July 19, 2024

Use of pesticides in Fruits and Vegetables

Use of pesticides in Fruits and Vegetables

What are Pesticides?

Pesticides are chemical substances used to kill pests that might damage crops and fruits. It is used in abundance by farmers, especially in remote areas. The developments in the agricultural sector have evidently shown an increase in the use of pesticides during the cultivation of crops

What Foods are Highly Contaminated with Pesticides?

Some of the fruits and vegetables that have higher concentrations of pesticides are fruits like peaches, nectarines, cherries, strawberries, grapes, raspberries, pears and apples. Potatoes, spinach, bell peppers and celery are some of the vegetables that contain pesticide residue.

Home Remedy to Get Rid of Pesticides

Put the contaminated fruits and vegetables in one place in a container and put enough water in it. Now, put vinegar in it and leave the container for 15 minutes. After that, remove the fruits from the container. Now, rinse the fruit properly with water. Vinegar helps remove 98 percent of the pesticide residue and insecticides from the fruit. This is an easy and effective way of removing pesticides from fruits and vegetables.

Time needed: 10 minutes

Removing Pesticides from Fruits and Vegetables

  1. Washing

    The first step in the removal of pesticide residues from food products is washing. Washing with 2% of salt water will remove most of the contact pesticide residues that normally appear on the surface of the vegetables and fruits.
    About 75-80% of pesticide reduces are removed by cold water washing. The pesticide residues that are on the surface of fruits like grapes, apples, guava, plums, mangoes, peaches and pears and fruity vegetables like tomatoes, brinjal and okra require two to three washings.
    The green leafy vegetables must be washed thoroughly. The pesticide residues from green leafy vegetables are removed satisfactorily by normal processing such as washing blanching and cooking.

  2. Blanching

    A short treatment in hot water or steam is applied to most of the vegetables. Certain pesticide residues can effectively be removed by blanching. But before blanching it is very important to thoroughly pre-wash the vegetables and fruits.

  3. Cooking

    Animal Products
    Animal products are also the major source of contamination for pesticide residues in human diets since the animals feed on fodder, which is sprayed with pesticides.
    Pressure cooking, frying and baking will remove pesticide residues from the animal fat tissues.
    Dairy products
    Boiling milk at elevated temperatures will destroy the persistent pesticide residues.
    Vegetable Oils
    Refined oils will have fewer amounts of pesticide residues.
    Household heating of oils up to a particular flash point will remove pesticide residues.

What are the most commonly used pesticides?

Glyphosate, which is a herbicide that people use to kill weeds and grasses
Atrazine, which is a herbicide that people use to kill grassy and broadleaf weeds
Metolachlor-S, which is a herbicide effective against grasses
Dichloropropene, which treats the soil before planting to kill roundworms
2,4-D, which is a herbicide that people use to kill broadleaf weeds

The fruits and vegetables with the highest level of pesticides

spinach
strawberries
nectarines
kale
grapes
apples
cherries
peaches
tomatoes
pears
potatoes
celery


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