Is it Necessary to Wash Iceberg Lettuce?

by Charlie
Iceberg Lettuce

Iceberg lettuce is that crispy and crunchy light vegetable used in preparing dishes like burger or salads. This vegetable is most common in fast food diners as a quick make for those wanting to eat out. It is grown in the soil and thus will be prone to collect dirt.

But in as much as they gather some soil, not all pale vegetables have a large amount in them. A commercially produced iceberg lettuce may not contain as much dirt because once produced, the vegetable is wrapped in a plastic container, which protects it from dirt. 

On the other hand, home-grown lettuce may contain much dirt than that of a commercially produced one because there is no protective layer over it. So, whether you buy from a grocery store or pick from your home garden, iceberg lettuce can contain some amount of soil. With this fact, is it then necessary to wash this vegetable before use? 

Is it necessary to wash iceberg lettuce? Yes, one needs to wash the iceberg lettuce before using it because it could still contain some soil. When you do not wash iceberg lettuce, the dirt remains in the leaves and serves as a damaging ingredient when added to your food. It is recommended to wash iceberg lettuce with vinegar to kill harmful bacteria.

Is it Okay to Eat Unwashed Lettuce?

No, eating unwashed iceberg lettuce can be harmful. When you eat unwashed lettuce, it poses two health risk; possible bacteria contamination and pesticide diseases.

Agreeably, pesticides help food grow. But, when this pesticide comes in contact with your vegetable, it may be difficult to get rid of it from your lettuce. This is why you need to wash your lettuce before eating. 

Also, germs like Salmonella, Listeria and E. Coli are common on iceberg lettuce, and they can make you sick. Hence, eating unwashed lettuce can be more harmful than you think. To stay free of foodborne illness, it is best to wash your lettuce before eating.

How Do You Know Your Iceberg Lettuce has E. coli

E. coli is one of the most common bacteria variants around. It can be found on most foods and especially in the intestinal tracts of humans and animals. Most E. coli are not harmful to the body as they are part of your natural flora. However some types of E. coli have given bacteria a bad name for causing food poisoning. 

People with food poisoning from E. coli usually have diarrhea as the major symptom. This diarrhea can last up to 4 days.

Considering that E coli can sometimes be found on lettuce, you might want to know how to spot it.

Unfortunately, there is no way to identify lettuce, or any other food, that has E. coli. The only thing you can do is follow normal healthy eating guidelines by thoroughly washing our lettuce. 

Does Washing Iceberg Lettuce with Vinegar Kill E. coli?

Vinegar is one of the most utilitarian things you can have in your kitchen. It works both as a natural cleanser and a meal ingredient. There been rumors of vinegars efficacy against different types of germs and you may be wondering how effective it is against E coli, especially when you’re washing lettuce.

Yes, when vinegar is used to wash lettuce, it can kill the E. coli in it. Although vinegar isn’t effective against all germs E. coli and salmonella are two common types of bacteria that it is effective against.

If you have doubts about whether your iceberg lettuce contains some E. coli, make sure to wash it in vinegar solution.

Does Iceberg Lettuce Really Contain No Nutrients?

Though iceberg lettuce may not be on the same nutritional scale as vegetables like spinach and kale, it still contains some amount of nutrients. It is also high in fiber, which helps keep the digestive system healthy and flushes harmful chemicals out of the body.

Iceberg lettuce is low in calories, which is thanks to the high water content that it has.

Moreover, it offers a significant amount of vitamin A, which maintains skin health, build the bones and other joint tissues, and vitamin K, a much-needed element for blood clotting. Apart from these nutrients, the vegetable also provides some small amount of health supplements such as vitamin C for a healthy immune system, iron and above all, calcium. 

Research also finds that this pale-green vegetable contains a compound called Apigenin which fights against dreaded diseases like cancer growth. Apigenin can also be found in in celery, thyme and parsley. One of the remarkable abilities of Apigenin is that it impedes tumor growth while encouraging cell death in cancer patients.

Final Thoughts 

  • Washing your iceberg lettuce is necessary because it is rooted in the soil and has some dirt on it.
  • There are so many health risks of eating unwashed lettuce. But the main concern is foodborne diseases. Germs like Salmonella, Listeria and E. coli are common in this vegetable.
  • Unfortunately, it is impossible to know whether your lettuce has E. coli or not. 
  • Washing iceberg lettuce in vinegar can help you get rid of all the E. coli in it.
  • Iceberg lettuce provides significant nutritional benefits such as vitamins A and K, which keeps bodily system in good shape and small amounts of vitamin c, iron and calcium. 
  • The vegetable is low in calories but high in fiber, making it a great fit for those seeking to lose weight. 
  • A compound known as Apigenin is present in iceberg lettuce and fights against dreaded diseases like breast and colon cancer. 
  • Ensure that your lettuce is properly covered in a plastic bag as not covering it will make germs gather. 

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