The internet has been abuzz about tips for food, what should we eat and how should we eat it. Moreover, if you’ve been worried about pesticides on the fruit you eat and want to get rid of them, searching the web won’t be very helpful.
There is a countless number of tips which claim to help you remove pesticides from fruit. These promising solutions are just like the ones which claim that it’s good to wash chicken before cooking it. However, this is not right as washing it doesn’t kill bacteria but instead, it spreads dangerous pathogens all over your kitchen.
Baking Soda Instead of Store-Bought Veggie Washes
Washing fruits with water will remove some of the pesticides, but plenty of them will still remain. It depends on the fruit and whether its skin releases the pesticides more readily to what extent this washing method works.
For instance, apples which are treated with wax for extra shine will keep the pesticides besides the washing. However, this doesn’t mean that store-bought veggie washes will work better than water. Instead, it is very likely that they will seep into the surface of the fruit.
Based on a recent study conducted by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, there is a better and safer alternative to store-bought veggie washes. It has been proven that pesticides can be removed with a solution of sodium bicarbonate and water. Although the method is time-consuming, it is best to soak fruit in this solution for 12-15 minutes. The reason why baking soda works is because it has the ability to degrade two types of pesticides, thiabendazole and phosmet. It might not work for other chemicals, but it’s definitely far better than all other alternatives.
Is Organic Fruit Free of Pesticides?
Buying organic doesn’t mean that you’ll get fruit without pesticides. Organic fruit contains pesticides, but they are less toxic. There are pesticides which can get inside the fruit into the flesh which cannot be removed in any way. The best idea would be to avoid fruits, known as the “Dirty Dozen,” which pose more of pesticide risk. The 12 fruits and veggies come with the highest pesticide load and you should always buy an organic version of them.
Should You Be Worried About Pesticides?
It is still unclear whether we should be worried about pesticides in the first place. According to the Journal of Toxicology analysis, the levels of pesticides, which have been detected in the Dirty Dozen, fall under the acceptable limit set by the Environmental Protection Agency. In fact, many of them came 1,000-or 30,000-fold under the legal limit. Moreover, the impact on the body and human exposures haven’t been studied and it’s unclear exactly how a particular pesticide might affect us. Likewise, we cannot trust the Environmental Protection Agency that they’re doing their job right and that they’ll estimate correctly how much exposure we can tolerate.
So, if you can’t trust EPA or still don’t know what to believe about pesticides, it might be a good idea to visit a local farmer’s market. Even though some farmers simply resell wholesale produce, let’s assume that there are still some who sell locally grown ones. Thus, it might best if you talk to the growers and ask about the pesticides they use. If you still can’t be sure, buy a baking soda. This versatile ingredient should be a staple in your kitchen.