HomeGeneral Health MattersHow To Wash Apples To Remove Pesticide Residue?

How To Wash Apples To Remove Pesticide Residue?

Apples are among the recommended fruits to eat due to its many health benefits. However, farmers are using pesticides while growing them. So, as a consumer, we should take precautionary step and learn how to wash apples to reduce pesticide residue dramatically.

Unless you grow your own apples the traditional way without pesticides, you are well aware it’s safe. Even by simply washing the apples with plain water, it’s safe for consumption.

However, if you’re buying apples from stores, you should wash apples meticulously to reduce pesticide residue dramatically. Moreover, let us be realistic that we may not be able to completely eliminate the pesticide residue on apples, but reducing them is helpful.

Spraying Pesticides on Apples

Why Are Farmers Using Pesticides?

Well, the use of pesticides helps farmers boost their harvest. Unfortunately, the residue of pesticides remains on the fruits and vegetables, and it’s harmful to health.

Even the World Health Organization recognizes this risk.

Just like most people, you may be washing your apples with plain water, or even use a bleach solution. However, do you think is that enough?

Well, researchers find on one study that employing this technique is able to remove pesticide residue better.

How To Wash Apples To Remove Pesticide Residue?

Again, it’s worth mentioning that pesticide residue on apples cannot be removed completely. However, with this technique on how to wash apples can dramatically reduce pesticide residue present on apple’s surface.

Washing Apples

Lili He, a food scientist at the University of Massachusetts finds in her study1 that using baking soda is better of removing pesticides.

In the study, Lili He finds baking soda provides faster degradation of pesticides. In turn, this makes removing pesticide residue easier.

The Baking Soda Formula For Washing Apples

Baking soda has many uses, particularly for cleaning and health purposes. In our case, right now, we’re going to be using baking soda to wash apples and remove the pesticide residue.

Wash Apples with Bakingn Soda

The formula is simple. Simply mix a teaspoon of baking soda into 2 cups of water. Note that, you don’t have to be very exact on your measurement. As long as you have it closest, it’s fine. So, don’t freak out.

Moreover, if you have a basin or perhaps using your sink full of water, add a tablespoon of baking soda to it. Well, if you can, you can add more. Normally, I used a teaspoon of baking soda in a medium-size stainless basin.

Soak the fruits and vegetables, or in our case, the apples between 10 to 15 minutes. Then, wash them using the same water with baking soda. Finally, rinse them thoroughly using running water.

In practical application, washing apples with NaHCO3 solution(baking soda) can reduce pesticides mostly from the surface.

What About Bleach?

In this study, Lili He says bleach is only good for killing bacteria and other germs but not good for removing pesticides.

Also, take note that even organically grown fruits and vegetables are not safe from pesticides. Therefore, when washing your fruits and veggies, using this technique is helpful in reducing pesticide residue.

Furthermore, there are other ways of further minimizing pesticide residue in fruits and vegetables such as juicing and blanching. For fruits, peeling them off before eating is also another way of reducing pesticide residue.

However, peeling fruits such as apples reduce its nutritional contents.

Peeling is more effective to remove the penetrated pesticides. However, bioactive compounds in the peels will become lost too.

Other Means of Washing Fruits And Veggies

For sure, baking soda is a top choice. But, if baking soda is not available?

Well, using apple cider vinegar is another option, which works well, too. As a matter of fact, here’s what the FDA says about it;

Vinegar and lemon juice have potential as inexpensive, simple household sanitizers; however, possible negative sensory effects when used on produce would be a disadvantage.

Why Care About Pesticide Residue?

One of the causes of low sperm count is pesticides. For men, if you care about your fertility, even taking supplements may not be as effective if you’re eating foods full of pesticide residues.

This is why you should care about the level of pesticides in your foods, particularly in fruits and veggies. Additionally, pesticides are linked to many serious illnesses including cognitive decline.


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