How to minimise exposure to harmful chemicals on your fruit and veggies.
Sometimes there’s no avoiding buying produce treated with pesticides. Pesticides minimise the damage caused by pests on fruit and vegetables, increasing the volume harvested as well as shelf-life to meet demands. Unfortunately, the use of pesticides has also introduced risks to our health when exposed or consumed. In this article, we share some ways you can reduce your exposure to pesticides, but first, did you know that there are over 80 pesticides used in Australia that are banned in other countries? The two top ways to help minimise your exposure to pesticides is to:
Buy organic and locally grown fruit and vegetables
Knowing where your food is grown and choosing organic is the most significant way you can avoid synthetic or chemical fertilisers, pesticides and more. Further to this, some studies say that organic fruit and vegetables have higher levels of antioxidants than conventionally farmed produce, so it’s a win-win.
Wash fruit and vegetables before eating.
There are vegetable and fruit washes that are available to remove residue from produce. There are also DIY veggie washes, such as vinegar scrubs which have been found effective in removing bacteria. It is important to remember that some pesticides penetrate through the skin produce, so washing might not remove all pesticides, but it will help!
Even when you buy organic, there is still bacteria, viruses, and dirt to consider, so you should always wash fruits and vegetables before eating. Produce is often handled by countless people before making its way to our kitchen or children’s lunchboxes so it’s understandable if you would like to safeguard against viruses and bacteria.
DIY vinegar veggie wash or soak:
Fill a recycled spray bottle with 1 part distilled white vinegar and 3 parts warm water. Spray on the fresh fruit and veggies, scrub, and rinse clean with water. This formula can also be used as a soak in a bowl for approx. 15 minutes.
Please note: Although vinegar is a fantastic way to remove bacteria, it is not effective in killing viruses or other tough germs.Keep a fruit and veggie wash nearby:
Lunder, S., 2014. Behind Europe’s Apple Chemical Ban, Environmental Working Group. Accessed via https://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2014/04/apples