‘A little bit of dirt, doesn’t do you any harm’ is a myth. Get over it! It is important to wash all fruits and vegetables before you eat them. Soil sometimes carries harmful bacteria. These bacteria can get in the fruits or vegetables through the water that is used for irrigation, or by the use of organic fertilizers, or from the droppings of birds and other animals that stroll in the farm. If fruits and vegetables eaten without washing can lead to food poisoning after it is consumed.
Holding vegetables under running water will do you no good, only it will lead to wastage of water. You need to rub them under running water or in a bowl of fresh water. It is advisable to wash fruits and vegetables in a bowl as it will reduce the splashing the bacteria in the surrounding air. But if you are using a bowl to wash fruits and vegetables, make sure that you have final rinse of them under running water. Always start with less soiled vegetable and fruits and give each of them a final rinse. The soil contains bacteria so if you get the soil washed off most of the bacteria are destroyed. Therefore, washing off the soil is very important. Also peeling or cooking of vegetables and fruits kills bacteria.
The sole recommendation for safely storing your fruits and vegetables is to wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling any raw food. Always keep the raw food away from ready to eat food. Try using different wooden chopping boards for raw food and ready to eat food. If that is not possible, wash the chopping boards thoroughly before and after using. To avoid cross contamination, clean your utensils, chopping boards and knives before and after use. Also after touching raw vegetables, wash your hands.
There is nothing to be scared of the soil that you see on the vegetable you have just purchased. Just make sure that the soil is washed off with water before eating. Until then, happy eating!