Tap water and fruit washes get some of it off, but this does the best job of them all.
Pesticides are useful, no doubt. They help us avoid things like another Irish potato famine, allowing us to enjoy a regular abundance of fruit and vegetables at the table.
Of course, they also harbor their evils. Generally speaking though, they’re here to stay, and unless you eat strictly organic food, you’re consuming them daily.
How can you make sure you swallow the least amount possible?
It’s recommended that you wash your fruit and vegetables with water or bleach and polish them on a cloth. Special soaps and washes exist to help. But the best way to get something like your apples clean actually involves baking soda.
An article published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests you soak your apples in a 1 percent baking soda/water solution for about 12 to 15 minutes. Not all the pesticides will be removed but most of them will.
This method has been found to be more effective than running your fruit under plain old tap water, and also better than using a U.S.-EPA-approved commercial bleach solution that’s often implemented by farmers to clean your food before it reaches you.
Of course, if you really want to make sure your apples are chemical-free, you’ll have to peel them. The peel is where a lot of the fruit’s nutrients do sit, though. It’s your call.
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