According to the literature, excessive pesticide consumption has been linked with serious health conditions such as infertility, birth defects and cancer. Pesticides are particularly toxic to pregnant women and young children. Therefore, awareness about pesticide residue on our fruit and vegetables is an important part of staying healthy. We have to ask – Is there really a safe level to consume?
Below I have discussed some ways to minimize your exposure to pesticides.
We can easily reduce ingestion of chemical residues on our fruits and vegetables by buying organic. When organic is not always possible, you can still make wise choices. To assist you with this, I have included below the results of some recent American research on fruits and vegetables with the highest and lowest pesticide residue – very interesting information!
Rinsing all produce thoroughly before eating is always a good idea, but many pesticides, fungicides and other agricultural chemicals are trapped under a wax coating that was added to resist water and prolong shelf life. As such, rinsing produce with just plain water is not enough to do the job.
For non-organic fruit and vegetables, a vinegar solution (2tbsp vinegar to 500mL water) and a clean nail brush may be used to wash chemical residue off fruit that is not peeled. A mild soap solution (with a natural detergent) can also be used to remove residues.