By Kevin Daugherty, CHHC, CH, CHMI
Plants have a natural defense against pests, but the over-farming of the land has depleted the soil of the essential nutrients and plants no longer have the ability to ward off pests. With the plants weakened and unable to defend themselves the farmers have gone to pesticides to save their crops.
The Federal Government, in cooperation with the States, carefully regulates pesticides to ensure that their use does not pose unreasonable risks to human health or the environment. In particular, the Federal pesticide program is designed to ensure that these products can be used with reasonable certainty that they will pose no harm to infants, children, and adults.
Even just using pesticides in amounts within regulation, studies have revealed neurotoxins can do serious damage during development. Researchers report the dangers of pesticides can start as early as fetal stages of life.
Can you believe the government approved the use of some organophosphates despite the occurrence of illnesses? It makes you wonder just who the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working to protect.
Even though our government has rules and regulations to some degree, a lot of our food comes from outside the states where those rules aren’t as strict or don’t even exist.
What you also need to understand is that toxins from pesticides can remain in the body and build up in the liver. Even at "safe" levels, your reactions can be mild to severe. High levels of exposure can be fatal. How do you know if you're going to be ill? You don't; you just have to hope for the best. How will you be affected? Well, you don't really know how your body will react to the toxins until it happens. Several factors determine how your body will react including your level of exposure, the type of chemical you ingest, and your individual resistance to the chemicals. Some people are unaffected or are mildly affected, while others become severely ill from similar levels of exposure.
Most people wash their fruit and vegetables to remove pesticide residue with water but unfortunately doing so is useless. Pesticides are oil based and designed to withstand rain and watering, so it is going to take a little more work if you want to make your food safe. One good option is a store-bought Veggie Wash but better yet is a homemade solution. At least with the homemade solution, you know exactly what’s in it.
· Purchase a spray bottle from the garden or cleaning section of your store and a small vegetable scrub brush.
· Next mix 1 cup of apple cider vinegar with 1 cup of filtered water.
· Then add 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon and 2 tablespoons of baking soda.
· Add the baking soda slow because it will fizz up quick with the vinegar.
· Spray your fruit and vegetables with your solution when you get home from the market.
· Let the solution set for about 5 minutes then scrub clean with your veggie brush and rinse with water.
· Keep the solution in the refrigerator between uses.
The wash will remove the pesticide residue along with other germs and bacteria from the shipping and handling process. The solution will also slow down the development of mold and rot allowing your food to last longer from going bad.
I would recommend washing all your fruit and vegetables organic or not. Organic produce doesn’t have the pesticides but they get handled by many different people before they get to you. The solution is also safe and effective as a mild cleaner for your counters too. Not too bad for some common cheap ingredients.