Should I be concerned about the safety of chemicals on my produce and meat?

unnamedThe FDA says washing fresh produce before eating is a healthful habit. You can reduce and often eliminate residues if they are present on fresh fruits and vegetables by following FDA’s simple tips:

  • Wash produce with large amounts of cold or warm tap water, and scrub with a brush when appropriate; do not use soap.

  • Throw away the outer leaves of leafy vegetables such as lettuce and cabbage.

  • Trim the fat from meat, and the fat and skin from poultry and fish. Residues of some pesticides concentrate in animal fat.

It’s important to note that the FDA says supermarkets, as a rule, don’t wash produce before putting it out, but many stores mist it while it’s on display. The agency says misting keeps the produce from drying, but surface residues drain off also, in much the same way as from a light wash under the kitchen faucet.

A 1990 report in the EPA Journal by three chemists from the agency summarized four studies of fresh tomatoes treated with a fungicide, which were tested at harvest, at the packinghouse and at point of sale to the consumer. The studies showed that more than 99 percent of the residues were washed off at the packinghouse by the food processor.

More food safety tips here!


Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon, Garlic and Parsley 


2 heads uncooked cauliflower

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp kosher salt

1 1/2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced

1 ½ tsp lemon zest

1 tsp minced garlic


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper (or coat with cooking spray).unnamed (1)

  2. Cut cauliflower into bite-size pieces; rinse in a colander and let dry. Place cauliflower in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and toss thoroughly.unnamed (2)

  3. Spread florets evenly on prepared pans. Roast, stirring once halfway through, until well-browned, about 30 minutes. Toss cauliflower with parsley, lemon zest and garlic; serve.unnamed (3)

Yields about 2/3 cup per serving.

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CommonGround is a farmer-driven, volunteer program created to clear up misconceptions and enhance the trust and awareness among urban consumers for today’s agriculture. CommonGround serves as a partnership between the nation’s soybean and corn checkoffs. To learn more about CommonGround, visit, and learn more about the farm women involved in CommonGround Nebraska at