Rid Your Produce of Pesticide Residue

The majority of fruits and vegetables purchased at your local store contain some degree of various types of pesticides. Farmers and growers use these chemicals to enable them to produce near-perfect fruits and vegetables in mass quantities, free of insects, bacteria, mold and rodents. However, these artificial chemicals pose health risks to humans, especially young children. Neurological and gastrointestinal problems, as well as problems in the endocrine and hormonal systems have been linked to pesticides, and more studies are being done to understand their full impact on the body. Learning how to rid your produce of pesticide residue is vital to a healthful diet and a healthy body.


  1. Buy organic fruits and vegetables when possible to avoid pesticide residue.
    • Though more expensive, organic produce is grown without the use of artificial pesticides.
  2. Know which fruits and vegetables pose the highest risk for pesticide residue if you can not buy organic produce.
    • Some produce, such as strawberries, peppers, peaches, cherries, apples and greens typically pose more of a risk of having high levels of pesticides.
    • Avocados, bananas, corn, watermelon, cauliflower and broccoli are some of the produce that typically have less pesticide residue.
  3. Thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables prior to eating them.
    • Use warm water and wash your produce for as long as you would your hands.
    • If mild dish washing liquid is available, use a small amount on your fruits and vegetables and rinse thoroughly.
  4. Soak and wash your produce with a commercial produce wash to remove pesticide residue from fruits and vegetables.
    • These solutions can be found in the produce section of your grocery store and are effective and safe.
  5. Make your own produce wash to remove pesticide residue from fruits and vegetables.
    • This can be made my mixing one teaspoon of sea salt per cup of water, or by diluting vinegar with water.
    • Soak your fruits and vegetables in the mixture, then rinse.
  6. Peel the skin off fruits and vegetables when possible.
    • Even when you plan to remove the skin from your produce, wash it first to eliminate even more pesticide residue.
  7. Shop at local farmers' markets or produce stands.
    • Local growers use less pesticides and are also more likely to grow organically. Their produce is often picked fresh.
  8. Grow your own fruits and vegetables.
    • When produce comes out of your own garden or back yard, you know exactly what you are putting into your body.


  • Shop for the freshest produce free of bruises or spots; however, keep in mind that just because it's fresh, doesn't guarantee it's clear of pesticides.
  • When buying organic produce, be sure the label says certified. These fruits and vegetables are assured to be grown using chemical-free methods.
  • Another method suggested by one reader is to mix salt and turmeric powder. Soak the vegetables in this mixture for half an hour, then drain and remove the vegetables.


  • Don't avoid eating produce because of your fear of pesticide residue. Fruits and vegetables are still important parts of your diet and offer many vitamins and nutrients.
  • Even organic produce needs to be washed before eating it, because it can contain bacteria.

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