Sunday, November 12, 2017

How To Get Pesticides Off Your Fruit With a Kitchen Staple We All Have in Our Kitchens!

As the temperatures drop we are quickly moving deep into apple season.   Pretty soon your local farmers market will we full of all types of apples- a variety for every taste.   

For your home, when possible, you should always opt for  organic fruits and vegetables - especially for your children- especially if you are pregnant and especially apples since they tend to have high levels of pesticide residues when they are non-organic.

Certain produce absorb more pesticide chemicals than others (see our list of the 'Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen ' for a complete list of produce that have more pesticides and should be purchased organic and those that have absorb less pesticides and are safe to eat conventional),  But even for the most well meaning organic eater, there will be some instances when, whether due to budget or because you are away from home  you will have no choice than to eat non organic.

With this in mind, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst,  set out to test
three common methods for cleaning non-organic fruits to see which worked best in the removal of surface and internalized pesticide residues from apples... which are one of the fruits which absorb and have the highest amounts of pesticides in the US

Surface pesticide residues were most effectively removed by a baking soda
solution when compared to plain tap water or a Clorox bleach solution (which, by the way, I would never recommend for use at home, but is actually standard in many farms post harvest to 'remove' pesticides - and  which this study shows is not only adding more chemicals to the fruit but not aiding in the removal of the pesticides) .   With the baking soda it took 12 and 15 min to almost completely remove the surface pesticide residues.   The pesticide that penetrated the apple, however, were not removed by the baking soda (or any) washing solution.

Peeling apples is even more effective to remove the penetrated pesticides; however, by peeling  healthy fiber, calcium and vitamin C  in the peels will become lost too.

Bottom line?  It is still better to buy organic apples if you do not want to expose yourself or your family to toxic pesticides.... however when organic is not available or not an option, wash them in a baking soda solution seems to be the best option out there.

DIY Baking Soda Cleaner  (scientist used a 1% baking soda and tap water mixture )
1.  Fill a bowl halfway with water 
2.  Add 1-2 Tbsp of baking soda (depending on the size of your bowl.   
3.  Mix well 
4. Drop your apples in the mixture and leave there for 12-15 minutes.
5.  Rinse the apples off

* For added cleaning you can also scrub your apples a bit with the baking soda mixture - it will act almost like a scrub

* This solution can also be used for all firm fruits and vegetables.

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