How to remove pesticides from fruits and vegetables

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Organic produce has grown in popularity over the past few years, and can be a great option with many different benefits. However, shopping organically for fruits and vegetables isn’t always within everyone’s budget. Hopefully, there will come a day when organic farming becomes the norm. But until then, those of us looking for healthy, delicious produce can still take comfort in knowing what we buy can be made better by removing the potential pesticides that were sprayed during the growing process. Unfortunately, a quick rinse in the sink often doesn’t get rid of those pesky pesticides. However, there are some practical ways to remove them.

As recently as 2015, almost all produce samples tested by the USDA showed signs of synthetic chemicals. At the very top of The Dirty Dozen (the worst culprits in the world of pesticides) were apples, peaches, grapes, strawberries, nectarines, and celery. We may not think about the harmful chemicals we could be ingesting when we’re trying to enjoy a healthy snack, but it’s important to know what we’re eating.

Luckily, there’s a combatant list to The Dirty Dozen, called The Clean Fifteen, where avocados topped off the list! You can do a quick search on other fruits and vegetables that made this list, and have peace of mind in eating them.

But, for those pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables that we don’t want to have to worry about? We can remove those pesticides in a completely natural and safe way.

According to Gayle Povis Alleman, dietician, and author of ‘The Healing Power of Garlic, Vinegar, and Olive Oil,’ vinegar can actually be used to remove certain pesticides and forms of bacteria from your fresh produce. This might come as a shock at first, but considering all of the other natural cleaning benefits of vinegar, it makes sense to think that its natural power would be able to break through harmful pesticides and give us fresh, clean fruits and vegetables.

Before you start soaking all your produce in vinegar, though, take note – there’s a quick and easy way to make this natural cleaner at home. Simply mix a solution of 10% vinegar, and 90% clean water together, and soak your produce, stirring every few minutes. The timeline is essentially up to you, but do pay attention to produce with ‘softer skin,’ like berries, so they don’t become water-logged, and so the vinegar flavor doesn’t soak into the berries themselves. After several minutes of soaking and stirring, simply give the produce a quick rinse with water.

If you can’t afford organic products, give this natural vinegar wash a try!


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