What is the best way to wash vegetables and fruit?

Why do we need to wash our fruit and vegetables?

Most fruits and vegetables contain some kind of pesticide or herbicide residue. Even organically produced fruit and vegetables can contain pesticide residue due to cross-contamination, which can occur during transportation or even because of what happens nearby the crops. But most of us can not afford to buy 100% organic fruits and vegetables and don’t have time to grow our own. What should we do?

The benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption outweigh the risks

It is really important we eat our vegetables and fruit. This is the one thing most nutritionists agree on. These foods are so important for human health, that their consumption even outweighs the risk of pesticide exposure.

There is a clear consensus in the scientific community that the health benefits from consuming fruits and vegetables outweigh any potential risks from pesticide residues.

Michael Greger, MD – NutritionFacts.org

How to minimize pesticide exposure?

The best thing to do is to grow your own fruits and vegetables from organic non-GMO seeds. But who has time or space to do that? So we do the best we can. I personally buy organic if the price is reasonable and if that food is on the dirty dozen list. I also buy organic carrots just because they taste better than others in my store. But most of the time, I just make sure I clean my fruit and veggies properly.

Soak your fruit and vegetables in salty water.
Soak your fruit and vegetables in salty water.

How to clean your fruit and veggies to remove up to 100% of pesticide residue?

Even washing your food with plain water while rubbing it removes 50-80% of pesticide and herbicide residue. Some people recommend washing your food with soap, but possible soap residue could make your food even more toxic. Fortunately, the best option is the easiest, cheapest and safest.

Soak your fruits and vegetables in salty water

Soaking your fruits and vegetables in water along with salt has been shown to be the most effective. Some people suggest baking soda, which works similar but salt is way cheaper. Just use one part salt to nine parts water and soak for about 20 minutes. I tend to use hot water because I feel it works even better and faster. Be sure to rinse thoroughly after and enjoy your squeaky clean fruits and veggies!


Learn how to wash your fruit and vegetables to remove up to 100% of pesticide residue.

Sources and credits

This article was inspired by the article called The Best Way to Wash Fruit and Vegetables written by Michael Greger, MD. His article is based on the following study: Effects of home preparation on pesticide residues in cabbage. More sources are cited in the original article.

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