When to care for organic baby food
Pesticides in baby food concern parents. A lot of us feel pressure to buy organic ingredients. However, scientists often dispute the health benefits of organic foods. The real problem is that organic foods are not always available or totally chemical-free, and tend to be more pricey.
There are other ways to reduce pesticides and other chemical residues in foods. Cleaning fruit and vegetables properly can not only significantly reduce the level of pesticides but also the chances of food poisoning.
We’ve read over academic papers and government guidelines about effective ways of cleaning fruits and vegetables. Here are our findings:
Running water does the job, and saltwater can make it even more effective
Studies show that clean running water quite effectively removes pesticide residue. 10% saltwater did an even better job to significantly reduce chemical residues in produce. Full-strength vinegar works too, but diluted vinegar did not always show an effective result.
Another effective way was peeling. Peeling mangos, tomatoes and potatoes showed more than 90% of reduction in pesticides. Cooking, especially boiling, reduced the level of chemical residues as well.
Cleaning methods should differ for produces
Washing matters for fragile produce like strawberries, while peeling off the skin of a mango can remove almost 100% of the chemical residues.
Physically rubbing and repeat-washing significantly reduces the pesticide residues. However, fragile produce can be destroyed or lose flavor and aroma. Water soluble vitamins (B,and C) can be lost during long and intense washing. FDA recommends consumers to use a sink sprayer or colander instead.
EWG might help buying decisions with organic foods
EWG research shares their findings on chemical residues in food produce for consumers.The Dirty Dozen lists the top 12 vegetables and fruit which contain the highest pesticide levels in the US market. Their samples are tested for pesticides after they were thoroughly washed and, when applicable, peeled.
On the other hand, the Clean Fifteen shows the produce with the least pesticide residues. So if you’re debating between buying organic spinach or organic avocado, you’ll know where to spend your money.
Nutrition matters much more than potential hazards
If you get obsessed with food information, there will be not much to eat. There is always a risk involved with food production and distribution.
Relax. Scientists argue that the amount of pesticide present in produce is not enough to cause harm. Overall, the benefit of getting nutrients from fruits and vegetables outweighs the risks of pesticides.
Food safety matters more than pesticides
While we worry about the tiny bit of pesticide in produce, the actual harm may be caused by foodborne illness and food poisoning. And studies point out that the men are a lot more likely to handle food carelessly than women. So, make sure to train your partner when it comes to handling baby food including if he handles non-stick pans safely.