It's the scrubbing, not the soap:
Veggie washes not necessary
Experts agree it’s important to wash all fresh fruits and veggies before eating. But you can ditch the commercially prepared fruit and vegetable washes.
Rubbing the produce under warm or cold tap water worked to remove pesticide residues as well as mild soap solutions or commercial washes, a team of scientists concluded in studies at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. The editors of the culinary magazine Cook’s Illustrated performed similar tests, and came to the same conclusion about veggie washes.
For maximum effectiveness on microorganisms such as E. coli, both testing teams recommend spraying or rinsing produce with a mild vinegar solution before washing. The Cook’s Illustrated team recommends filling a plastic spray bottle with three cups of water and one cup of white vinegar for this purpose.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends all produce be washed thoroughly under running water. The FDA does not recommend using soap, detergent or commercial produce washes.
Sources: FDA, National Public Radio, New York Times
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