Wash your fruit & veg in bicarb.....say researchers!
We've always known that a lot of people wash their fruit & veg in Soda Crystals, Bicarb or White Vinegar to help remove any residual chemicals, namely herbicides or pesticides. Simply rinsing them under the tap is usually not sufficient to remove all the residue. Researchers from Department of Food Science and ‡Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts tested Bicarbonate of Soda (called Baking Soda in the US) vs bleach and against water alone, to remove pesticide residue on apples. You can view an abstract of the article from the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry here.
Although the World Health Organisation believes the risk to human health from pesticides is greatest amongst agricultural workers, many people are looking to limit their exposure to any potentially toxic products. Although many people turn to organic food, that may not necessarily be the solution as this article in The Independent points out.
The best method
The bicarbonate of soda proved to be the most effective because it has a high pH level that most pesticides are not “stable in.”
One of the researchers said, "It can wash away 80 per cent for thiabendzole and 95.6 per cent for phosmet using the solution after 12 and 15 minutes, respectively. The penetrated pesticides cannot be easily washed away,” she says. “For the apple peel, it is a two-sided story. Apple peels have lots of good nutrients, but it’s also the place that has the most pesticides.”
The advice to consumers is to create a bicarb water bath with 1g bicarb in every 100ml of water and to leave the fruit/veg for a few minutes. We would also advise a final rinse in clean water. A wipe on the shirt simply won't cut it!