The constant rise in complex conditions such as cancer, birth defects, reproduction hormones’ complication, infertility, cognitive dysfunctions and even organ failures are all to be credited to the long-term doing of one deadly chemical; pesticides. As you would expect, pesticides benefits the farmers in major ways, keeping the crops free from insect or parasite-transmitted diseases, and increasing the yield of the crops, being some of them. Yet the side effects it brings are innumerable, only countering the reasons for having to use pesticides at all. Although the governments of countries such as USA, Canada, Brazil, Sri Lanka and Netherlands are already taking endeavors to sensitize their farmers about the side effects of pesticides and ban the use of certain types, it is yet to be projected on large scales, and be enforced lawfully by many other developing countries.
With that being said, a legitimate panacea was introduced worldwide by health experts, which is to consume organic food. The drawback is however that organic food is not easily available in some countries, and even if it is, at a rather pricey rate. But the good news is that you can purchase fruits and vegetables from your usual choice of market, and still be able to cleanse the residue of pesticide to some extent. How you ask? Read on to find out the homemade hacks to get rid of pesticides from fruits and vegetables.
DIY Hacks To Get Rid Of Pesticides From Fruits And Vegetables
1. Always wash your food thoroughly
This applies to not just fruits and vegetables, but also chicken, fish and even your regular herbs. Unless the produce comes right from your own garden, do not take the risk of skipping the washing, even if the produce is brought from an organic store. We understand that a lot of you are worried of washing away the nutrients and flavors of the food, which is exactly why you should wash them only externally with cold water. Always wash your vegetables prior to chopping. This will remove at least 80% of the pesticide residue, and prevent any flavors from escaping at the same time. You may also use a clean, stiff brush to scrub hard vegetables like potatoes or carrots while washing them.
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2. Wash your food with salt water
Washing the produce with 2% salt water is equally as effective in eliminating pesticide. Personally, my mom has been following this remedy for several years now, and she insisted that I shared this with all my readers. All you have to do is to soak your fruits and vegetables in a basin of cold water mixed with two teaspoons of salt. Let them soak in it for about 3 minutes, and then gently rub the produce with your bare hands as you wash them under running tap water. The salt will serve as a disinfectant, removing any pesticide or chemical residue from the surface of the produce.
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3. Soak the produce in a vinegar soak
This hack suggests that you prepare a solution out of about 10% of white vinegar and 90% of water (equals to approx three parts water to one part vinegar). Soak your produce in it for 5 minutes and remove instantly, to avoid any vinegar residue. Experts claim that this hack can remove up to 98% of bacteria and pesticide. But bear in mind to not to overdo this remedy, particularly with fruits and vegetables that have thin or porous skin or leaves such as berries, tomatoes, okra and spinach, as they are likely to absorb the vinegar twice as faster compared to other produces. Hence, soaking them in the vinegar solution for too long can make the produce saggy and even damaged.
4. Blanch your produce
Blanching is a process of preheating fruits and vegetables using steam or warm water soak prior to cooking, but after thorough washing. This will kill bacteria and eliminate pesticide residue the fastest among all the methods listed above. But however, similar to the vinegar soak, blanching can also make your produce limp and saggy when overdone. Hence, experts suggest that you blanch your fruits and vegetables for no longer than 3 minutes to remove pesticides and chemical residue without harming their quality.
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5. Peel and skin your produce
Peeling and skinning is undoubtedly the most obvious way to get rid of pesticides from fruits and vegetables and even meat. Most pesticide residue is by the surface, though when it comes to meat produce like chicken, rabbit or duck, it is most likely to be absorbed into their fats and skin. For that reason, always make it a point to skin clean your meat and cut off excess fats; not only does it spare you from the harms of pesticides, but also keeps you from consuming unhealthy, saturated fat. Also, make sure to peel the skin of produces such as cucumbers, potatoes, apples and carrots.
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Those were the five easy yet effective techniques that are bound to get rid of pesticides from fruits and vegetables. The little extra time devoted to preparing your food is beyond worth the innumerable risks it saves you from.
Try these out at home, and feel free to share your thoughts or any other tricks that you know in the comment section below.