How To Remove Pesticides From Fruits And Vegetables

3 Simple Hacks To Naturally Remove Dirt, Bacteria And Chemicals From Your Produce

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When it comes to agriculture, farmers turn to pesticides in order to protect their crops against fungi, insects, pests, weeds and various diseases that would otherwise destroy up to 40% of annual crops.

Unfortunately, saving crops comes with a horrible price. Exposure to pesticides can cause cancer, tumors, wreak havoc on our nervous system, weaken our immunity, and disrupt our reproductive hormones.

Even organic produce falls victim to spray drifts as well as direct pesticide sprays that have been approved for use on organic fruits and vegetables— copper sulfate being one of them (and unfortunately, it’s pretty toxic).

Lastly, organic or not, no produce is free from wax coating, germs and bacterial contamination, so it is crucial to properly give all of your fruits and vegetables a good rinse—even those whose packaging states that the contents are pre-washed.

With that said, below are three popular and effective methods to remove impurities as well as pesticides from your produce that take very little effort.

All three involve soaking your produce in water with three powerhouse pantry ingredients that are safe to use and are very inexpensive.

For larger, thick-skinned fruits and vegetables, you can also use a bamboo scrub brush, which I like to use on potatoes—especially if I am baking them.

Also, it’s important to know that you shouldn’t wash berries until you are ready to eat them, as soaking them in these solutions can cause them to go bad super fast if put back in the fridge.

All other fruits and vegetables can and should be washed as soon as you bring them home. That’s because the longer pesticides sit on your produce, the more they penetrate the skin.

The Three Methods To Naturally Remove Dirt, Bacteria And Pesticides From Your Produce

The Baking Soda Method

Soaking produce in a sink or bowl full of water and baking soda is a fantastic way to clean your produce! Baking soda is an alkaline that strips away pesticides by breaking down their chemical structure into neutral molecules that are no longer harmful.

Simply fill up your sink, bowl or any other container, and add one teaspoon of baking soda per every 2 cups of water. Allow your fruits and vegetables to float around for about 15 minutes and then rinse them off with regular water.

The Vinegar Method

Adding white vinegar to water is another common method that effectively removes bacteria and pesticides from fruits and vegetables. That’s because vinegar contains acetic acid, which dissolves pesticides and kills about 98 percent of bacteria.

Simply fill up your sink, bowl or any other container, and add one part vinegar per 4 parts of water. I like to add 1/4 cup of vinegar per every 2 cups of water, so that the solution isn’t too acidic. Allow your fruits and vegetables to float around for about 15-20 minutes and then rinse them off with regular water.

Whenever I clean store-bought apples in the vinegar/water solution, I’m always in awe of how even the wax starts to strip off. It’s simply fantastic how powerful and effective vinegar is!

The Salt Water Method

The third method that many people use to cleanse their produce involves soaking fruits and vegetables in [sea] salt water. And while this is effective, it does tend to alter the flavor of berries, so it’s best to use on vegetables, which typically get salted anyway when cooking.

Simply fill up your sink, bowl or any other container, and add one teaspoon of sea salt per every 2 cups of water. Allow your fruits and vegetables to float around for about 15 minutes and then rinse them off with regular water.

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