Is it worth buying organic vegetables and fruits?
For some time, ecological products have ceased to be available only in bazaars, as supermarkets more and more often offer us "substitutes" for some products, especially vegetables or fruit, in the form of organic products. And very well! But ... is it really worth buying all products labeled "BIO"?
The season for fresh fruit and vegetables is in full swing! But surely many people do not realize how many fruits and vegetables - which we should eat every day and in large amounts - are contaminated with pesticides, which even washing or peeling cannot remove ...
A large amount of pesticides consumed with vegetables and fruits can cause problems with pregnancy and maintenance in women, and problems with male fertility. This is just one of the reasons why we should avoid products contaminated with pesticides.
EEC (Enviromental Working Group), An American NGO, more than 35000 samples fruit and vegetables every year and publishes a list of the most contaminated of these products. On the basis of these studies, it determines a list of contamination-free fruits and vegetables, the "Clean Fifteen" and the most contaminated - "Dirty Dozen".
And how does this relate to Polish vegetables and fruits?
The result of strong contamination of given groups of vegetables and fruits results primarily from the susceptibility of specific vegetables and fruits to the accumulation of impurities, which allows us to suppose that the result of this research in Poland would be very similar.
Here's what the list for 2018 looks like:
The products most contaminated with pesticides and chemistry include (in descending order):
- sweet pepper
Unfortunately, a single sample of strawberries showed the presence of as many as 20 various pesticides! In contrast, the tested spinach samples contained on average 1,8 times more pesticides than others.
I also have bad news for those who like hot peppers - the EWG added them as an additional product to the list (Dirty Dozen Plus), because although they do not contain such a high concentration of pesticides, those in them are insecticidal substances that are toxic to humans nervous system. Three highly toxic pesticides have been detected in hot pepper samples: acephate, chlorpyrifos and oxamine. Some of the samples had a significant number of them. EEC recommends that lovers of hot peppers reach for organic products, and if we cannot find them - do not eat them raw, let's cook them - after cooking the food, the level of pesticides decreases.
If you have such a possibility, all the ingredients listed above are worth buying in the eco version, and if we can't afford it, it is worth cleaning these fruits with home remedies, which I will tell you in a moment.
Organic vegetables and fruits, bought in health food stores or local bazaars (which are usually open only once or twice a week), are actually expensive, so the best trick is to buy organic vegetables and fruits at a local organic farm (some also offer deliveries to home), I'm testing such deliveries in my region.
Products containing the least pesticides include:
- an avocado
- sweet corn
- frozen peas
- honey melon
- cantaloupe (melon variety)
Of the samples tested avocado and sweet corn were among the purest - detectable pesticides were reported in less than 1 percent of the samples. None of the samples in the list above showed more than four pesticides. Only 5% of all Pure Fifteen vegetable samples showed two or more pesticides.
Here you can watch a full list of fruit and vegetables tested by the EEC.
I was tempted to review the lists from previous years and in fact they are very similar, and the products primarily change the order. Thanks to this, I know that this list is universal over the years.
How to properly clean vegetables and fruits?
Water alone is not enough - you have certainly seen shiny apples more than once - an apple straight from a tree does not look like this ...
To properly and to the best of our ability to clean vegetables and fruits, there are two ways:
First, you can buy a special one ecological washing liquid - made of natural ingredients, one that leaves no flavor or smell on products and removes germs from them.
Secondly, you can to do home remedies, all you have to do is take three steps:
Prepare acid solutionwhich will remove bacteria such as E-coli, Listeria or Salmonella. Ex .:
- half a cup of apple cider vinegar + a liter of water - soak for 3 minutes
- 2-3 tablespoons of citric acid + 3 liter of water - soak for XNUMX minutes
It's time to remove the pesticides, forming alkaline environment:
- 2 tablespoons of baking soda + a liter of water - soak for 30 minutes (some even recommend leaving it overnight).
Warning! It is possible that at this stage you will see what was "sitting" on your products for dinner - an oily layer may float on the surface or the water may become cloudy or even turn ... yellow.
Finally rinse the products in clean water.
Ready! It is known that by preparing vegetables and fruits in this way, we will not get rid of toxins inside the products, but we can get rid of the external ones.
In sum, there is no need to buy bio-avocados, but it's worth reaching for bio-strawberries or bio-spinach. For the sake of our and our loved ones' health, we are still verifying which foods have been genetically modified and avoiding them by reading labels well and reaching for products labeled as organic, GMO-free.
It is worth remembering that no matter how clean at first glance the bought vegetables and fruits seem, they can contain a lot of harmful pesticides and germs.