How to remove pesticide residues?

The alerts continue to rain. In a study published last week, UFC-Que Choisir He denounced the contamination of 50% of fruit and vegetables from intensive agriculture by risk pesticides. This week, rebelote: the NGO generation futures reports that 63.1% of non-organic fruits, vegetables and grains contain pesticide residues above the detection limit. As you may have understood, therefore, it is better to buy organic. But what to do when you don’t have the means or the offer is limited in your territory? Are we doomed to swallow harmful substances with every cherry or carrot swallowed? In truth, it is possible to reduce pesticide traces with a few tricks. Overview.

#1 Remove the skin

Peeling is undoubtedly the most radical alternative to try to get rid of pesticides. By removing the skin from your fruits and vegetables, and then washing them with water, you can cut pesticide residues in half, estimates Michel Cymès in RTL. However, it is impossible to completely remove these harmful substances, even by peeling the plants.

But if this technique is effective, it has a drawback: some of the nutrients are found in the skin of fruits and vegetables. Peeling them, therefore, is equivalent to depriving yourself of their vitamins and other benefits…

#2 A bath of water and baking soda

If you don’t want to remove the skin from your fruits and vegetables, proper washing is a must! Rinsing your plants with cold water is not enough to remove the pesticide residues present on their skin. Instead, opt for a long-lasting bath. To do this, prepare a bath with two teaspoons of baking soda per liter of water. Submerge your plants in it and let them soak for about fifteen minutes.

Once this time has elapsed, rinse your fruits and vegetables in cold water again and that’s it. This solution is less effective than peeling but still reduces the amount of pesticide residue present, according to a study published in the Journal of Food and Agricultural Chemistry (note, this study only studied two pesticides). [1]

Vinegar Dip #3

To clean your fruits and vegetables, you can also resort to an essential household product: vinegar. Whether it’s white or cider vinegar, vinegar will help kill bacteria on your plants and can also reduce the presence of pesticide residues (although no scientific study proves this).

Dilute a glass of vinegar in two liters of water and soak your fruits and vegetables for about fifteen minutes. Then rinse them under cold water and dry them with a clean cloth. You can eat them later, without having to remove the skin! [2]

#4 Organic, when possible

Some fruits and vegetables may not stand up to a water bath. This is the case, for example, with small berries or raspberries, which fill up quickly and lose flavor. For these foods, therefore, it is preferable to buy organic, since organic farming prohibits the use of synthetic pesticides. In general, the UFC-Que Chsoisir recommends resorting to organic fruits and vegetables to preserve your health. “But it is not acceptable to have to force consumers to switch to a more expensive offer, when these worrying global findings are the result of a particularly lax regulatory framework”denounces the association in its last relationship about the topic.

As you may have understood, there is no miracle solution to eliminate pesticides harmful to health. But while you wait for its ban, you can still do these reinforced washes to continue eating fruits and vegetables, essential for a healthy diet.

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