I’m Right, You’re Wrong

by Marinka on October 28, 2010

Welcome to this week’s edition of I’m Right, You’re Wrong (and possibly a moron), a semi-regular feature on this site that seeks to resolve a recent dispute that I’ve been having with a loved one.

The rules are simple: I’ll post two positions, and you weigh in.

You don’t have to agree with me!

Disagreement: Should the tops of cans be washed/wiped off before opening said cans with can opener? And a related disagreement, do you wash produce that you slice, but don’t eat the outside of, such as watermelon and avocados prior to cutting?

Cast of Disagreers: Marinka and Husbandrinka

Position One: You must wash the cans. Wet a paper towel and run it against the top. See the dirt? Well, you’ll be eating that if you don’t wash the top. Same with watermelon/avocado. The knife will have contact with the exterior and bring it into the flesh of the fruit/vegetable. Clean it!

Position Two: There is not enough dirt there to justify all this washing. Just blow on it, and it’s good to go.

What do you think?

One year ago ...

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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

annie October 28, 2010 at 10:50 pm

Well in theory position one is right but do I consistently practice it? Not so much – so position 2 is more likely. How non-committal is that? Should I enter politics now?

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kimberly October 28, 2010 at 11:09 pm

Only a man would tell you to just blow on it.

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jo October 30, 2010 at 3:03 pm

HAHAHAHAHAHA!
That just made my whole day!

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Denese October 29, 2010 at 1:30 am

I’m going to go ahead, be bold, risk absolute germophobe outing, and vote WASH EVERYTHING DAMN IT. Germs are totally carried from the fruit skin to the actual fruit on the knife, and I don’t even want to think about what’s clinging to the can lid.

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From Belgium October 29, 2010 at 4:59 am

Sweetie, why ask me? I am a Belgian remember. I eat home grown fruit and vegetables that I just picked without washing them, I eat horsemeat, raw meat and mouldy cheese without thinking twice about hygiene, germs or anything else. Oh, and our beers are made by using yeast cultures that are centuries old.
So no, I don’t wash an advocado. I only wash vegetables that are store bought, but only because of the pesticides.

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Robbin B October 29, 2010 at 8:51 am

Well I would say #2 because that is what I do.

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From the Netherlands October 29, 2010 at 9:01 am

I agree with from Belgium 🙂

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Ed Lemon October 29, 2010 at 9:16 am

I’m with #1. Of course, I rarely open a can or cut up fruit, so who knows what goes on when I’m not watching!

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sdl October 29, 2010 at 9:27 am

Clearly position 1 is right, and clearly position 2 is also right. If I stopped to think about it, cans can have icky stuff on them, and whatever’s gotten on the outside of the fruit would be carried into the fruit with the melon, and yet…I almost never bother. And we seem to get far fewer gastrointestinal illnesses than a lot of families.

But eating pesticides is probably a really terrible idea. So I guess I have to go with position 1, though I may continue to act like I support position 2 when it comes down to wrestling with washing a watermelon.

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Becky (Princess Mikkimoto)
Twitter:
October 29, 2010 at 9:35 am

I like to think I’m quite the Pioneer as I don’t wash off cans or watermelons, but in truth, I think I’m just lazy. Healthy and rarely sick but lazy.

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Jodi October 29, 2010 at 9:38 am

I’m going w/option 2 also. Yeah Yeah I KNOW!!!

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Shannon October 29, 2010 at 9:39 am

I’m going to have to vote position #2, honestly. Partly because I’m lazy, partly because my momma always told me a little dirt never hurt anybody. I might could compromise by giving the offending item a quick rinse under the faucet if it looked really icky, but that’s it.

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Nona
Twitter:
October 29, 2010 at 9:40 am

Number one, but that’s because I was raised by a clean-everything-tyrant. It’s just a habit now.

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Gray Matter Matters October 29, 2010 at 9:48 am

What is this fruit of which you speak. Are they like Fruit Snacks, ‘cuz we just tear open the package.

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the mama bird diaries
Twitter:
October 29, 2010 at 10:24 am

i think you should wash it, but i don’t.

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Jennifer
Twitter:
October 29, 2010 at 10:26 am

In theory, I think washing is best. But I don’t always practice it.

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tracey October 29, 2010 at 10:33 am

Blowing on it is ok. Washing a watermelon is verging on OCD. In my non-professional opinion…

Wait. Don’t blow on a watermelon. Just a dusty can of pop. And if it’s not dusty, then just drink it without blowing. End comment.

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Becky K October 29, 2010 at 12:18 pm

E coli has been transferred to watermelons by dirty produce pickers and people have been taken ill. OCD it is not.

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from Holden Mass October 29, 2010 at 11:36 am

When in doubt, wash it. I read of a woman who died getting e-coli from a cantelope . The germs went through as she cut it. The question is, does rinsing even get rid of these germs? Yuck.

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Becky K October 29, 2010 at 12:16 pm

If I was picking my own fruit that I planted and I knew that it had not been pooped on by a bird, I probably would just eat it but the fruit you get from the store is a different matter all together. Do you know if that fruit picker washed his hands after he used the bathroom? Probably not, wash the fruit! As far as cans are concerned, I will wash them every time and I also wash the tops of soda cans as well before I open them. Do I want to french kiss the same surface that a mouse or rat could have run over while the cans were in a warehouse…NO!

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Bekah October 29, 2010 at 12:32 pm

To quote my grandmother “God made dirt and dirt don’t hurt.” Of course 99% of the fruits and vegetables and even canned goods she ate came from her own backyard, so she didn’t have to worry about pesticides. I’m admittedly lazy and don’t wash fruits/vegetables where I don’t eat the outside. Cans…always. I was cured after seeing a little kid lick several can lids and put them back on the grocery shelves.

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GrandeMocha
Twitter:
October 29, 2010 at 1:13 pm

#1 You wash the cans, avacado, & watermelon. But I never wash the tops of the pop cans that come out of a 12 pack in cardboard. And we don’t wash bananas.

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Bostulla October 29, 2010 at 1:41 pm

I guess I eat dirt *

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chrystal November 22, 2010 at 3:14 pm

me too. I rarely wash anything of the sort; canned or otherwise. I tend to rinse potatoes but only because I can see the chunks of dirt on them, and I don’t skin them before I cook them. Otherwise? Nope. And I can count the amount of times my husband or I have been sick in our entire adult lives which is a combined 25 years and that answer is none. We aren’t sick. We don’t live in a dirty home, but we certainly don’t scrub and wash everything that comes in the house. Kids aren’t sick ever either! Food for thought……

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tarheelmom
Twitter:
October 29, 2010 at 1:52 pm

for the love of all that’s icky – just wash it please! unless it comes from your own garden then have at it however you like it

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Becky October 29, 2010 at 2:00 pm

I’m going with option 2, unless the fruit is visibly dirty or the cans have been sitting for a while and have a film of grossness on them. Like the others, I’m too lazy. Also, I believe that some germs are good for you! Or I say that to support my laziness. Whatever.

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awesome dude October 29, 2010 at 2:06 pm

There is ancient tribal aborigenic ritual of peeing over the can before opening it to give it “back to the nature” flavor

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redfox October 29, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Whichever position is actually correct, my revealed preference is for the unstated option #3: don’t even bother blowing.

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Tess
Twitter:
October 29, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Position # 1 for sure.

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amber October 29, 2010 at 3:51 pm

While the adult in me knows position 1 is correct, the perpetual teenager in me (who actually rules my life) goes with option 2. Acctually…redfox’s option 3.

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Tonya
Twitter:
October 29, 2010 at 5:06 pm

I’m going to say they are both correct: option 2 if it’s just me but option 1 (which is the actual correct option if I weren’t lazy) if the husband is around and I want to yell at him about something. Although option 1 usually leads us to: me grabbing can away from him and dramatically throwing it in the trash and saying “fine, I’m going out to dinner by myself then” and him sadly digging out the can and muttering about food wasting.

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The Lady AshEfield October 29, 2010 at 7:51 pm

I think it’s absolutely ridiculous when i see people simply running water over fruit/vegetables and wiping tops of cans with a paper towel.

if there are serious bacteria present- this isn’t going to do shit– except perhaps spread that “shit” around a bit more.

i NEVER wash my fruit or veggies- but i’ll admit to wiping off the dust from a can– blowing tho?? that would be one powerful set of lungs to remove the dirt & dust.

without pulling out rubbing alcohol or whatever it is that kill germs- i say just pop it in your mouth.

easy peasy!

signed- Lady AshEfield

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Flucky Mom October 29, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Oh, definitely wipe or wash. Gross!

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Tanya B October 30, 2010 at 11:12 am

Yes — I always rinse off the lid of cans AND I wash my fruit before I cut into it. I have to admit that before I got married, I DID NOT wash my canned goods, but my husband taught me the error of my ways. 🙂

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monica October 30, 2010 at 2:37 pm

#2. i was gonna be embarrassed about that but then i saw that it’s pretty much what everyone else does. we do wash the fruit we that we eat the peel of. but i’m not sure how good that washing is since we wash it in tap water and it’s verboten to drink the tap water here.

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Renee November 1, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Oh my – I guess I am a bit germ-obsessed. I wash cans and all fruits/veggies (often with a special veggie wash to remove pesticides). And, we don’t follow the 5-second rule. If it falls on the floor, you throw it out! (OK – I “may” have cheated on that one a few times, but only for chocolate…)

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Lesley
Twitter:
May 23, 2011 at 2:23 pm

I like your blog for starters. I hope you read my comment. Cus I know all about fruit. Not so much about the tops of cans. But I’m a culinary major and I had to take food safety. Long story short no matter how much you wash a watermelon or cantalope or any sort of melon you’re still going to have the bactaria from the fruit. When a melon grows it grows in layers *weird huh* and since most of our melons are NOT from the united states and infact from Mexico…if there is bactaria on one layer, it will be covered up by the next layer when that layer grows and so on and so on until its cut and sent to us. As soon as you cut through said melon…well…you’ve contamined the flesh because you slice through those other layers. So what it boils down to is if you cut a melon eat it right away or put it in the fridge. Do NOT leave it out. And I wouldn’t eat melons of any sort at a hotel or event because you don’t know if they had proper storage after being cut. Avacados are fine though. I hope that wasn’t to much information and I’m sorry for any spelling mistakes. I can’t spell worth my life!

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Lesley
Twitter:
May 23, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Oh also, don’t buy dented cans of food. A lot of cans that have dents could have Botulism which could kill you. *funny though its what they inject into people when they have botox done…*

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Ester Jean December 2, 2011 at 3:06 pm

I never used to be scared of dirty soda cans or produce skins I wasn’t eating. …But I also had a saying back when I wasn’t scared. Because I was a smoker. If someone was worried about cat hairs floating through the air and landing on their food, or dirty soda can lids, or whatever, I’d say, “Well, I smoke cigarettes, so basically I could eat a shit pie and it would probably be better for me. I cant’s complain about (XYZ – cat hairs, dirt, etc).”

Now that I do NOT smoke, and now that I am pregnant, I care a lot more about that stuff! I wash everything before I eat it (within reason…Snickers bars have a wrapper just to prevent this kind of dilemma).

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