Remove Pesticides from Fruits/Vegetables Before Cooking

Wash fruits and vegetables before eating them

Fruits and vegetables used for eating-cooking in everyday life may have Pesticide residues hidden on their surface, which are not visible from the naked eye. The toxic chemicals present in these pesticides may cause harm to your health.

Don't forget even though in India Calcium Carbide is officially banned in India since it causes cancer but it is very widely used for ripening fruits. In winter all fruits are ripened by using it. That's why purchased fruits should be peeled off and eaten. Read below for more about Calcium Carbide

Ways and means to minimize pesticide residues from fruits and vegetables before eating-cooking

General Methods :

  • Wash in clean running or drinking water and dry with a clean cloth or paper towel.
  • Scrub carrots, potatoes, turnips, etc. with a soft brush or cloth towel for 5 to 10 seconds and rinse with slightly warm water.
  • Discard outer layer of leafy vegetables like cabbage, etc. before washing.
  • Peel fruits like mangoes, pears, kiwis, and vegetables like gourds, loofah, cucumber before chopping them.
  • Vegetables and some fruits which are consumed along with peel should be soaked in water for half an hour to 1 hour and rinsed thoroughly before use.
  • Keep vegetables in boiling water just for a minute and rinse in running water thereafter.

Specialized Methods :

  • Soak fruits and vegetables for 5 to 10 minutes in water diluted with vinegar followed by thorough rinsing.
  • Wash vegetables like cauliflower, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, etc. with hot water containing 2 per cent common salt.
  • Wash vegetables like carrot, brinjal, etc with 1 percent tamarind solution.
  • Dipping in ozonated water helps in reduction of pesticide residues.
  • Prepare any one of the following solutions and spray on fruits and vegetables, leave it for 5 to 10 minutes and then wash well with fresh water.
    1. 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, 2 Tbsp. baking soda, 1 cup of water.
    2. 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, 2 Tbsp. white vinegar, 1 cup of water.
    3. 1/4th cup vinegar, 2 Tbsp. salt.
  • Soak vegetables and fruits for 30 minutes in a large bowl of water and any one of above solutions then wash in fresh water.
  • For particularly waxy fruits and vegetables spray a mixture of 1 cup water, 1/2 cup vinegar, 1 Tbsp. baking soda and a dash of grapefruit seed extract and leave for an hour, rinse them, then consume them.

Calcium Carbide

Calcium Carbide is a cancer causing toxic element and it can also contain toxic heavy metals.

From this US govt site:

  1. It can affect you when inhaled.
  2. It can irritate the skin causing a rash, redness and burning feeling on contact.
  3. Contact can severely irritate and burn the eyes with possible permanent damage (corneal opacities).
  4. Exposure can irritate the mouth, nose and throat.
  5. Inhaling Calcium Carbide can irritate the lungs. Higher exposures may cause a build-up of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema), a medical emergency.

Also read this.

Government Notification about Pesticides in fruits & vegetables

Please click to zoom it

Removing pesticides from fruits/vegetables