Does Washing Produce Remove Pesticides?

Hi everybody, and welcome back. Today, we're talking about, does washing produce actually remove pesticides? So does washing it using soap, does help? Should you peel produce to try to get the pesticides off? Should you buy organic? We're going to cover all that in today's topic.


As most of you probably know by now a good amount of the produce that is grown is now being sprayed with these chemicals for one reason or another, for the most part, it just helps to improve the shelf life of the product. Right?


It makes it easier to grow without so many bugs and kinds of predators getting to that produce. But at what cost? how are these affecting the human body? I'll touch a bit on that at the end of this topic, largely, we just don't know.


Does Washing Produce Remove Pesticides?


There are so many of these chemicals out there and they haven't been really well tested for a long amount of time. So there are a lot of question marks. So it's only smart in my opinion, to get these off of your products as much as possible.


But I see a lot of confusion as far as whether washing actually even accomplishes this. So that's why I wanted to create this video to share this information with you. And so washing produce actually, for the most part, doesn't actually help with removing pesticides and that's because the pesticides are sprayed so early in the growing process that it's become an actual part of that produce.

So take an apple, for example. The pesticides are grown really early on in that growth, so it becomes a part of the flesh. So you can't just wash it, well, you can probably wash a little bit off the outside, but it's actually all inside that apple as well so you're getting and, you're eating some of that, no matter what.


Unfortunately, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it's really the reality of what's going on right now. Okay, but Ashley, I buy this really good quality wash. It's like $20 from my farmer's market.


It's vinegar, it's all-natural. And they say it'll work. I'm really sorry, but for the most part, it, it won't, but it can help with something else that we're going to talk about in a bit.


Before we get there, I just want to share our FREE GUIDE: 5 ways to improve your gut health that you can download. If you don't know me, my name's Ashley Oswald, I'm a registered dietitian, who founded Oswald Digestive Clinic and have seven years of formal schooling in nutrition science, working in the field for over a decade. So I really pulled together a lot of my knowledge and experience to create this guide for you. So I think you'll find it helpful.


So what can those washes help with? So they can help with microbial contamination issues. What that really means in layman's terms is like bad bacteria.


And so using some of these washes or using vinegar can help to remove those bad bugs so that they don't then inoculate your gut, maybe out-compete your good bugs and cause issues. Now that's something I want to say though, is if you have a good microbiota balance like microbiome balance, I mean, you have a lot of good bacteria in your gut.


They should actually be out-competing the bad bugs and you shouldn't be getting sick from that. So most people don't realize that. A lot of people actually have E. Coli In their gut. The problem with E. Coli Is when it overgrows and then it can make people really, really sick. But if it's being off balance by good bacteria, then it's not going to cause an issue.


So that is something these special washes can help with. And actually, just rinsing it with water can help to reduce that exposure as well.


So now how about peeling?

Like you have an apple you've heard that you should peel off the skin cause it has a lot of kind of junk on it and actually you could probably feel that wax that's on there, right? So should you be peeling your produce cause, on the other hand, you've probably heard of how much nutrition is in that skin and how many of the fibers are in that skin, which can do all sorts of things for the gut. Not only help keep that microbiota in balance, but it can help to prevent colon cancer and all these other things.


So what should you do?

So it is true that companies now are putting wax on the outside of a lot of produce. So things like apples and cucumbers and peppers and tomatoes, you can probably feel it. So if you have a garden, you know what the tomato feels like from your garden or from your farmer's market versus when you bought it from the store, right?


It's obvious there's an extra wax on it. So sometimes this is a natural wax. Other times it's a petroleum-based wax. So yeah, the same stuff that's used to make like oil and gas, and honestly, most companies it's proprietary information to know what's in that petroleum-based wax.


So oftentimes we don't even know what's in there. So the reason why a product is waxed is to prevent water loss. Because if you have that wax on the outside, like for example, the apple, you're not going to lose as much water because it's going to hit that wax barrier. This can prevent shrinkage and can prevent spoilage. So it has a longer shelf life and helps improve the appearance of that product.

So it's not all like shriveled up in the grocery store by the time you're about to buy it. So how do you get this off? Unfortunately, you can't just rinse that off. You've probably noticed that, right? It's nearly impossible to get off.


You almost have to use hot boiling water to get that removed. I do have cloth. That's a Norwex cloth that has a rough surface that I found does help to remove some of that wax because you're basically trying to scrape it off, but also understand that I'm not getting it all off.


So that could be something that you could consider trying, but there's not really a great solution to this because it's pretty hard to get that off. So yeah, peeling is going to get rid of that, but it's always weighing the potential benefits to the potential risks and you're losing a lot of that nutrition by peeling everything.


So that kind of brings us into the conversation of, well, should I buy organic? Like if I buy organic, is that wax going to be either a healthier form, a more natural form on the wax? Or am I going to not have to be so concerned about it for another reason?

So let's talk about that next. So the short answer is yes, buying organic might help to prevent your exposure to some of these things. So on the label, look for the number starting with a nine. That means it has organic certification, but keep listening to the end cause I have kind of a caveat and I have something better than even, you know, looking for organic.


So the thing with organic is, yes, it's gonna help you to have decreased exposure to some of these chemicals being used. However, what's really unfortunate is that now researchers think that things like glyphosate are actually in the rainwater. So they've tested organic produce and they've found glyphosate exposure.


And the reality is, that the government doesn't have a really great tracking or testing system set up or checking some of these chemicals. So because of that, you could be buying organic and still getting glyphosate exposure. And if you want to learn more about glyphosate and how this might be negatively impacting gut health, I would encourage you to look into Dr. Seneff's work at MIT where she's finding that too much glyphosate exposure, which is the main ingredient in Roundup.


So if you use Roundup around your home, like, cause I would recommend not doing that. Cause also that gets into the water systems, which affects all of us. So please try to avoid using Roundup.


But what she's finding is that that can negatively impact the gut lining. So it could be increasing that leaky gut, that intestinal permeability, which of course can contribute to autoimmune issues. So yeah, buying organic, you can look up the dirty dozen list, the clean 15 lists if you're on a budget. If you're buying from the clean 15, not as important to buy organic cause it's decreased the chance of high exposure, and dirty dozen.

I would recommend buying organic. But one step further is that you could go to your farmer's markets and get to know your local farmers, get to know their practices. How are they tending the soil?


What are they spraying on their produce? Certainly, there's a level of trust that comes into this. You could go do farm tours to try and learn more about their practices and get to know them as a person so that you can really trust where your food is coming from.


With organic, there's not a lot of corruption with organic anymore. However, this is as just mentioned kind of a downside still just kind of trusting that organic label. And when you buy it from your farmer's market, another benefit is that they're usually picking the produce the day before or the morning of, so you're going to get much fresher produce.


And I know a lot of people are like concerned about lectins and things of that source sort. The research really doesn't support lectin concerns when it's coming from whole real, properly prepared foods. It was really just some mouse research using supplemental lectins that caused that showed issues.


So please know that, but also like if you buy a tomato that was just picked that morning, it's going to have a much lower lectin level and a much higher amount of nutrition than a tomato picked a week prior shipped, and sold in your grocery store.


So you get kind of multiple benefits by trying to buy your food in that way. I hope this was helpful for you. And if you haven't already please subscribe to our youtube channel to be notified of our new videos every Tuesday, 3:00 PM, central time.


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So I hope you all have a great rest of your day and I will see you at the next one!

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