How to Wash Fruit and Vegetables to Remove Pesticides

Have you ever walked through the produce department and marveled at the fruit. Multiple displays of seasonal fruit are stacked to perfection. It is often drizzled with water droplets that make it look clean enough to eat. Each piece of produce is strategically placed to evoke the epitome of health.  Mounds of brightly colored blemish-free fruit are coated with chemicals to make them appear flawless. After all how harmful can fruit be? Well, the actual answer will surprise you.  But buyer beware. This post will outline the How to Wash fruit and vegetables to remove pesticides.

The Truth About Pesticides

Sweet delectable fruit is enticing to both humans, animals, and insects. Insects specifically love fruit and often flock to sweet crops. They have the innate ability to decimate the crops. So much so, farmers often rely on chemical pesticides to protect the crops. Pesticides are highly effective at keeping insects away.  But at what health cost. Just think about it, if you consistently apply pesticides through the growing process, you are depositing chemicals into every layer of the fruit.  The sole purpose of harvesting fruit is to eat it.  If you choose to eat fruit without properly cleansing it, you are potentially exposing yourself to high levels of pesticides. 

The Dangers of Bacteria

Let’s face it. Bacteria are everywhere. Rather we choose to acknowledge or not, there’s practically no way to avoid it. It practically lives on every surface.  In fact, it is so microscopic it cannot be seen by the naked eye.  It can only be viewed with the use of a high powered microscope.  Fruit doesn’t just magically appear in the grocers produce section.  It must first take a bacteria-laden journey from the farm to the produce section.  First, it must be harvested from the field to the processing facility.  Harvesting involves some form of manual handling to pick and transport the fruit to its processing facility.  The problem is that human hands are laced with bacteria.  Simply because not everyone practices cleanliness.  Practically everything that you touch picks up deposited bacteria and transports it to the other items on the surface. 

Picture this, workers pick strawberries and package them for distribution.  Practically everyone that touches the cargo infests each and every strawberry that he touches. So when you rely on the produce department to mist and wash your fruit, it remains dirty. In fact, every time you do not wash your fruit you are further exposing yourself to potentially dangerous bacteria. Let’s take E. Coli for instance, anyone that uses the facilities (bathroom) without properly washing their hands it increases the potential of depositing E.Coli onto every surface they touch.

Ingesting bacteria and pesticides are toxic. In theory, you can protect crops with chemicals without any ill effects.  But chemicals by definition are toxic to any and everything they come in contact with.  This goes for humans and insects.  In fact, the simple act of spraying pesticides requires heavy-duty protective gear that resembles space gear. So at a minimum, you should be sure to thoroughly clean all fruit before eating it. You can limit your levels of pesticide exposure by buying organic fruit. Truth is, organic fruit can be very expensive. The good news you do not have to go broke in order to eat healthily

Take Home

The Environmental Working Group (www.ewg.org) (EWG), has researched and developed two lists, The Dirty Dozen, and the “Clean 15.” By simply following these list can help you save money. Buying all things organic, can be incredibly expensive. EWG has done all of the hard work for you to research the fruits and vegetables that are more prone to have a higher concentration of pesticides. By following this list you reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals and save money.

There is no possible way to avoid all exposures to food toxins. But there are some precautions you can take to reduce your exposure.

1). Use your Resources

Reference the EWGs “Dirty Dozen”, list and the “Clean 15”. Use it as a guide to buy fruits and vegetables.

2) Hand wash all fruit and vegetables before eating

Wash, scrub, and clean all produce using water and vinegar into the sink. Fill the sink with water. Add 1 cup of vinegar. Let sit for 10 minutes. Use friction to hand wash all fruit and vegetables.  Thoroughly wash and dry all fruit before eating. 

3) Dry fruit and vegetables before eating 

Ensure that all fruit is dry before attempting to eat.

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