Wash Your Fruit in Baking Soda
It can help remove more pesticides.
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Cleaning the fruit with plain water or a cloth will make a difference, but adding baking soda to the water works better, says study author Lili He, Ph.D., assistant professor of food science at University of Massachusetts Amherst. “Most pesticides are stable during pH four to six, but baking soda is alkali (or high), which causes the pesticide molecules to degrade,” explains He. Her team only tested two kinds of commonly-used pesticides, but she points out that several other types are also unstable at a high pH. Plus, one of the pesticides He’s team did look at, fungicide thiabendazole, can actually penetrate the apple peel.
When it comes to pesticide risk, the dose makes the poison—the danger depends on what kind of pesticide and how much is on your fruit, and how often you eat it, He says. In small doses, it can affect your skin, lungs, mouth, and eyes and over time in large doses, it can influence everything from hormone disruption to genetic changes to cancer growth.