WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Gurney’s Seed & Nursery Co. released the study ‘How Many People Wash Their Produce in Every State?‘ and ranked Kansans as the least likely to wash their produce.
Gurney’s surveyed the 40 most populous states.
First, they asked people to rank how often they wash vegetables before eating them. They used a scale of one to five, with one being least often and five being most often. Kansas had the lowest average at 3.76.
The national average was 4.15.
Gurney’s ranks New York as the state with the highest average of 4.70. Mississippi has the second-highest average at 4.52, and Arizona has the third-highest average at 4.50.
The next question was about how often people wash fruit, and it used the same scale of one to five. Kansas again had the lowest average at 3.66.
The national average was 4.05.
Gurney’s ranks New York as the state with the highest average of 4.52. Mississippi has the second-highest average of 4.48, and Maryland has the third-highest average of 4.45.
The company says Americans who follow a plant-based diet wash their produce more often than those who do not. Plant-based Americans have an average score of 4.22 for washing their veggies and 4.13 for their fruits. Americans who are not plant-based have an average of 4.14 for washing their veggies and an average score of 4.04 for washing their fruits.
Other findings from the study include:
- 55% of Americans are more likely to wash produce when they’re serving food to others
- 46% of those who follow a plant-based diet would confront someone they witnessed not washing produce
- 17% of Americans only wash produce when it is visibly dirty
- 76% of Americans think produce from large grocery store chains is dirtier than produce from farmer’s market
- 60% of Americans would be upset if they knew someone served them unwashed produce
- 19% of Americans think they only need to wash produce they eat raw
When Gurney’s asked why Americans wash their produce, 41.1% said pesticides, 33.6% said dirt, 14% said out of habit, 6.6% said because of bugs, 4% said other, and .8% said because of social pressure.
According to Gurney’s study, when it comes to dropping a piece of produce in the grocery store and putting it back on display, 5.6 out of 10 Americans admit to doing so.
In their study, Gurney’s team shares tips from MIT Medical for washing produce:
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before and after preparing fresh produce
- Rinse and gently rub produce under plain, running water
- Do not use soap, vinegar, or other cleaning products when washing your produce
- Use a clean vegetable brush on firm produce like melons or cucumbers
- Dry produce with a clean cloth or paper towel