Rinse and Repeat: Enjoying the Produce of Summer


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Studies show that 75 percent of non-organic produce has pesticides, and while 86 percent of Americans wash their produce before eating it, washing may not get rid of all of it.

A peaches delicate skin makes it easy for chemicals to get inside. One report found 36 types of pesticides on strawberries. Pesticides were found on 91 percent of cherries. And when it comes to spinach and other lettuces some reports claim they are contaminated with what are considered the most potent pesticides used on foods.

“The outer layer of the fruit and vegetable is a membrane and that’s permeable, which means that the pesticide can soak inside the produce, and it can be very difficult to remove,” said Steven Burroughs, Instructor University of Central Florida in the Department of Health Sciences.

Despite all of this, the CDC says washing your produce is one of the safest things to do if you plan on eating it.

First, wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

“By using 10 seconds of water, you’re able to keep the integrity and structure of the fruit and vegetable so that you get the best quality and remove some of the pesticides as best as you can,” explained Burroughs.

If you’re still feeling a bit unsure, buy organic produce.

“The USDA ensures that organic fruits and vegetables don’t have chemicals,” said Burroughs.

So be sure to wash up and enjoy the sweet treats of summer.

Studies show that pesticide residue may lead to decreased sperm quality, disrupted menstrual cycles, increased miscarriage risk and increased risk of birth defects.

Contributors to this news report include: Cliff Tumetel, Producer; Bob Walko, Editor

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