WEB EXCLUSIVE: How to limit the pesticides taken in at every meal

Many people buy organic produce to limit the pesticides they ingest at every meal. (Photo courtesy MGN Online)

Many people buy organic produce to limit the pesticides they ingest at every meal. Whether or not organic is an option for you, there are ways to clean produce to limit the amount of pesticides you take in. Washing fruits and vegetables before consumption can get rid of some of the pesticides but not all. The reason for this is that an pesticides are taken in by the produce and don't exist on the skin or outer layer. Here are some tips to help you prep your produce from consumption and protect yourself and your loved ones from any contamination to high pesticides.

1. Wash all your fruits and vegetables:

Simple running water should work to wash your produce. According to a study by Consumer Reports, running water works just as well as any produce washes. Make sure to rinse the fruit/veggie for 30 seconds to a minute.

2. Use a produce brush:

Some produce, such as apples and zucchini have a hard skin that can be washed with a brush. If you use one, make sure to keep it clean and wash it with soap or put it in the dishwasher. You don't want to use soup on the produce however, just water.

3. Remove outer layers:

For options like lettuce or onions, remove outer layers. Those layers contain many of the pesticides and just removing them can get rid of much of the pesticide residue. Some nutritionists also recommend removing the peel for any produce you can. The downside to this is that many peels have a high nutritional value. Depending on your preferences, washing may be best.

4. Wash Organic as well

While growing organic produce limits the amount of pesticides that can be used, there is still the chance for cross-contamination from neighboring non-organic farms. Washing will also remove dirt and other possibly harmful residue.

Much of the content from these tips was provided by Consumer Reports and R.D. Debbie Serenius who works in Dayton. For more info from Consumer Reports, click here. For info on Debbie Serenius, click here.

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