5 Super Simple Ways to Get Pesticides Off Your Produce

Fruits and veggies are fantastic for your health. We'll show you how to give them a proper clean before eating.

Oct 17, 2018
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Fruits and vegetables are delicious, nutritious, and colorful, making them the ideal foods to nourish our families, our appetites, and our palates. To ensure that they are truly beneficial to our health, it is important to wash off as much pesticide residue as possible.

The best way to avoid harmful pesticides is, of course, growing your own produce or buying only organic products. If, however, you can't grow your own food and organic produce is too expensive or unavailable, here are some tips to ensure your conventional produce is as healthy as possible.

1. Give it a Saltwater Soak

Research suggests that soaking fruits and vegetables in a 10 percent saltwater solution for 20 minutes gets rid of most of the residues from the four most common pesticides.

2. Soak it in Vinegar

Vinegar is another way to remove residues from fruits and vegetables. Some suggest that a solution of 4-parts water to 1-part vinegar for about 20 minutes should do the trick, while others suggest full-strength vinegar is needed to thoroughly remove pesticides. Vinegar can also remove many types of bacteria that may be found on food as well. Be careful to soak porous fruits, such as berries, in this solution, as it may affect the thin skin.

3. Clean it With Baking Soda and Water

1-ounce baking soda to 100 ounces of water is another way to wash off pesticides. Soak produce for 12-15 minutes in the solution, and then rinse with water.

4. Wash it With Just Cold Water

Researchers at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station found that rinsing produce under cold water was able to reduce pesticide residues for 9 out of 12 pesticides tested.

5. Peel it

Other ways to limit our pesticide consumption is by buying produce locally and seasonally, and by peeling the skins off (though for many fruits and vegetables, the peel tends to be a nutrient-dense resource).

What does research say about store-bought vegetable cleaners? That they’re no more useful than soaking in regular water.

Fruits and vegetables are the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. By removing as much pesticide residue as possible, we ensure that our produce consumption will provide us with the ultimate health benefits.

HILLA BENZAKEN, CONTRIBUTOR
Hilla Benzaken is a dedicated optimist. Her happy place involves cooking, acting, gardening, and fighting for social justice. She writes about all things sustainability, innovation, and DIY.

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