As we may all agree, it’s a scary time to eat anything bearing in mind the vast news, occurrences and stories about how some food components might end up killing us! From the E.coli in lettuce, to the pesticides in our vegetables and fruits, this is truly the time to live by the mantra, “Do not eat anything your grandmother would not pronounce as food”.
The truth is, we are what we eat and in as much as we can easily tether toxic compounds on meat products and move on to consuming plant based food, our “go to” plant products have quickly become a concern as to whether, they are indeed authentic (with the GMO era-story for another day) or safe, bearing the amount of pesticides being used to grow them!
Pesticides in general are a vital part of modern farming, playing a crucial role in maintaining the high agricultural productivity. Essentially, in the high input intensive agricultural activities, the pesticides help manage the pests to a great extent. However, the over-reliance on these pesticides directly translate to not only the degradation of the environment, but also the alteration of the human health. In most countries, Kenya included, the amount of pesticides used on crops is regulated, thereby ensuring that the said food crop is safe for consumption. Nevertheless, not all farmers tend to adhere to the rules(applying the pesticides at the right times, right amounts and right compositions). As such, the pesticides end up being left as residues mostly on the fruits and vegetables, thereby exposing the general population to carcinogenic compounds that lead to cancer and other illnesses such as headache, nausea, infertility, endocrine disruptions and so on and so forth!
So, exactly how much do you pay attention to washing your fruits and vegetables? Is there any one standard way of getting rid off the pesticides?Since it is obviously difficult to tell which pesticide was used on your vegetable or fruit, a quick rinse from the tap water, or a wash with that kitchen scouring pad will not do it! You may see the “clean” looking results but ideally you might need to use a few other items in your kitchen to attest to safety. While most
people invest in commercial vegetable washes, its always crucial to keep an eye
on the components of the wash! Some of them might have synthetic chemicals
which might literally be adding salt to injury.
some of the simple recommendations scientifically proven, not to necessarily
eliminate the pesticides completely, but rather to a great extent!
been proven to get rid of at least 10% of the residues from the most common
pesticides. Soaking your vegetables in salt for about 20minutes provides a
neutral environment that helps to eliminate some of the pesticides.
of vinegar in water is another way to eliminate the pesticides. Ideally about 4
parts of water into 1 part of vinegar does the trick according to some studies.
Others suggest that undiluted vinegar helps to thoroughly remove pesticides
from vegetables that might be suspect of being grown under high pesticides
components. Vinegar also eliminates several types of bacteria. Do not use
vinegar if you are soaking in porous fruits like strawberries since this may
affect their skin.
Baking Soda and Water
Baking soda solution of as little of one table spoon into100 millilitres of water is another way to eliminate pesticides. Studies show that soaking the vegetables for about 12 to 15 minutes and then rinsing with water eliminates about 20% of the pesticides.
Wash it under cold tap water or peel it
water has been said to remove at least 9 out of 12 pesticide residues. However,
since it is ultimately difficult to at times be very sure of the origin of the
produce, peeling it does the trick! Although most of the vegetables are
nutrient dense on their peelings, it could go a long way in having a peace of
mind while consuming that vegetable!
love to hear from you, how do you clean your vegetables and fruits? Comment
below or live chat with me on www.ask-thenutritionist.com