Washing Pepperoni

I started washing pepperoni in front of my boyfriend, and the look of shock and horror across his face instantly told me that he thought I was crazy.


Happy 2-Tips Tuesday!

Here are two ideas to consider this week.

By Jennifer Broxterman, RD


1. Washing Pepperoni

When I first started dating my boyfriend (now husband) Dave back in university I invited him over for Friday night homemade pizza, a favorite tradition from childhood. I buzzed around the kitchen prepping the ingredients:

✅  Roll out the homemade dough

✅  Open the pizza sauce

✅  Chop some vegetables

✅  Grate the cheese

✅  Wash and slice the pepperoni

HOLD UP. Dave’s face shifted from smiling, to confused, to horrified as I held a freshly opened long stick of pepperoni under running water and proceeded to scrub it like a cucumber.

Dave: “What are you doing?!?!”

Me: “Uhhhh, washing the pepperoni, why?”

Dave: “Why?”

Me: “What do you mean? {eyes widened} Don’t you wash pepperoni?”

We both had a good laugh, as it hit me for the first time in my life that I was doing something really weird with food that I had NO IDEA was strange.

My mom always washed the pepperoni before she sliced it up. So as a kid, “wash the pepperoni” was just another step to get homemade pizza night ready when we helped with dinner chores.

Here’s what’s fascinating about humans - we all have versions of “wash the pepperoni” running around inside our heads; invisible scripts that push and pull us into certain behaviors that we aren’t even consciously aware of why we’re doing them.

Some are funny and benign like pepperoni washing, but some are much more harmful from toxic diet culture like food rules (today: “carbs are bad”, or back in the 1980-1990’s “fat is bad”), body image baggage, and the like.

Sometimes it’s worth stopping to examine our own metaphorical pepperoni washing.

I’ll end with a powerful example that I teach a lot as a Registered Dietitian:

👉 “Finish your plate.”


2. In Case You Were Wondering

To be clear, I no longer wash my pepperoni before eating. Dave and I Googled it that night, and also went down a funny Reddit rabbit hole about pepperoni washing.

Email Me Back: contact info
LOL, now I'm really curious and being nosy - do you wash your pepperoni? Don't worry, you can tell me. You're not alone. 🙋‍♀️ 😂



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Jen Broxterman
Registered Dietitian
Prosper Nutrition Coaching


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Jennifer Broxterman, MSc, RD

• Award-winning Foods & Nutrition University Professor
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