Follow this simple guide to take a step towards healthy, organic lifestyle through pesticide free food.
It is no surprise to any of us that the vegetables and fruits we consume are laden with pesticides. Since we are strapped for options, we continue buying such products hoping that miraculously we would be saved and the pesticides won’t cause us any harm. Well, it’s time to then accept the truth that continuing to eat these pesticide-ridden fruits and vegetables will harm us and at times, irreparably so.
Recently a study was conducted by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India by analysing random vegetable samples from all over the country. This threw some light on the extent of contamination. Common food items contain pesticides such as cypermethrin, heptachlor, quinalphos, aldrin, chlordane, dichlorvos, cypermethrin in quantities a thousand times more than the permissible limits!
Brinjal tops the chart for vegetables with the level of banned pesticide at 860% above legal limits, followed by cauliflower and cabbage. The level of aldrin in wheat was 21,890 times more than the permissible level whereas that of chlorfenvinphos in rice was measured at 1,324% above the allowed limit.
The soil is our external metabolism. It must be free of herbicides and pesticides, or the body cannot heal.
- These pesticides can prove fatal and can affect vital organs like the kidneys, liver and the endocrine system.
- According to health experts, it is a leading cause for diseases such as cancer and nervous system related problems.
- Kidney malfunction, liver dysfunction, enzyme inhibition, hormonal changes, etc., are also major threats.
- Many can cause food poisoning or allergic reactions.
- They are highly dangerous for pregnant women as it can cause genetic alterations in the foetus.
- Pesticide exposure can cause a range of neurological health effects such as memory loss, loss of coordination, reduced speed of response to stimuli, reduced visual ability, altered or uncontrollable mood and general behaviour, and reduced motor skills.
Helpful tips for Pesticide free food
- Buying Organic produce:
There are many shops that sell organic food these days and it is only getting popular. Do not go for those shiny and extra clean fruits, vegetables, cereals and pulses. These are generally not organically grown or processed. Buy small vegetables rather than large ones, as chances of pesticides in small vegetables are less.
- Thorough Cleaning:
Following are some simple steps you can adopt to clean your vegetables and fruits to ensure that they are completely pesticide free. These should be adopted by every household to remove the pesticide residual contamination.
Pre-Washing: Take a big bowl of cold water and add some salt to it. Keep the vegetables/fruits in this for about 5-10 minutes. Rinse the vegetables and fruits and wash thoroughly for 2-3 times. About 75% to 80% of the pesticide residue is removed in this way. Veg Wash is also an effective solution for cleaning away pesticides from your food.
Blanching: Wherever possible, blanch/ apply hot water or steam to the vegetables. This is required especially for green leafy vegetables which are sprayed with a whole lot of pesticides.
Peeling: Though it is generally good to leave the peel on vegetables and fruits as it is a good source for dietary fibre, the peel contains the maximum percentage of the pesticides. So, further removal of systemic and contact pesticides can be possible by peeling.
Pressure cooking, frying, steaming, baking etc. will further remove any traces of pesticides.
- Grow your vegetables:
The last and GreenMyLife’s favourite choice is to have your own kitchen garden! It doesn’t have to be too big and you can even have one in your apartment’s balcony. Even though it would not satisfy all your vegetable and fruit needs and you still would have to make use of options 1 and 2, you can be 100% sure that the stuff you grow don’t contain any of those harmful chemicals.
Take a step and get rid of all the chemicals and live an organic life. Feel rejuvenated and share your experiences with us.