HOW TO WASH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES TO REMOVE PESTICIDES?
In recent times, there has been a surge in the use of pesticides while growing fruits and vegetables. Fruits and veggies that we get from the market are coated with pesticides of various types. Pesticides are chemicals and consuming them in any way is extremely harmful to our bodies. Opting for an organic alternative is advisable but many health experts say that even organic produce has pesticides.
Therefore, one of the main concerns of people these days is how to get rid of the pesticides from fruits and vegetables. Is washing them with water sufficient to remove pesticides? Here we’ll resolve all your queries and explain the process to wash fruits and vegetables to remove pesticides.
WHY SHOULD WE REMOVE PESTICIDES FROM FRUITS AND VEGETABLES?
Pesticides are used during the cultivation of crops and other products to prevent damage to the produce from weed, insects, diseases, etc. So, the aim of using pesticides is to protect the produce. However, the same pesticide that benefits crops is lethal for humans. If used in large quantities, they stick to the plants and veggies and reach the homes of consumers.
Several studies have proven that exposure of humans to these toxic pesticides in any way is detrimental to the human body. There are high risks of contracting acute as well as chronic diseases like cancer, respiratory ailments, allergic reactions, neurological disorders, etc. Hence, it is crucial to wash the fruits and veggies before we consume them to get ultimate health benefits.
DIFFERENT WAYS OF WASHING FRUITS AND VEGETABLES TO REMOVE PESTICIDES
The very first way to remove the pesticide from fruits and veggies is to wash them using cold water. It is the simplest means of all. For this, you need to soak the fruits and vegetables in cold water for about 30 to 45 minutes. Then, scrub it gently using a brush to remove the pesticides and rinse it off with fresh water. Coldwater is proven to be effective on 70-80 percent of the pesticides. It only reduces the pesticides and does not eliminate it altogether. It is a suitable process for organic veggies that have considerably less amount of pesticides coated on them.
SALT WATER SOLUTION
Salt is a traditional remedy for cleansing many things. Since cold water is not 100 percent effective on all kinds of pesticides, a better and more cost-effective way is using a saltwater solution. For this, you need to take water in a bowl and add two teaspoons of salt to it. Now, soak the veggies and fruits in the saltwater solution for almost 30 to 45 minutes. The saltwater will do its work and loosen the pesticides stuck on the produce. Next, you need to scrub the fruits and veggies to cleanse and make them free of pesticides. Lastly, rinse it off with water. This simple washing method will make the newly bought fruits and vegetables fit for human consumption in no time.
Washing the produce with vinegar solution is yet another home remedy for reducing the intake of pesticides. To make a vinegar solution, take four parts of water and one part of white vinegar. Soak the fruit and veggies in this solution for 20 to 30 minutes. Scrub the produce nicely using a brush and rinse with fresh water. Vinegar solution successfully eliminates the presence of pesticides, microbes, and toxins. Remember not to soak the fruits and veggies for a longer period than required. Vinegar may get absorbed in the product and give them a sour flavor.
BAKING SODA SOLUTION
Using baking soda is a proven way to clean fruits and vegetables thoroughly. It is one of the most effective ways to get rid of 99% of pesticides. For this, you need to take a bowl of water and add a teaspoon of baking soda to it. Mix it well and once you observe a reaction happening, soak fruits and veggies in the mixture. After 15-20 minutes, the produce will release toxins and pesticides. A gentle scrub with a brush will eliminate all the types of microbes and pesticides from them. Wash off the product with clean water and they’ll be ready for use.
PEEL OFF THE SKIN
Besides the above-mentioned ways, there’s another quick way to do away with pesticides. Since pesticides are settled on the outer skin of fruits and veggies, peeling their skin off is also a way to remove pesticides. This method can only be employed in certain fruits and veggies that do not have fibrous and nutritious skin. For veggies and fruits that are eaten along with their peel, this method shouldn’t be adopted. By doing so, you will lose on the health benefits.
OTHER WAYS TO REDUCE INTAKE OF PESTICIDES
The above methods of washing the products are sure to remove pesticides and make the fruits healthy and suitable for consumption. However, there are other ways by which we can reduce the intake of pesticides to a great extent.
Firstly, everyone should consume more organically grown produce. Organic fruits and veggies are grown with the help of no or very little pesticides. They are healthier and safer for our bodies. Moreover, washing them with any of the above methods will completely eliminate the residue of pesticides if there are any.
Further, drying the fruits and veggies properly after washing them is essential. It is because moisture can promote the growth of bacteria.
Blanching the vegetables that have to be frozen is also crucial for retaining the nutrients and killing enzymes and microbes that spoil it. Moreover, after the product is clean and dry, refrigerating it is the best way to retain their freshness. Consuming it at the earliest is advisable.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and do not worry about pesticides. Just try to adopt these simple, quick, and cost-effective washing methods for cleansing your fruits and vegetables. These hygienic practices will keep you away from pesticides and help you get the maximum health benefits.