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Best Ways to Wash Veggies and Fruit

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

washing fruits and vegetables

Story at-a-glance -

  • Pesticides applied to fruits and vegetables in the U.S., as well as in other countries, pose a serious health hazard for people buying such plant-based foods
  • Studies show pesticides can cause brain damage, impair your nervous system, disrupt your hormones and even cause cancer — and it’s worse for children
  • Washing fruits and veggies by rubbing them while holding them under running water helps rid them of contaminants from the soil, handling and pesticides, but a vinegar solution is also helpful
  • Phenoxy herbicides, as well as several insecticides, have been linked to three types of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and developmental and reproductive problems, and glyphosates can damage multiple areas of your body

If you've heard or read anything about the pesticide residue on fruits and vegetables, you're probably diligent about making sure the produce you purchase gets cleaned before you eat it. Interestingly, while some people assume it's best to stay away from imported produce, it's entirely possible that the domestically-grown offerings might be even worse, according to a University of California study.

Growing your own fruits and vegetables may preempt the necessity of attempting to wash off pesticides if you're going the organic route, but not everyone is equipped to do that. Supermarkets and farmers markets may offer organic options, but in some areas of the U.S., organic options are few and far between.

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