Pesticides are products of chemical or biological origin intended to protect fruits and vegetables from weeds, diseases, insect pests, mites and other harmful organisms.
But any use of pesticides carries negative consequences for the ecosystem and human health. For these reasons, reducing the use of pesticides is one of the foundations of sustainable agriculture and sustainable development, because exactly, the quantity of food treated with pesticides is of special importance for the health state of the population.
Fruits and vegetables, as well as other agricultural products, are the main sources of vitamins and minerals, but also carry harmful chemical compounds that are used to protect them from natural pests.
Thus, in the fruits and vegetables can be found remains of about 900 types of pesticides compiled on the basis of about 200 chemical substances hazardous to human health.
These are carcinogenic and mutagenic chemicals, poisons which target the nervous system and endocrine glands, the reproductive system, the heart and brain, etc.
Pesticide residues are also found in all food products of plant and animal origin.
During the growing season, all crops are treated with a large number of different pesticides (apples up to 20 times). Thus, some pesticides enter the body directly trough fruit and vegetables and some indirectly via food products (bread, meat, milk, eggs, juices, beverages), causing a variety of health disorders.
To the impact of pesticides on human health in most of the countries is not paid enough attention.
It is known that the appearance of many malignant diseases is in growth, but the causes are still left aside and it is also known that the occurrence of the disease consequences of long-term operation come from the so-called risk factors of which pesticides are certainly one of the greatest risks.
For all of these reasons, we must be aware that fruits and vegetables are contaminated with pesticides and that it is very important to know how to reduce their quantity.
Wash the fruits and vegetables with detergent
Agricultural pesticides can not be washed/cleaned by only using regular water. By adding just a small amount of kitchen detergent to the water and wash the fruits and vegetables for a few minutes, you can eliminate most of the residual chemicals.
Peel the fruit or vegetable
This is a relatively easy way to reduce the number of pesticides, especially when it comes to apples, which are the most polluted. Before peeling, you definitely need to wash the fruit with water, as there are no chemicals leftovers.
It is advisable to be consumed only the inner part, because the bark due to the spraying process, contains the most of the toxins. By peeling, we remove a lot of pesticides, but also vitamins and minerals that are found in the bark. So this is not an ideal solution.
Washing the fruits and vegetables by using some strong natural base or acid (Baking Soda, Vinegar)
Foods are first washed and then sank into a larger vessel filled with water, in which has been poured vinegar in the ratio of 3: 1 and 1 tablespoon of salt. Like this, we get a corrosive mixture which will, after ten minutes of action, remove most of the pesticides from the groceries.
Baking Soda is also acceptable, which creates a strong base in the solution and has the same effect. For maximum effect, it should be used vinegar and baking soda together, in order to destroy the basic and acidic pesticides.
This is a great solution for the elimination of pesticides, bacteria and wax coating.
The quickest way is to put the solution mix in a spray bottle, spray the foods before washing and then rinsing it with water.
Few possible types of mixtures
-1 Tablespoon of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of baking soda, 1 cup (250ml) water
-1 Tablespoon of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of apple vinegar and 1 cup (250ml) water
-1 Tablespoon of baking soda, half a cup of vinegar and 1 cup (250ml) of water – for foods covered with wax coating
There are some commercial cleaners for fruit and vegetables on the market, which will naturally and thoroughly cleanse food from pesticides and other harmful compounds.
It should be noted that there are fruits and vegetables that are naturally resistant to parasites and other pests that are not treated with a lot of chemicals and, therefore, healthier and more ready for use.
Foods that are more contaminated (requiring a more thorough cleaning before use)
-Apples, Celery, peppers, peaches, strawberries, nectarines, grapes, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, blueberries, potatoes, kale, green beans.
Less contaminated food (less treated)