You’re in a posh restaurant and the salad you ordered just arrived. You’re looking at a bowl of colorful raw vegetables that look like they had just been harvested no more than a few hours ago. You skewer the vegetables with your fork and put them in your mouth. As your teeth crush them, you can hear the crunch at the same time as the inside of your mouth is sprayed with an explosion of juices. You feel good. You’re eating healthy. But… are you?
Unless you are 100% certain that you are eating organic vegetables, according to a research at UP Los Baños, pesticide may be an invisible ingredient in your raw salad.
So, we should just give up vegetables altogether? Well, according to the linked article, you can remove as much as 88% of the pesticide with careful preparation. There are two ways.
1. Soak the vegetables in vinegar solution. Two teaspoons vinegar with four cups water. For two minutes.
2. Wash the veggies in a liter of water mixed with 10 drops of detergent. Then, rinse in running water.
Okay, the second option makes me cringe. But while the vinegar solution may remove as much as 80% of pesticide residue, the water-detergent mixture can remove as much as 88% of the toxic pesticide.
Is there no way to remove ALL pesticide residue? Sure, there is. Cook your vegetables.
That’s how it’s done in traditional Asian cooking. Most of the time, anyway.
So, any way that the vegetables are cooked will get rid of all traces of pesticide? According to the research team, boiling vegetables in water is the better way.
Insecticides are destroyed and broken down when they react to heat and water.
The article is silent though as to how long the veggies should be boiled.
Meanwhile, broiling or grilling only reduces the amount of pesticide residue.
Perhaps, the better practice would be to soak the vegetables in the vinegar solution before cooking them.
But aren’t nutrients lost when the veggies are cooked? True, true. But what is preferable to you—diluting the nutritional value of the pesticide-free vegetables or retaining their full nutritional value along with pesticide residue?
Wouldn’t the best practice be to switch to organic vegetables totally? The first question would be, “Can you afford it?” Organic vegetables cost an arm and a leg. Besides, come to think of it, even if you prepared your raw salad at home with vegetables labeled “organic” that you bought from the grocery, just how sure are you that the label is truthful?
The most ideal solution is, of course, to grow your own vegetables. Then, you can be completely sure that they are indeed organic. But who has space for growing vegetables especially in the city where modern living translates to high-rise condos rather than houses with pocket gardens? Search Google for “vertical garden” and “green wall”. Throw in “DIY” in the key string and you’re going in the right direction.
The stock photos are from Pixabay.