Even amongst the most suitable and healthy options there are for food, there are potential dangers that come with consuming fruits and vegetables consistently. Harmful pesticides can really damage your internal system and cause health issues down the line if they are readily ingested unbeknownst to you.
Despite your common produce-washing practices, you may not be fully cleaning all of the pesticides off of your produce. A simple and brief run under water isn't sufficient. Researchers have recently found that washing fruits and vegetables with a common household item - baking soda - can substantially reduce residues that cling to the surface of the food.
The presence of pesticides amongst our produce that grows from trees, or on the ground, is ever present. The purpose from an economic standpoint for using pesticides is that it helps to increase the yield of a crop, thus getting the farmers more money per square inch. But these pesticides can be harmful and have shown to have negative health effects on human beings. In order to easily remove the residue from the outside of the produce a bit of baking soda and water will do the trick. Obviously, this suggestion is only relevant for items eaten with the skin on them, such as apples, potatoes, zucchini and celery.
Testing The Apples
In order to test the effectiveness of baking soda, the researchers used two common pesticides - phosmet and fungicide thiabendazole - and sprayed them on organic Gala apples. They then separated the apples into groups of three and tested each of the groups differently. The first group was washed with tap water, the second group a mixture of baking soda and water, and the last group was treated with a commercial bleach solution that is commonly used amongst farmers.
The groups of apples were soaked in their prospective solutions for at least 10 minutes. The baking soda and water mixture was shown to be the overall winner - leaps and bounds over the plain water method or the bleach method. It seems almost unbelievable that baking soda would actually be more effective in eradicating remnants of pesticides than a solution with bleach in it, however, that's what the study found. Another great point: small amounts of baking soda are incredibly beneficial and safe for internal use, while bleach is not.
The Perfect Anecdote
It's important for individuals to know that just eating processed or fast food isnt the only risk. When we purchase fresh fruits and vegetables we may be improving our diets, but we can also be running the risk of ingesting harmful pesticides and chemicals that are virtually invisible and tasteless. This can have an unsavory and long-term negative effect on our health. While many health risks can be a result of eating those foods too readily, on the other end of the spectrum, the healthy options comprised of fruits and vegetables can also be potentially dangerous because of the poisonous chemicals that are readily sprayed onto them.
Baking soda is the perfect anecdote for the hard-to-get-rid-of residue that is harmful pesticides. We deserve the cleanest, most optimal fruits and vegetables in a farm-to-table scenario as we can get as a society. Going that extra step to ensure they're properly cleaned is essential.