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Best way to wash your apples to eliminate pesticides, according to science

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How do you clean your apples before eating? Do you thoroughly wash them, massage them under a running tap water, or just polish them with your shirt to remove dirt? According to new research, these methods aren’t effective in eliminating pesticide residues.

Pesticides help increase crop production, but their potential effects on our health have become of great concern. While the pesticides may contribute to the survival of crops and keep off dangerous bugs, they’re not healthy for human consumption. The effects vary with the type pesticides, but certain pesticides are harmful to the nervous systems especially in children.

Baking soda proved effective

Washing as an effective way of getting rid of pesticides off produce is a standard practice in the industry. But the currently cleaning techniques might not easily remove the chemical.

Researchers reported that washing apples with a household product – baking soda – could be the most effective trick for pesticides.

The researchers tested three different methods to wash the residue off the fruit – plain tap water, a baking soda solution, and a bleach solution used by farmers to wash harvested produces. To determine the effectiveness of each method, the researchers used two common types of pesticides – Thiabendazole and Phosmet.

Results showed that the baking soda solution was the best among the other methods of removing pesticides. After soaking for 12 minutes, about 80 percent of the Thiabendazole was off, while as high as 96 percent of Phosmet was removed after 15 minutes. The researchers announced that the reason why the Thiabendazole was difficult to remove is its deep penetration into the fruit.

Baking soda may have been active for removing pesticides in the tests carried out, but it isn’t a miracle solution; it may not be an effective treatment elsewhere. However, it doesn’t call for panicking just yet. You can still enjoy your apples by peeling off the skin.