Clean soil and washing your fruit and veg | Incredible Edible Todmorden | Blogs

Clean soil and washing your fruit and veg

Last update: 12.07.09 First posted: 9.07.09 by in

Every now and then someone asks us about pollution and contamination. After all we are planting and growing in an industrial town, with traffic passing by and who-knows-what in the ground.

Well, we are careful. The two key things in this are (a) growing in clean soil and (b) washing fruit and veg before eating. So please make sure you wash everything you pick from an Incredible site before eating. And, frankly, do the same with fresh produce you buy: there’s no reason to think that will be any cleaner unless you know its source directly.

In growing, we generally use raised beds with fresh soil where there’s any question mark over the soil. In particular cases we’ve taken more precautions. At the Health Centre we had the soil tested and found it was in good nick. At the railway station we put down a membrane before laying fresh clean soil, to ensure there was no contamination in our crops from the ground underneath.

The scientific research is actually unclear about whether there’s much effect on fruit and veg from contamination. Lead-free petrol has, of course, greatly reduced the pollution from car exhausts now. But if you’re thinking about growing stuff on the sort of land we’re using, please do be as careful as us.

A couple of useful sources of further information are the World Health Organisation’s guidance for what children can safely eat – find that here – and this leaflet about growing edible crops from the charity Environment Protection UK.

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