Whether it’s on toast, deep fried, or holding a latte (not going to lie, I had no idea that was a joke at first) avocados are undoubtedly the trendiest food of the last decade. You’d be hard pressed to scroll through any social media feed and not see at least one tantalizing avocado picture. But, despite how in-your-face the trend is, it would be impossible to not see why avocados are all the rage.
Not only is the fruit delicious on its own and in tons of recipes, it’s called a “super food” for a reason. Avocados are packed with essential vitamins and minerals that are great for your eyes, cholesterol, heart, skin, hair, and bones to name a few.
But you could be negating all these fantastic health benefits if you don’t do this one crucial step, one that most people completely forget to do.
That step? Washing your avocado.
Naturally, we don’t eat the outside of avocado, but harmful chemicals and bacteria can get spread inside the fruit if you don’t wash the skin before peeling it. Avocados aren’t just naturally germy, the bacteria comes from multiple people handling the produce before you got your hands on it.
Think about how many places that avocado went before it arrived in your grocery store. Dozens of people most likely touched the outside of the fruit as it went from the farm, to packaging, to the produce aisle, and it may have even been sprayed with pesticides. Not taking the time to wash your avocado could infect your food and increase your vulnerability to illness.
In the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ guide to peeling and pitting an avocado, it says to “thoroughly wash the fruit” with distilled warm water for about 15 seconds before peeling, gently scrubbing the outside to remove any residue.
So, the next time you’re making guacamole for a crowd, make sure to wash your produce before you do anything — that way you can enjoy everyone’s favorite trend without a worry.