Pesticide Residues on Vegetables and Fruits

  Have you ever heard of people saying that cooking vegetables would lose some nutritions, so it’s better to eat uncooked vegetables? False.  There are bacteria and parasites on vegetables, especially organic vegetables because of no pesticides.  The most terrible parasite is Angiostrongylus cantonensis, which could be life-threatening and cause severe neurological complications.  Besides, eating uncooked vegetables would ingest pesticides at the same time.  Cooking will degrade and volatilize part of pesticides more or less.  In a modern society where neurotoxins are everywhere, it’s better to buy fruits and vegetables that have passed the test for pesticides.

According to the governmental research, in Taiwan the top one of vegetables containing more residues of pesticides are usually pea pods and beans, because which are harvested continuously. In addition, highly economic vegetables/fruits may have more pesticides.

Why are there residues of pesticides on vegetables and fruits?

◆ Continuous harvesting

Some crops such as beans are harvested continuously.  During the 30 days of their growth, there could be about 5 times of treating pesticides.  Other crops including tomatoes, pods, and melons have the same problem.

◆ Rush to plant and harvest

To plant crops at an unseasonal time will need more pesticides to help crops growing better.  In case of typhoon coming or market prediction of insufficient short-term supply which may result in price rising, farmers always rush to harvest and allow no enough time for pesticides to volatilize.

◆ Highly economic crops

Strawberries, cherries, tea, etc., are highly priced in the market.  Once the appearance is not so good, they must be sold at reduced prices.  Therefore, they would be treated with more pesticides to prevent from insects biting.

How to properly wash fruits and vegetables?

◆ The most important and simple method of cleaning and washing fruits and vegetables is to flush them with flowing water for some minutes.

◆ Use soft brush to scrub green peppers, sweet peppers, bitter gourds, cucumbers, tomatoes, star fruit, melons, etc.

◆ Wash vegetables and fruits before peeling them, such as litchi, grapes, orange, mango, banana, papaya, and apple.

◆ Do not put vegetables and fruits into the refrigerator right after you bring them home.  The crops growing in the sunlight would naturally get pesticides decomposed.  In the refrigerator, the decomposition would get slow.  It is recommended to leave them at room temperature for a few days before eating them.

◆ Some experiment tells that adding baking soda or salt to the water would not help cleaning vegetables and fruits better. The best way is to flush them with flowing water as long time as you can.

The TOP 10 vegetables containing pesticide residues in Taiwan:

No.1    Green beans

No.2   Pea pods

No.3   Sweet pepper

No.4   Cucumber

No.5   Lettuce

No.6   Qing Jiang

No.7   Bok Choy

No.8   Green pepper

No.9  Tomato

No.10   Rape

In addition to eating less of high-risk fruits and vegetables, we may choose to eat low-risk bamboo shoots, white bamboo shoots, local sweet potato leaves, Madeira vine, Ceylon spinach, etc. for which the farmers do not need to use pesticides.



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