Did you know that 65% of produce samples analyzed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture test positive for pesticide residues? Unless you’re getting certified organic food, which can be very expensive, you’re surely consuming a significant amount of chemicals with every portion of your “healthy” fruits and veggies.
Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is publishing a list of the most and least contaminated fruits and vegetables with an ultimate goal to inform the public about the levels of exposure to toxic chemicals that are commonly found in our fresh produce. They publish a list called “Dirty Dozen”, and a list called “Clean Fifteen”.
Strawberries, apples, nectarines, peaches, celery, grapes, cherries, spinach, tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, hot peppers, kale, and collard greens are on top of the “Dirty Dozen” list for 2016. This means that these fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of pesticides that can be very harmful on the long run.
How to clean your fruits and veggies and make them safer for consumption?
The thing is, pure water will not clean your fruits and veggies thoroughly, so you should try this trick. All you have to do is just wash the produce in a mix of distilled white vinegar and water. “Make sure the mix contains 10% of vinegar and 90% of water”, says the dietician Gayle Povis Alleman. After you prepare the mixture, just soak the fruits or veggies in it and let them stay for at least 15 to 20 minutes.
As a proof that this mixture actually works, you will notice that the water will be dirtier afterward and it will contain some gunk. After 15 or 20 minutes, wash the produce with clean and fresh water and they will be ready for consumption, pesticide-free!
If you don’t like the eventual vinegar aroma, you can replace the vinegar with lemon juice as it will do the work as well.
This may seem to be quite a long process, but you should have a conscious relationship with your food. It is always better to consume a clean apple than one whose toxicity may harm you – this is a fact.