How to wash fruits and vegetables to remove pesticides?

by Jes @SnackFirst on Apr 13, 2017

How to wash fruits and vegetables to remove pesticides?

Unless you are eating organic food for all your meals, chances are high that you have ingested some pesticides. These pesticides are found in all our food and we still do not know what the long term effects are.

Some studies show that pesticides may affect our brain and cognitive functions and also cause cancer. Kids are especially vulnerable to the residual toxins as they are still developing their immunity. 

What is recommended?

1) Always wash fruits and vegetables at least 2 times

Up to 80% of the residual pesticides can be removed by water. Certain fruits like apples, grapes, guava, plums, mangoes, pears and vegetables like tomatoes, spinach, kale and lady's fingers require three washings. So do be more diligent in rinsing them thoroughly, particularly in salads and uncooked versions.

2) Wash with salt

Around 1 teaspoon salt is enough for 1 full bowl of washing for 2 minutes. However, some fruits like berries and cherries have soft skin and salt may be able to enter easily, turning your fruits salty. Washing by water is preferred in this case. 

3) Scrub or use a bit of friction with your hands to rub off 

Rubbing the food together will help to decrease the toxin left on the skin. A simple gesture of using your hands to massage the food can also help. 30s is sufficient and not too long to lose the nutrients in the fruits and vegetables. Scrubbing removes up to 85% of the contaminants. 

4) Vinegar or lemon juice 

Vinegar and lemon juice are both acidic and will help to remove some sticky pesticides. 1 parts acid to 4 parts water is acceptable and soak them for not more than 2 minutes. Vinegar can help to remove up to 95% of toxins and is highly recommended for particularly dirty food like celery, spinach and lady's fingers.

5) Peeling the skin off

The best way to not get into contact is to peel the skin off if possible for fruits. Sadly, some of the nutrients of a fruits do come from the skin. However, we will still recommend peeling off the skin especially for kids. Safety comes first!


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