In this modern world that we are living in right now, there has been many scientific advancements which affects our daily life to a great extent. Technologies today do not only just involve those gadgets, but also the ways our food were being harvested and manufactured. Probably one of the biggest invention which affected our food consumption is the invention of chemical sprays – pesticides, insecticides and all those who aim to ‘cleanse’ the food we are going to eat. But did you know that these chemicals are more toxic than helpful? Well, yes because according to a health study conducted by the World Health Organization, there are 3 million cases of human poisoning each year due to these chemicals, and worse up to roughly 220, 000 deaths each year. Impacts on health varies based on time exposure to these chemicals. Even if you are not directly exposed to the chemical, you can also suffer from these effects. Now, here is what you have to do. Pesticides and insecticides are unavoidable because they make the crops more productive, but you can do something to remove them.
According to a study conducted by Dr. Susan May F. Calumpang, one of the credible staff from University of the Philippines Los Baños, there are simple ways on how to wash off these chemicals from your vegetables. Together with a team of experts, Dr. Calumpang conducted a research study with funding from PCAARRD-DOST (Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development – Department of Science and Technology). The major objective of the study was to establish mitigating measures to minimize pesticide residues in intact and fresh-cut vegetables and sprouts. Basically, it is about informing the public about the easy steps on how to wash off chemicals from their purchased vegetables in the market.
The research team now suggests four very easy and simple ways of removing pesticide residues in vegetables. These steps only require a short period of time and cheap materials. Here they are:
- Mix two teaspoons of vinegar into 4 cups of water and use this for soaking your vegetables for two minutes. This can reduce insecticide residues by up to 80 percent. Vinegar is really the key in this process because it washes off most of the residues. Being your friendly acid, it somehow dissolves the chemical residue in the skin of your vegetables. After rinsing your veggies in this solution, make sure to thoroughly wash them with clean water.
- Mix 10 drops of liquid detergent into one liter of water and use this to wash your vegetables. Afterwards, rinse the vegetables in running tap water. This can reduce insecticide residues by 67 to 88 percent. Like any dirt, detergents also work with cleaning chemical residues. Just be sure ti wash your veggies with extra care after this solution.
- Boil vegetables. Insecticides are destroyed and broken down when they react to heat and water. This is probably one of the best way to kick off those residues. But be sure to remember that after boiling, you need to wash your veggies again with clean water.
- Broiling or grilling vegetables is another way of reducing pesticide residues. Eggplant is one vegetable that is usually broiled or grilled. Since you cannot wash your veggies anymore after grilling, just be sure to peel them off carefully.
So there! Here are the four basic steps on how to wash off those chemical residues! By the way, if you are in doubt about what vegetables are usually sprayed with chemicals, here is also a list for you.