Fruit and vegetable pollutants: better wash or peel?

Fruit and vegetable pollutants: better wash or peel?

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Pollution: Should fruits and vegetables be washed or peeled better?

Health experts recommend eating at least five to ten servings of fruit and vegetables a day. This provides your body with important vitamins and minerals and protects you from diseases. However, health-threatening germs sometimes lurk on the plant foods. So should fruit and vegetables be peeled better? Or washed? Experts have some important tips for this.

Numerous health-promoting ingredients

Again and again it is reported that fruits and vegetables are contaminated with pesticides and other pollutants. However, experts advise against restricting the consumption of plant-based foods. After all, vegetables and fruits are low in calories and contain many health-promoting ingredients such as vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. According to experts, the positive properties of these substances for long-term health maintenance should be rated higher than a possible risk from residues from pesticides.

Reduce the intake of pollutants

As the Consumer Service Bayern writes in a message, farmers and gardeners use pesticides to protect crops from pests, weeds and plant diseases.

According to the information, approximately 775 crop protection products are currently approved in Germany. Even with proper use, residues on the crop are possible.

With the right hygiene measures during preparation, however, the absorption of pollutants can be significantly reduced.

Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly

Thorough washing with cold water removes most of the residues from crop protection products on fruits and vegetables.

An additional beneficial effect can be achieved by rubbing with microfiber cloths or by brushing - if the fruits allow it.

Warm water or special fruit detergents, on the other hand, do not provide any additional benefit.

The consumer service points out that on the contrary, with fruit detergents there is a possibility that surfactants from the detergent remain on the fruit.

What is interesting in this context is what US researchers reported last year: In a study, they found that a solution of baking soda and water can be used to remove pesticides from apples.

Healthy plant substances are often lost through peeling

Vegetables and fruits with an uneven surface should always be washed particularly thoroughly.

Cleaning is also an advantage for varieties where the skin is not consumed, such as avocados.

For salads or cabbages, it is advisable to remove the outer leaves.

Vegetables and fruits, which are usually eaten with the skin, should not be peeled, as the skin not only loses harmful substances but also healthy phytochemicals.

Pollution can fluctuate

According to the Consumer Service Bavaria, studies by the food control authorities of the individual federal states show that fruit and vegetable varieties imported from other countries in particular exceed the maximum amounts of plant treatment products.

Therefore, it makes sense to eat mainly fruits and vegetables from the region. With numerous types of vegetables and fruits, for example strawberries, the pesticide load also fluctuates seasonally.

Fresh vegetables from Germany performed best overall in the annual examination by the Chemical and Veterinary Investigation Office Stuttgart for 2017.

Organic goods without pesticides

Organic fruits and vegetables are a pesticide-free choice, since the use of chemical-synthetic pesticides in organic production is not permitted.

Natural substances of animal or vegetable origin such as minerals, vegetable oils or soaps are permitted.

Organic producers also use resistant plant varieties and suitable crop rotations to combat insect pests and weeds.

Recycle vegetables completely

In the modern kitchen there is a trend to use fruit and vegetables completely.

For example, the green of the yellow beet and the leaves of kohlrabi, radishes and beetroot are processed into pestos, salads or soups.

However, these parts of plants can be contaminated with pesticides. Limit values ​​for spraying agents only apply to the normally edible parts of plants and not to the herb and leaves.

If you want to fully utilize the plants, it is best to use fresh, unsprayed goods from your own garden or organic vegetables.

Beet herb, radish leaves and Co. should always be washed thoroughly under running water. This applies especially to raw consumption. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Why You Should Never Wash Your Fruits and Vegetables Before Eating (October 2022).