multiple ways and compare the outcome.
Discussion (10 minutes)
Do you think there is a greater chance of contaminants on store bought produce? Why? Is there still a need to wash produce we grow in the Lab? Why? Did you feel a difference before and after cleaning the produce?
Assessment (5 minutes)
Use the following questions to assess the Students before and after the lesson. Tally the responses of the group in the Assessment Tracking Log for comparison:
- By a show of hands, how many of you wash produce at home before cooking or eating it?
- Now that you know why it is important to wash produce before use, how many of you will encourage your families to wash produce at home?
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