How to remove pesticides from fruits and vegetables

31. July 2020. VeeMee

The most common things we worry about before leaving the house are: what do we look like? Do we look tidy? Did we forget to apply the perfume? How are the glasses we chose? Should we rather wear yellow instead of white sneakers? Why are these things more important to today’s man than the state of mind or, more importantly, than the treatment of one’s own body? Why is “health first, then everything else” our motto when things have already gone wrong? We don’t have the answer to those questions, however, we do have a few tips for taking care of your own body.

To stay healthy, the food we eat must be clean, because once someone wise said, “you are what you eat,” and we took it seriously. Therefore, in the upcoming lines, we discover how to properly wash fruits and vegetables before consuming them.

In a previous article, we wrote about the harmful effects of pesticides on the environment, and thus on humans and their health. We came to the conclusion that choosing organic foods is the smartest. Especially when it comes to pregnant women, nursing mothers and children.

If for some reason, you cannot afford organic but conventional foods that, by the way, lead the market and are not harmful if the withdrawal period is respected (a prescribed shortest period that must pass since the last application of a chemical plant protection product from harvest), before we tell you how to remove pesticides from them, we will determine the material: why pesticides are harmful to human health and what diseases they are associated with.

How to remove pesticides from fruits and vegetables?

Stanford University conducted a study comparing the health effects of conventional and organic foods. Research has shown that exposure of pregnant women and children to pesticides, or conventional foods, is not harmless at all.

Children are at greater risk of pesticide poisoning than adults. This is because the developing brain is more sensitive to neurotoxins. It was found, therefore, that mothers who were exposed to high levels of pesticides gave birth to children with lower IQs compared to mothers who reduced the level of pesticide intake to a minimum. This is not where the problem ends. Children exposed to pesticides have a higher risk of developing a number of chronic conditions, including concentration disorders, learning and behavioural problems, ADHD, and so on.

Other studies establish a clear link between pesticide use and long-term adverse effects on human health. Pesticides hence:

  1. increase the risk for, or even cause certain types of cancer. Many pesticides, in fact, also contain arsenic, which is known for carcinogenic compounds fatal to human health;
  2. lead to severe respiratory problems: breathing problems, impaired lung function, asthma, chronic bronchitis, and lung cancer;
  3. may cause damage or lead to kidney disease:
  4. lead to disorders in the brain, and a decrease in cognitive functions. They have been linked to Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s;
  5. as we have already stated, they can cause severe birth defects;
  6. may have permanent effects on hormones due to endocrine disruption, which further adversely affects sexual and reproductive function, reduced fertility and fetal death, and
  7. may increase the risk of developing autism.


Products that should definitely be avoided, if they are not organically grown, and which contain the largest number of pesticides are:

strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, sour cherries, tomatoes, peas, celery, kale and potatoes.

On the other hand, research shows that the least contaminated products are the following:

Avocado, corn, pineapple, cabbage, onions, frozen peas, papaya, asparagus, broccoli, eggplant, melons, kiwis, cauliflower and mushrooms.

These fruits and vegetables are delicious and nutritious, and to ensure their benefits for our health, it is important to learn how to wash it well from pesticides.

Do you usually just wash fruits and vegetables in cold water before eating? Most people usually use this technique. However, this form of pesticide rinsing will only partially remove them.

The means that have proven to be more effective than water itself, and which surely everyone in the household has are saltwater, vinegar or, most effectively – baking soda.

Saltwater is the simplest and cheapest way to rinse fruits and vegetables. Food Control magazine conducted a study where they washed fruits and vegetables for 20 minutes in plain water, saltwater, and vinegar to remove the remnants of the four most common pesticides: chlorpyrifos, DDT, cypermethrin, and chlorothalonil.

They found that both solutions were significantly more effective than pure water, but that there was not much difference between their mutual effects. Still, using vinegar is a more expensive option than a 10% saline solution, and we’re sure none of us wants to eat strawberries with the smell of vinegar, right?

Baking soda is, therefore, the best, but also the most effective method. But how to use it?

A study conducted at the University of Massachusetts found that cleaning apples with baking soda remove significantly more pesticides than pure water. The amount of baking soda used in the study was very small – a mixture of just one tablespoon of baking soda was mixed with 100 dl of water. Soaking lasted 12 to 15 minutes after which the pesticides were completely removed! Once you take the fruits and vegetables out of the solution, gently wipe it with a paper towel and you’re ready for a rhapsody of flavours on your palate! ☺

If you thought to yourself while reading: “whoever has time for 15 minutes to wash groceries”, go back to the beginning of our article and ask yourself why “health first, then everything else” is our motto when things have already gone wrong? Let’s not be lazy because our bodies remember!

If you still don’t want to “waste” 15 minutes, we remind you that in our database there are more than 150 products and 1400 manufacturers that have their own PID profile. It is enough to wash their products underwater! ß This is guaranteed by:


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