Buying locally grown organic fruits and vegetables saves you from having to worry about pesticides in your food. However, there are some kinds of produce, such as avocados and mangoes, which simply don’t grow in your neighborhood. Or even if you would find them, your wallet isn’t always up for the extra cost.
ALSO READ: Going Organic Without Breaking The Bank
If you don’t know exactly where they came from, there’s a chance that there might be chemical residue lingering on their skin. To keep your diet clean and healthy, here’s how to remove pesticides from produce.
How To Remove Pesticides From Produce
#1 Washing with Cold Water
Simply washing fruits and vegetables with cold running water will remove a lot of harmful things. In addition to getting rid of surface dirt, this technique eliminates nearly 75% of pesticide residues. You just have to be sure that you do a thorough job. Rub the produce briskly as you hold it under the tap, or scrub it with a vegetable brush. Pay particular attention to crops with rough skins and craggy shapes, like okra, potatoes, or strawberries. These can collect residue in their crevices.
If you choose to wash your purchases before storing them, make sure to dry them thoroughly before you put them in the fridge. Refrigerating produce while it’s still damp will encourage the growth of bacteria and fungi.
#2 Salt Water Baths
Giving your fruits and vegetables a salt water bath is another effective, natural way to remove pesticides. Fill a large bowl with water, and add a teaspoon of sea salt for every cup of liquid, then let your washed produce soak for 5 to 10 minutes before giving it a good rinse. Your bowl should be big enough to immerse the veggies or fruits completely. If they tend to float, turn them over every few minutes so that all surfaces are cleaned.
#3 Diluted Vinegar Baths
The bath method also works if you do it with vinegar. Use a mixture that is 1 part vinegar and 9 parts water, and soak your produce in it for 15 to 20 minutes. Another way to use this mixture is to put it in a clean spray bottle and spraying it onto produce before washing it off after around 10 minutes. Lemon juice can be used as a substitute for the vinegar.
In addition to getting rid of pesticides, the acidic mixture will also act as a natural antibacterial and anti-fungal agent. However, you shouldn’t use this on fruits with soft, porous skins, like berries, as the acidity can penetrate and damage them.
#4 Baking Soda Scrubs
Baking soda can be used to scrub pesticide residue from hard-skinned vegetables and fruits. Get your produce damp with clean water, and sprinkle them with baking soda. You will then have to rub them briskly for a few minutes before rinsing them with water. This also gets rid of any stubborn grime stuck to the surface.
Blanching can be used to remove pesticides from the hardier kinds of produce, especially those that are going to be used for cooking. Briefly treating vegetables with warm water is a very effective way to get rid of any residue that may be left over after washing.
Peeling fruits and veggies can feel wasteful sometimes, but it may be the best course if you aren’t sure about the stuff you got from the supermarket. It’s a highly efficient way of getting rid of chemicals stuck to the skin.
While it isn’t always possible to buy organic produce, keeping these washing methods in mind will help you to avoid nasty chemicals ending up in your body.
Have you used any of these methods before or do you have another secret weapon to tackle pesticides and dirt on your fresh produce? Please share them with us in the comment box below.
Thanks for reading. I hope this information was helpful. Until next time!
Crazy cat lady, life and food lover, certified biologist, and holistic health coach.