A recent study found that even vegetables cultivated in an urban garden benefited from a thorough washing before consumption.
Washing vegetables can eliminate lead, which is prevalent in urban soil utilized by city gardeners. Lead is a neurotoxic that damages organs.
A study headed by Egendorf discovered that washing could eliminate up to 97% of lead residues from lettuce, and that any type of cleaning was effective.
The study examined lettuce grown on high- or low-lead soils. Leafy greens retain dirt particles, thus the researchers chose lettuce.
The study found that washing lettuce removes 75–94% of lead. Washing eliminated 97% of splash-deposited lead and 91% of atmospheric lead.
Researchers tried different washing procedures to see which was best. Rinsing, soaking in water, vinegar, and a commercial vegetable wash solution were used.
The study found that the commercial treatment was the most successful at lowering lead levels, followed by the vinegar soak and the water soak.
The research shows that even with the best management methods in place, crop contamination can still occur, therefore it's crucial to wash your produce.