Nowadays, over 70 percent of non-organic produce contain traces of pesticides. Agricultural pesticides have chemicals that are insoluble in water; therefore, washing vegetables and fruits with water is just not enough for safe consumption.
Apples, apricots, bell peppers, cherries, cantaloupes, celery, cucumbers, grapes, green beans, pears, peaches, potatoes, spinach, strawberries, and winter squashes are among the produce that are reported to retain the highest amounts of pesticide. Following are some inexpensive and easy methods to effectively remove pesticides from your produce.
Add few teaspoons of the common dish washing liquid that you have at home in a large bowl of water. Immerse the bunches of grapes or some spinach leaves in the detergent solution and swish them around for a few minutes. This helps remove pesticides to some extent. Rinse the produce thoroughly in a large bowl of fresh water a few times. Remember that detergent-washed fruits do not keep well. So, wash them just before use.
Using Sea Salt
Another economical and natural method to remove pesticide involves the use of a sea salt solution. Mix the fine grains of sea salt (1 teaspoon) in a cup of fresh water. Wash the produce thoroughly with running water. In case of lettuce, cabbage, etc., remove the outer leaves and then wash the vegetable. Soak the washed produce for 5 to 10 minutes in the sea salt solution and then rinse repeatedly in fresh water before use. In case of fruits with hard rinds, scrub well and then rinse.
Using Baking Soda
Wash the fruits and vegetables with hard skins well, removing any grime present on them. Sprinkle some baking soda on their damp surfaces and rub them well for a few minutes. Rinse sufficiently well before use.
Using White Vinegar
Measure about one and a half cups of water in a pan. Mix in one cup of white vinegar and very carefully add about one tablespoon of baking soda, little by little. Add approximately 20 drops of grapefruit seed extract to the solution and empty the mixture into a pesticide spray bottle. Screw on the sprayer and shake it gently; spray it on any fruit or vegetable; you can use it even in the case of spinach, lettuce, and broccoli. Keep the produce aside for about 10 minutes so that the solution gets time to work its magic. Rinse well before using the produce. The same solution can also be used as an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial solution.
Using Lemon Juice
Spray the solution made by mixing 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of baking soda dissolved in a cup of water on the produce and leave them aside to soak; thereafter, rinse them. This is a natural and popular way of getting rid of pesticides.
Peeling fruits before consuming them helps in reducing the effect of the pesticides to a certain degree. Using organic in-season produce provides the best guarantee of getting a pesticide-free product. It is also possible to substitute high-pesticide-retaining produce with low-pesticide-retaining ones, which contain the same level of nutrients.