Many people try to buy organic produce as much as they can, in hope to reduce the amount of harmful, carcinogenic pesticides their family is ingesting when they eat. But, have you ever thought about the way that the fruits and vegetables get on your table? Did you know that 65% of produce samples analyzed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture test positive for pesticide residues? Unless you’re buying certified organic food, the chances are that you’re consuming a significant amount of chemicals with every portion of your ‘healthy’ greens.
This means that practically every fruit or vegetable that is on your table has tons of chemicals which afterwards are directly stuck in your body, unless you choose buying certified organic products.
But, the thing is that people usually do not have the money to buy everything organic, so the members of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) are here to inform us, which of the products are the most and which are the least contaminated with pesticides.
They publish an annual list of most and least contaminated fruits and vegetables, the so called ‘Dirty Dozen’ and ‘Clean Fifteen’ lists.
Apples, strawberries, grapes, celery, peaches, spinach, sweet bell peppers, imported nectarines, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and potatoes are all on the “Dirty Dozen” list. You should be careful when consuming these produce, as they contain a number of different pesticide residues and have high concentrations of pesticides relative to other produce items. For example, every sample of imported nectarines and 99% of apple samples tested positive for at least one pesticide residue.
The “Clean Fifteen” list consists of the following produce, which are least likely to contain pesticides: avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, frozen sweet peas, onions, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, eggplant, grapefruit, cantaloupe, cauliflower and sweet potatoes. Of all these, the cleanest are the avocados, which have only 1% of pesticides in them.
How to clean your fruits and vegetables and make them safe for consumption?
There is a simple and cheap trick that can help you get rid of those nasty chemicals. You can simply wash your fresh produce in distilled white vinegar and water solution. Gayle Povis Alleman, a registered dietician, suggests soaking your veggies and fruits in a solution of 10% vinegar to 90% water. Make the mixture, and let the produce sit in for 15 to 20 minutes. When you remove them, you’ll notice that the water left in the bowl is dirty and may contain some gunk. Rinse fruits and vegetables in fresh water, and then enjoy your cleaner product.
It is also suggested to use 2% of salt water which will rinse your fruits and vegetables and remove the pesticides from the surface.
It is important to invest some time in preparing your food, as you don’t want to end up consuming a portion of toxins with your snack. By washing your food carefully, you protect the health of your whole family. We advise you to choose the safe way and prepare our vinegar and water wash.