Leafy greens are loaded with germs

"Eat your vegetables -- they're good for you!" How many times have you heard that little nag?

Well, I'm here to tell you it's a load of bunk.

Many vegetables aren't nearly as healthy as advertised. And these days, they can be downright dangerous or even deadly -- because vegetables from the Big Ag operations can be crawling with more bacterial filth than you'll ever find on meat.

One new analysis of a UK food poisoning outbreak traces it to... you guessed it... vegetables. Specifically, cryptosporidium in allegedly pre-washed bagged spinach and salad greens.

You know this stuff. Maybe you've eaten it yourself.

Sometimes it says "DOUBLE WASHED!" or even "TRIPLE WASHED!" on the bag -- but it doesn't matter if they quintuple, sextuple, or septuple wash it, because many of the bacteria on salad greens are almost impossible to kill, including cryptosporidium, salmonella, and listeria.

And that's not just true over there in Jolly Olde England. It's true right here in the United States of Bacteria, where the CDC recently (and quietly) admitted that the leading source of food contamination isn't meat.

It's not even the agency's favorite super-villain, raw milk. (The fact is, raw milk is not only delicious it can literally be a cure for what ails you. Click here to get the whole scoop.)

It's leafy greens such as lettuce and spinach -- the same stuff sickening Brits and Scots.

The good news is you don't have to give up greens to stay safe. You just need to make sure they're bug-free first.

I've seen health officials suggest cooking them first. But who wants to eat a cooked salad? Blech! Besides, cooking eliminates most of the nutrients right along with the taste.

So eat them raw -- just be sure to wash them first, and by that I obviously don't mean the pre-washed bagged stuff, and I certainly don't mean a quick splash of water.

Scrub the hard vegetables, rinse the soft ones and then soak everything in a solution of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide for 20 minutes. Rinse ‘em again, and they're ready to eat -- and no, you won't taste the peroxide.