Can washing fruit and vegetables will help in eliminating pesticide residues? It is certainly a good hygiene rule, useful for removing, at least in part, the residues of unwanted substances that may be present on the peel of fruit and vegetables, before consumption or cooking.
Thorough washing of fruit and vegetables also allows for the complete elimination of any dirt and dust residues. Obviously, at the home level, we cannot know exactly the amount of pesticide residues, germs, and bacteria present on food that we will be able to eliminate because of washing. However, it is always good to wash fruit and vegetables, even when they come from our garden, to avoid ingesting potentially harmful substances.
We have put together some tips for you.
As the Center For Science And Environment (Cseindia) suggests, the first step in removing pesticide residues from fruit and vegetables is regular washing with water. Washing with lightly salted water will remove much of the pesticide residue normally found on food surfaces. Simple washing with cold water removes 75-80% of the pesticide residues present on the skins. Cseindia suggests washing grapes, apples, plums, peaches, pears, and tomatoes two or three times. Wash the salad well, proceeding leaf by leaf. Immersion in boiling water and exposure to steam would also help eliminate pesticide residues from food. Ginger, used for making ginger tea, which is a real blessing in case of colds and sore throats, and indigestion, should also be thoroughly washed to remove soil from it.
Remove the peel
Even after washing, we always remove the peel of fruit and vegetables of uncertain origin before consuming them. We pay attention to the citrus peels to be used in the kitchen for the preparation of recipes that include them among the ingredients. Sometimes among the fruit stands, we find some indications that warn us of the presence of citrus fruits with inedible peel, often relating to fruits treated with substances that improve their conservation. We eat only organic fruit and vegetables with the peel or those of certain origin and, in any case, wash it very well to eliminate any residue of earth and dust.
The sodium bicarbonate can turn into a very useful ally to eliminate any residual dirt from fruits and vegetables. For larger fruits and vegetables, such as apples, auberges, peppers, and pears, you can use a baking soda cleansing cream, to be scrubbed with the help of a toothbrush. Just mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 1 teaspoon of water and add to the vegetable purifier. Immerse the small fruits, such as strawberries and blackberries, or grapes, in a bowl with water and bicarbonate, using 1 tablespoon per liter. Leave to soak for 15 minutes. Always rinse fruit and vegetables very well – brush them if necessary – and dry them.
The Everyday Roots website suggests washing fruits and vegetables with vinegar and water. In a bowl you will need to pour 1 part of vinegar and 2 parts of water (for example, 1 glass of vinegar and 2 glasses of water). Soak the fruit and vegetables in this solution for 15-30 minutes. Scrub well with a brush to remove any dirt residue. Then rinse under cold water for 15-30 seconds.
Bicarbonate and lemon spray
The Daily Mom blog offers a recipe for preparing a do-it-yourself spray for cleaning fruit and vegetables, replacing the “fruit washer” and “vegetable washer” detergents that we can find for sale. For the
Preparation of this home remedy, you will need:
• 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
• 2 tablespoons of baking soda
• 1 cup of water (about 250 ml)
Combine all the ingredients listed in a bowl and mix until the baking soda has dissolved. Then pour the resulting solution into a bottle with a spray. Spray the mixture on fruit and vegetables. Let it act for 5-10 minutes and then rinse and brush if necessary to remove the residues of poor and dirt.
Should you wash and disinfect fruits and vegetables before putting them in the fridge?
Due to the pandemic, our hygiene habits have changed profoundly. We are led to wash our hands and clothes often, and at the same time sanitize everything that happens to us, to avoid the risk of contracting Covid-19. But when it comes to fresh foods, such as fruits and vegetables, is it healthy to wash them before storing them in the refrigerator?
Experts suggest never washing whole fruits and vegetables before storing them in the fridge: contact with water leads to an increase in humidity and promotes the growth of mold and bacteria. This, of course, causes food to spoil faster and could force us to throw away food which, if stored correctly, would have a longer life.
Here are some tricks to properly store fruit and vegetables inside our fridge:
• Store fruit and vegetables in their own container or fruit drawer, separated by hermetic films or containers (keeping different types of fruit in the same container causes a faster deterioration);
• Do not overfill the fruit drawer and buy only the necessary fruit to be consumed within a few days;
• Cover pre-cut fruit and vegetables with cling film or place them in airtight containers;
• Keep fruit and vegetables separate from meat, poultry, fish, and other foods inside the refrigerator: meat and fish, separated from other foods with wrappers, must be placed in the coldest compartment and make sure that they do not lose liquids that can contaminate other foods; dairy products, eggs and other foods that must be kept in the refrigerator after opening must be placed at an intermediate temperature; cheeses must be kept in closed containers or in their original packaging;
• Do not place heavy objects on top of fruit and vegetables;
• Keep the refrigerator at a temperature of 4 ° C or lower and clean it regularly.
• To avoid the danger of the presence of viruses and bacteria on the surface of vegetables and fruit, we can proceed, before consumption, to a thorough cleaning – using for example bicarbonate: some studies on bicarbonate have shown its effectiveness in removing not only bacteria but also pesticide residues both on the surface and under the peel of the fruit.
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