How to Decrease the Number of Dangerous Chemical Pesticides from Your Fresh Produce

If you’re concerned about the high amounts of chemical pesticides on and in your fruits and vegetables, you have good reason to be.

We now know that 70 percent of non-organic produce is contaminated with chemical pesticides and that pesticides can cause serious health issues. According to an article in Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, pesticides are linked to higher rates of chronic diseases, like cancers, diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders (such as Parkinson, Alzheimer, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis [ALS]), birth defects, and reproductive disorders. There’s also circumstantial evidence on the connection between exposure to pesticides and some other chronic diseases. And, the list is long.

How to Reduce Chemical Pesticides

There are some things you can do to reduce the amount of chemical pesticides in your produce. The most effective method is to soak your produce in water and baking soda. While no method eliminates all pesticides, as some get deeply absorbed into the product, a study found that the baking soda method did the best job.

To get the best results with baking soda, start by washing ad scrubbing any tough-skinned produce under running water. Place the produce in a solution of one teaspoon of baking soda to two cups of water. The researchers said that it took 12 to 15 minutes in the solution to completely get rid of the two pesticides used in the study.

Another method, which is pretty popular, is to soak produce in a mixture of white vinegar and water. Research that was done using cauliflower with residues of chlorpyrifos (a common pesticide) showed the removal rate is about 11.42 percent. They used a ratio of 10 percent vinegar with 90 percent of water.

As I already mentioned, you can’t remove all of the pesticides from your produce. So what I recommend, and what I do, is I check with the Environmental Working Group’s website that gives a list of produce with the most and least amount of pesticides. If the produce is listed as having high levels, I try to buy organic.

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