If youre lucky enough to buy your weekly fare from a farmer or producer that "grows" your food organically and without pesticides (and you live in more moderate climates), more power to you. The next best thing is looking for purveyors that grow your food as organically as possible and with as little pesticide as possible too. For many of us, we're tied to the local grocery store where choices might be more limited.
If this is the case, here are 6 ways to protect yourself from pesticides commonly used on produce that can also be found in meat, poultry and fish.
1. Buy only fruits and vegetables that are USDA regulated. Imports from other countries arent as stringent about their pesticide guidelines.
2. Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. This way you won't be ingesting larger amounts of one particular pesticide.
3. Don't wash your produce until just before preparing or serving. If it needs a good scrubbing with a vegetable brush, go for it. This will remove most of the dirt, insects, bacteria and some pesticide residue.
4. When washing your produce, do so with clean, cold water. There's no need to use veggie cleaners. Clean, cold water works just fine. Plus you'll have one less product to buy and one less package to throw in the recycle bin. When appropriate, immerse the produce in the water, drain and do it again if necessary. Keep your faucet running at a minimum.
5. Peel your produce when it's appropriate. Even though you may lose some nutrients and fiber in the process, we have to believe that it outweighs eating a sulfuric acid-laced baked potato.
When it comes to vegetables like celery and leafy greens, cut off the top of the stalks and peel away the outer leaves of the head of lettuce or cabbage. This most likely is where the bulk of the pesticide residue resides.
6. This may sound sacrilegious to a chef because it's where a lot of flavor comes from but trimming the fat and skin from meats, fish and poultry will lessen your exposure to pesticides too. Pesticide residue concentrates in animal fat and can also be found in fish tissue.
If you do most of your shopping at a typical grocery store, check out The Top 12 Foods Experts Say To Eat Organic. This info will give you a leg up on what items to buy that carry the least amount of pesticides and provide you with great alternative ideas too.
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