Does Washing Fruits and Vegetables Help Remove Pesticides?
Bringing home fresh fruits and vegetables is an amazing choice for your health, but not when it adds unwanted pesticides, insecticides, and herbicides that are sprayed on them as they are grown! The research is getting stronger every day that these mess with your hormones as a woman and your family’s or loved ones health! After all, by these chemicals are designed to be toxic! No thanks.
So does washing fix the problem?
Oh how we wish it did! But it doesn’t.
When the EWG publishes its “Shoppers’ Guide to Pesticides in Produce” every year, it is reporting the fruits and vegetables with the most pesticides AFTER they have been washed and peeled. Um, we should repeat that… The dirty dozen is fruits and vegetables that have been tested equally weighing six factors that examine how many pesticides are on the produce and at what levels. All samples are washed and peeled prior to being tested for pesticides, so the rankings reflect the amounts of the chemicals likely present on the food when is it eaten.
So washing is useful for removing soil and microbes. Washing your food is important to combat more and more food-borne illness like E. coli, especially in leafy greens, but it won’t remove as many pesticides and chemicals as you’d like.
For example, when testing for pesticides, the FDA washes and peels fruits and vegetables just like you would, and more than 93 percent of the conventionally grown apples tested still had pesticides on them after being washed.
So, we firmly believe you need to wash all your fruits and vegetables and wash them well in cold water.
But the best way to protect yourself against pesticides, insecticides, and herbicides - all the “-cides” is to purchase organic produce, biodynamic produce (which is grown to regenerate and protect the soil instead of damaging it and follows organic guidelines), or from a local farmer who can tell you how they grow their food.
To help your budget, start with the EWG’s Dirty Dozen, the fruits and vegetables that have been tested for the highest levels of pesticides. And always check! It changes every year, and it is worth staying up to date! We google it all the time in the store if we’re unsure if an item in on the Dirty Dozen on not!