Ah…fresh fruits and vegetables! Great all year round for everything cooking and baking, right? Especially in the sweet summer. Do you wash off your fresh produce before eating it or cooking with it? You might be surprised at how many pesticides those fresh foods have on them and the harmful effects they play on your body if ingested.
If you eat a non-organic apple without washing it off, over 30 types of pesticides could be going into your body. Pesticides stay in the colon and slowly release their poisons into your body–making you sick! Have you ever felt sick after eating produce? How about that lettuce and tomato on your burger? Pesticides have been linked to several conditions, such as cancer, ADHD and birth defects. Make sure you wash your produce properly and thoroughly to prevent this from happening to you.
Want to know which produce items contain the most pesticides? The Environment Working Group ran a study to figure out just which foods have the most on them…if you aren't washing these you are likely to get sick.
The most effective way to wash your produce is by using tap water. All produce should be washed, even if you plan to peel it. The fancy chemical rinses and washes that are sold are advised against by the FDA because of residue safety concerns.
For small produce, such as grapes or berries, a colander works fine under running tap water, or with the sprayer. Larger produce can be held under the running water and “washed” off with your clean hands. (Wash those hands first!) Foods like cauliflower and broccoli are best soaked for a couple minutes, then rinsed off because of all their little grooves that bacteria could hide in. Make sure you trim your vegetables and remove any areas that may contain dirty residue. Foods labeled “ready-to-eat” or “washed” do not need to be washed. You may dab your produce dry with a clean paper towel to finish up and don't forget next time to wash your produce!