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Grocers often coat parsnips in wax to hold in their moisture so they stay fresh during transport and on display. Although this coating is made of food-grade wax, it's still not pleasant to eat. Scraping your nail along the parsnip reveals whether your vegetables are waxed. You can remove the wax before cooking with hot water, but you should still peel them to ensure that no remaining wax ends up in your cooked dish.
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Fill a bowl or a plugged sink with hot tap water. Soak the parsnips in the water for 3 minutes to soften the wax.
Scrub the skin of the parsnip with a vegetable brush to remove the loosened wax. Rinse under hot water.
Hold the parsnip in your nondominant hand. Peel the skin off with a vegetable peeler, pulling the peeler from the stem end to the bottom of the root. Peel away from your body.