How to reduce pesticides from non-organic fruit and veggies - Little Étoile Organic
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How to reduce pesticides from non-organic fruit and veggies

If organic produce is simply not affordable, rest assured you can reduce a significant amount of pesticide residue by washing your veggies with bi-carb soda.

According to a study in the Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry (1), soaking produce for 12-15 minutes in a solution of 30g of baking soda and 3L of water was effective at reducing pesticide residue in non-organic produce. Salt and vinegar have also shown to be beneficial in reducing chemical residue, although vinegar may leave your produce tasting strange.

In the life of a busy mum, washing vegetables for 15 minutes may simply not be possible. Instead, here are some quick methods for washing produce.

For leafy greens

  • Fill a bowl with greens, then fill with water
  • Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda and mix well
  • Soak your greens for a minute, swish, dump, then rinse, and pat leaves dry with a clean lint-free kitchen towel or paper towel
  • Storing leafy greens in an airtight container or ziplock bag in the fridge is the best way to keep them fresh

For mushrooms

  • Gently scrub mushrooms using a soft toothbrush
  • Rinse them quickly under running water
  • Blot the mushrooms dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel

For other veggies and smooth-skinned fruits

  • Fill a large bowl with water
  • Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • Add the veggies then soak for a minute or two
  • Scrub with a brush (a new toothbrush works fine, or you could use a small cleaning brush)
  • Rinse off with plain water

For berries

  • Only wash berries right before you intend to eat them
  • Washing berries and then storing them increases microflora growth, resulting in moldy fruit often only a day after you purchase them

 

References:

  1. Yang, T., et al., Effectiveness of Commercial and Homemade Washing Agents in Removing Pesticide Residues on and in Apples. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2017. 65(44): p. 9744-9752.
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