In our modern world, almost no food is 100% free of pesticides, including organic produce. The difference between organic and non-organic food has to do with how food is produced.
For example, organic foods such as: vegetables, fruits, eggs, milk and meat are produced without:
- Synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. However, organic farmers may use natural pesticides approved for organic food production.
- Genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
- Antibiotics or growth hormones
- Irradiation or ionizing radiation in order to preserve food.
Nonetheless, it is not yet know if organic foods have less pesticides residue than non-organic foods since “natural or plant-based pesticides” may still be used in organic food production.
But…Are organic foods more nutritious?
The answer is no. There is a growing evidence that shows some potential benefits of organic foods when compared with conventionally grown foods regarding in its properties, but there is limited information to draw conclusions about how these differences translate into overall health benefits. Moreover, the best body of evidence have shown a significant increase of certain types of flavonoids (antioxidant properties) in fruits and vegetables.
Therefore, eating organic food is a personal choice. Whether you choose organic or non-organic food, you can still eat healthy. Choose plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, etc. However, there are a couple of vegetables and fruits I always recommend buying organic.
Because it has been demonstrated that those ones absorbed ten times more pesticides than other veggies/fruits
Nevertheless, there are easy quick and effective ways for removing pesticides from your non-organic and also organic fruits and veggies.
The conventional advice is to wash the fruits and veggies under cold water before eating or cooking them. Rinsing your produce under cold water works well to remove some of the pesticides residues from some forms of produce. However several liquids have been shown to be more effective than plain water. Those including: water with salt, vinegar or baking soda. Controversially, many researches have shown that most commercial produce cleaners are just effective as plain water.
So in order to reduces your exposure to pesticides I recommend:
For leafy greens:
- Fill a salad spinner or a bowl with greens then fill with water
- Add a teaspoon of baking soda and mix well
- Soak your greens for a minute, swish, dump then rise, and spin dry.
For other veggies:
- Fill a large bowl with water
- Then add a teaspoon of baking soda
- Add the veggies
- Soak for a minute or two
- Scrub with a brush
- Rinse off the veggies and let them dry
There is some debate in the culinary world about how to clean mushrooms:
- Some people prefer to gently wipe mushrooms with a damp towel
- While others prefer to clean mushrooms thoroughly by gently scrubbing them with a brushand then risen them quickly under running water, and after that, blot the mushrooms dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel
- Smooth skinned fruits, such as apples, nectarines, and cherries, can be washed in a baking soda bath the same way as veggies.
- Berries can be rinsed under cold water in a mesh strainer, then gently patted dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel just before you intend to eat them
PS: Make sure to do these steps just before eating or cooking your fruits and veggies.
So…know that you know the importance of cleaning your produce. I will give you a list of the “Dirty Dozen” fruits and vegetables:
- Sweet bell peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
And…a list of the least contaminated produce, also known as the “Clean dozen”:
- Sweet corn
- Sweet peas
- Eggplant/ Aubergine
- Honeydew melon/ Cantaloupe