Reducing pesticides from your produce

August 4, 2020
Lyndall McAlpine

To reduce your pesticide consumption, it really is worth the effort to wash, soak or spray non organic produce. Here’s a few easy options for you to try.

Recent studies have been published showing the efficacy of bicarb soda (aka baking soda) and also alkaline water on removing pesticides:

Bicarb Soda (aka baking soda in US)

Simple and inexpensive! – Mix 1 tsp bicarb soda to 1.5 litres water and soak vegies for 12 minutes has been show to remove (1) 

Alkaline Water

There are many filtered water systems in the market ranging from thousands to a few dollars. I have gone half way and have an “on the bench” alkaline water filter called ultrastream. I’m hoping with both of these methods along with growing my own as much as possible I am reducing my family’s pesticide intake (2)

Here’s other preparations I have read over the years:

  • Spraying is great for large produce that don’t easily fit in a bowl/basin. Make a spray with combination of 1 cup water, 1/2 cup vinegar, 2 tsp salt and 1/4 cup colloidal silver: vinegar (breaks down waxy cover), salt (draws out microbial bugs), colloidal silver (destroys fungal, bacteria or viral pathagens). Spray on your fruit and vegies and leave for 5 minutes then rinse.

Or if you have plenty of lemons to spare:

  • Mix 4 parts water to 1 part vinegar or lemon juice (or 2% salt to water solution) in a large bowl or clean sink. Soak the fruits and vegetables in the mixture and let them stay for 15-20 minutes and rinse.

I’ve tried Store bought vegie wash solution but I found it left a little bit of a taste on the produce.

I have found Enjo’s vegie cleaner cloth is easy to use also.

  1. Effectiveness of Commercial and Homemade Washing Agents in Removing Pesticide Residues on and in Apples
  2. Comparison of Different Home/Commercial Washing Strategies for Ten Typical Pesticide Residue Removal Effects in Kumquat, Spinach and Cucumber