One of the quickest and easiest ways to pep up the flavours of any meal is with a hint of citrus. However, before you grate a little lemon or orange peel into whatever you happen to be cooking or baking, be sure to scrub the fruit’s exterior first.
That piece of advice holds even for organic fruit, which can also have traces of pesticide on them, says Britta Schautz, who works at a consumer advice centre in Berlin. “It’s best to wash the lemon or orange under hot water,” says Schautz, adding: “No soap needed.”
Even fruits that are marketed as “untreated” likely have traces of plant protection chemicals, warns Schautz. The only thing that label really means is that the fruit was not treated with preservatives after it was harvested.
“You put yourself at risk of vomiting or nausea by eating the skin of fruit that has not been washed,” she warns. The long-term effects of eating preservatives also hasn’t been fully researched.
Schautz warns that consumers should be especially wary of limes: The green fruits aren’t required to adhere to the rules when it comes to carrying the “untreated” label. In this case, it’s always a good idea to buy organic if using the peel, advises Schautz. – dpa