While cultivating the crops pesticides are used for vegetables and fruits and in many cases they can remain as residues.
We cannot ensure buying the pesticide free vegetables or fruits from market as we are not sure which contain more synthetic pesticides, but we can surely reduce their effects while cooking. It is important to follow these tips for every vegetable or fruit before we use them. Government is taking some measures by creating awareness in farmers by explaining the side effects of using pesticides, at the same time we need to take some basic precautions to reduce the effects.
Tips to reduce effects of pesticides:
- If you have an option to grow own vegetables and fruits, grow your own in your garden.
- Buying organic vegetables and fruits will reduce the effects of pesticides. Organic does not mean that they are pesticide free but they contain fewer synthetic pesticides and more of biopesticides.
- Washing plays an important role in removing the residues. Washing them in a right way is the most important part.
- Almost 80% of residues are removed by cold water washing.
- Washing vegetables or fruits with 2% salt water can remove the surface residue which normally appears on vegetables and fruits.
- Apples, peaches, okra, tomatoes and brinjal, capsicum, peppers carries more residue on their crevices, so washing them with more care is needed.
- Soaking vegetables in 10% vinegar and 90% water for a while and washing them by stirring and rinsing thoroughly will be helpful.
- Peeling is one more useful method to remove the residue. Vegetables like potatoes, beetroots, bottle gourd etc can be peeled off.
- For a shorter while treat your vegetables with warm water which will remove the leftover residue.
- Drying the vegetables or fruits after washing also plays a vital role as it is very important to thoroughly dry them with disposable paper towels as well. This will remove all the remaining pesticide residue and make the fruit or vegetable safer to eat.
- Never rinse your fruits or vegetables with soap as they contain more harmful compounds and can easily penetrate the skin of fruits or vegetables making them even more harmful to eat compared to pesticides.
Dr. Y. Alekhya.