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How useful is washing fruit and vegetables?

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  1. A question I regularly receive in my mailbox is the one about washing fruit and vegetables. Many people seem to doubt whether it is useful, because it is often already washed by the manufacturer. I can be very short on that: Maybe the manufacturer has washed it, but you don't know how intensively this is, so you have to repeat it yourself anyway.

  1. Washing itself is very useful, even if you have organic vegetables or fruit. It may not contain pesticides, but it can contain parasites or bacteria. Very natural, but that does not mean that it is also good for your body.

  2. Washing itself is useful, even if you have organic fruit or vegetables. It may not contain pesticides, but it can contain parasites or bacteria. Very natural, but that does not mean that it is also good for your body.

  1. Let me list the 4 risks for you:

Weed killers

  1. If you eat organic, you will of course not be bothered by this. But pesticides are still used for most of the rest. I must honestly say that a change is taking place in the Netherlands. Measurements (1) have shown in recent years that the dangerous pesticides on fruit and vegetables from Dutch soil are becoming increasingly rare. But that does not alter the fact that pesticides are indeed used.

  2. If you eat organic, this will of course not bother you. But pesticides are still used for most of the rest. I must honestly say that a change is taking place in the Netherlands. Measurements (1) have shown in recent years that the dangerous pesticides on fruit and vegetables from Dutch soil are becoming increasingly rare. But that does not alter the fact that pesticides are actually used.

  1. These products are classified by the industry as â € safeâ € ™. Yes, but they remain foreign substances and you never know what the final effects will be. Another problem is the fact that a lot of fruit and vegetables come from abroad. And then often also from countries where the rules for the use of pesticides are followed less strictly than we are used to.

  2. These products are classified by the industry as â € safeâ € ™. Sure, but they remain foreign substances and you never know what the final effects will be. Another problem is the fact that a lot of fruit and vegetables come from abroad. And then often also from countries where the rules for the use of pesticides are followed less strictly than we are used to.

  1. In fact, in some countries there are no rules at all for this. The cheap vegetables in particular come from these countries.

  2. In fact, in some countries there are no rules at all for this. The cheap vegetables in particular come from these kinds of countries.

  1. To indicate the difference between eating fruits and vegetables with and without pesticides: A study (2) has been done in children. A group of children who ate 'normal' fruit and vegetables were selected. The amount of pesticide and pesticide residues in their urine was measured. Then they were put on a â € dietâ € ™ of organic fruits and vegetables.

  2. To indicate the difference between eating vegetables and fruit with and without pesticides: A study (2) has been done in children. A group of children who ate 'normal' fruit and vegetables were selected. The amount of pesticide and pesticide residues in their urine was measured. Then they were put on a â € dietâ € ™ of organic fruits and vegetables.

  1. After three days the amount of pesticide in the urine had already decreased by 90%. Another study conducted by a group of Australian scientists has confirmed these results.

  2. After three days, the amount of pesticide in the urine had already decreased by 90%. Another study conducted by a group of Australian scientists has confirmed these results.

  1. The pesticides used on our fruits and vegetables are safe for the body, at least that's what the government and industry would have us believe. Within certain standards this will indeed be the case, and there will be no immediate deaths. But there is more to it. A recent literature search, carried out by a French medical research company, has shown that there is indeed a link between the pesticides that we find on our fruit and vegetables every day, and certain cancers, problems with the hormones, and Parkinson's disease, for example. (3).

  1. To avoid pesticides, the fruit and vegetables are washed. According to many people an adequate solution. But the pesticides are only partly on or in the skin. Most of it has already been absorbed into the fruit, so it is no longer washable. To avoid this you can choose to eat only organic fruit and vegetables. Only then can you be sure that you don't have any foreign chemicals on your plate.

  2. To avoid pesticides, the fruit and vegetables are washed. According to many people an adequate solution. But the pesticides are only partly on or in the skin. Most of it has already been absorbed into the fruit, so it is no longer washable. To avoid this you can choose to eat only organic fruits and vegetables. Only then can you be sure that you don't have any foreign chemicals on your plate.

Contamination at the micro-bacterial level

  1. The aforementioned pesticides are not the only danger to our health. In an effort by farmers to replenish the nutrients in the soil as much as possible, a great deal of fertilizer was used in the past. It is now known that this is also not good, both for the soil and for health.

  1. Farmers are therefore increasingly replacing this with natural fertilizers in the form of animal excrement. First reaction: pure nature, so nothing to worry about. But that's not entirely true.

  1. In a normal process, animal waste and dead plants are converted by small organisms into new nutrients for the soil. This makes the soil richer, so that the crops grow better. Very normal and without any danger. It becomes problematic if other organisms such as salmonella, listeria, or E-coli come along with the animal feces.

  2. In a normal process, animal waste and dead plants are converted by small organisms into new nutrients for the soil. This makes the soil richer, so that the crops grow better. Very normal and without any danger. It becomes problematic if other organisms such as salmonella, listeria, or E-coli come with the animal feces.

  1. This is then absorbed into the soil and will settle on the crop. Your body knows how to handle this in a limited amount, at least if you have a healthy immune system. But in larger quantities this can cause problems and cause food poisoning. In most cases not very serious, but still a nuisance.

  1. You may experience headaches, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and stomach cramps. In very serious cases you can get problems with your kidneys (E. Coli) or you get paralysis symptoms or breathing problems.

  1. I must honestly say that this risk is very small, but theoretically it is very possible. The problem here is that eating organic fruit and vegetables avoids the risk of pesticides, but not the risk of micro-bacterial contamination. In this case, washing your fruit and vegetables is very useful. You can read more about how to do this later in this article. First a third risk to your health.

Parasites

  1. Parasites can also be on the crops. Parasites that do not sit on you, but that can be present. These then come from the feces of rodents and cats, among others. The chance is very small, but they are regularly found on our fruit and vegetables. If you have a healthy immune system, your body will make short work of it itself.

  1. Not a big problem. But for people with a weak (er) resistance, such as pregnant women, elderly people and sick people, problems can arise. Especially if there are no antibodies (yet) in the body. There is another risk in pregnant women, as some parasites can damage the nervous system of the unborn fetus.

  1. A well-known parasite that you may encounter is the tapeworm. Often people laugh about this, but the chance is certainly present in theory. The eggs of the tapeworm are deposited by wild animals that relieve themselves between crops. A tapeworm can cause problems with your liver, among other things.

  1. Eating organic products is definitely not a solution here either. Washing well is therefore the advice. In addition, you must use common sense when cutting open the fruit and vegetables. If you don't trust something: throw it away.

Nitrate

  1. Nitrate is found in many leafy vegetables. A natural substance that is converted in the body into nitrite, which in large quantities can be harmful to your body. Science agrees that you should not eat a nitrate-rich vegetable more than twice a week (nutrition center).

  1. Another detail: Never eat nitrate-rich vegetables in combination with fish.

  1. The proteins from the fish react, in a harmful way, with the nitrate from the vegetables. The vegetable with the most nitrate is undoubtedly arugula, but nitrate is also found in fennel, kohlrabi, Chinese cabbage, pointed cabbage, spinach, lettuce, chard, beetroot, watercress, turnip greens, celery and endive.

  1. The vegetables themselves can also form harmful nitrite from the nitrate already present. You can avoid this by keeping the vegetables at a low temperature. The best remedy is to eat it as soon as possible.

  1. Washing is very useful with these types of vegetables, even if it was just to remove some of the nitrate.

Washing vegetables and fruit

  1. Whether you eat organic or not, washing vegetables and fruit is very useful. But to quickly hold an apple under the tap and then eat it immediately is of little use. How do you do this? There are two ways:

  1. You can wash the vegetables and fruit under running water. The pressure of the water, in combination with rubbing or, for example, a brush, will wash away soil, insects, parasites and other impurities. This is a very good method for washing leeks, for example. If you cut the stems lengthwise, and then wash under running water, you can rinse everything away very well.

  1. You can also wash your fruit and vegetables in several consecutive baths. You should use a minimum of three baths, and four if necessary. In the first bath, rub very gently and let it sit for a while so the dirt can settle. Then to a second bath with clean and cold water. Here you repeat everything again. Then a third bath, and possibly a fourth. Make sure you always use clean and cold water.

Finallyâ €!

  1. Eating organic fruit and vegetables is very sensible for several reasons. We agree on that. But you also have to wash organic products well. Not to pesticide, but to remove parasites and bacteria. In addition, of course, any sand and earth residues present. But the latter are not dangerous, at most unsavory while eating…

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