Sunday, August 16, 2015

Remove Pesticide Residue Inexpensively & Naturally!

Let's face it, as much as we may want to, we can't all afford all organic produce 100% of the time. There always comes a time where we have a limited amount of money to make stretch for all of the groceries we need.  When this happens, I find myself picking and choosing.  There are certain things I just will NEVER buy non-organic like leafy greens and berries.  But when I do buy non-organic produce, you better believe I take it home and wash it diligently!  Anything I can do to remove as much of the pesticide residues as possible.  

And you know what works wonders for this?  I'll give you one guess:  I bet you guessed it... that's right... Our good old friend, White Vinegar!  Vinegar not only cleanses, it is also antibacterial!


Why pay upwards of six bucks for a small bottle of 'produce wash' when you can use something you have available all the time right in your kitchen, at a cost of only three bucks a gallon?  

Here's all you need to do:
  1. Add 2 Tablespoons Baking Soda & 2 Tablespoons lemon juice to clean sink or large bowl.
  2. Add 1 part White Vinegar to 3 parts Water to fill. 
  3. Add produce. 
  4. Let soak for 10 Minutes. 
  5. Water will look dirty and your food will sparkle with no film or wax.  Also helps keep fruit from molding longer.  
  6. Rinse off well and you will not taste the vinegar!

I also keep a small spray bottle of this solution under my sink (in the following smaller batch recipe) for single fruit washings that I am about to take on the go.  For these, since I cannot let them soak, I just give them a quick scrub with a handheld produce brush and rinse off.

  • 1 c. water
  • 3/4 c. distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice

If you can’t grow your own or can't afford all-organic produce, pay particular attention to what is known as the “dirty dozen” – crops which have been tested to show higher pesticide residues on average. Make these a higher priority for organic purchase when funds are limited:

These are in general HIGHER in pesticide residues:
• Apples
• Celery
• Strawberries
• Peaches
• Spinach
• Nectarines (imported)
• Grapes (imported)
• Sweet Bell Peppers
• Potatoes
• Blueberries
• Lettuce
• Kale
• Collard Greens

On the other end of the spectrum, the following “clean fifteen” were found to have the lowest amount of pesticide residues:

These are in general LOWER in pesticide residues:
• Onion
• Sweet Corn
• Pineapple
• Avocado
• Cabbage
• Sweet Peas
• Asparagus
• Mangoes
• Eggplant
• Kiwifruit
• Cantaloupe-domestic
• Sweet potatoes
• Grapefruit
• Watermelon
• Mushrooms

*Source: Environmental Working Group (2012). Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.

Also, I tend to only buy non-organic what has an outer skin that can be peeled away, since that is where the majority of the pesticide residue accumulates.   

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