Yes, it's boiling. Only 5 minutes of boiling appears to do the trick! Boiling has been demonstrated to minimize pesticide residues by 89-99 percent! Cooking methods ranging from blanching to pressure cooking, stir-frying to steaming have all been demonstrated to be reasonably successful, yet boiling outperforms them all! The fastest way to reduce pesticides is through boiling.
Pesticides are chemicals used to kill insects that can harm humans as well. They may cause cancer or birth defects if they get into the food supply or are consumed directly by humans. Pesticides are present in many foods of natural origin as well. For example, strawberries and other berries contain high levels of pesticides because this is how farmers protect their crops. Even though they are natural products, strawberries could still contain toxins because they are grown in soil that has been sprayed with pesticides.
There are several ways that boiling food reduces the amount of pesticides that reach our meals. First, the heat breaks down many types of pesticides so that less of them reaches the food. Second, the water content of vegetables and fruits makes them more vulnerable to pesticide absorption during preparation and storage. Third, boiling food kills some species of bacteria and fungi which live in and on plants and which may affect its quality or safety. Finally, boiling food destroys certain viruses that can't be removed from food by other means.
Blanching, cooking, and frying Food processing, believe it or not, reduces pesticide residue. According to one research, blanching, heating, and frying are all highly successful at decreasing pesticide residual concentrations. These cooking methods can minimize residues by 40–50%. For example, blanched and fried vegetables have less pesticide residue than unblanched vegetables.
Heating also kills bacteria that can make you sick if you eat contaminated food. This is why heat is used during canning processes — it kills bacteria that can make you sick if you eat contaminated food. Heating also dries out the nutrients in food, which means they can't be absorbed as easily by your body. So while heating food does remove some of its nutrients, it also removes many contaminants such as pesticide residue and other chemicals that could otherwise cause problems for you and your family.
Of course, there are drawbacks to cooking your food. The main one is that heat changes the taste of certain foods. For example, cooked carrots taste nothing like raw carrots. They lose their vitamin A, become watery, and generally get completely different flavors from their uncooked counterparts. Vitamin C levels also decline significantly when potatoes are boiled rather than baked or mashed. Other vegetables that suffer from this problem include corn on the cob, green beans, and asparagus.
However, most people will still benefit from cooking their food instead of eating it raw.
Most pesticides are complex chemical compounds that are not particularly heat stable. Peeling or washing fruits and vegetables reduces pesticide levels more than cooking, but the only way to be certain is to buy organic products. Even with conventional fruits and vegetables, high temperatures will degrade pesticides. The hotter you cook them, the faster this will happen. Cooked foods lose nutrients and flavor, so try to limit how often you cook them.
Pesticides are used to control insects that can transmit diseases, such as bacteria or viruses, to humans. Pesticides also act on other organisms, such as weeds, fungi, and other plants. They may cause harm to humans through ingestion (eating) or absorption through the skin. Pregnant women, young children, and adults with compromised immune systems should avoid consuming food containing high amounts of pesticides.
Cooking fruit removes some of its vitamin C and causes it to lose some of its antioxidant power. However, the nutritional value of most fruits is not affected by cooking. For example, cooked apples still contain about the same amount of fiber and vitamin C as raw apples, and cooked pears have about half the volume of their raw form once dried.
Cooking fruit does remove some of its acidity, which helps balance out other flavors in a dish.
Organic pesticides or insecticides branded "non-toxic" can be used, although they must often be reapplied and take longer to act. Pyrethrin, produced from mum family flowers, is a highly efficient pesticide that is commercially accessible. Organophosphates are among the most dangerous indoor pesticides. They are very toxic if inhaled or ingested, and can cause serious health problems including paralysis and death. At high levels of exposure, people have experienced symptoms such as shortness of breath, headache, nausea, and diarrhea.
Pyrethrum is an ingredient in many household products designed to kill insects without harming humans. These include aerosol sprays, plug-in foggers, and vacuum cleaners. Although pyrethrum is effective at killing insects, it cannot be used indoors because it contains pyrethrum which is derived from chrysanthemums. This would be like using tear gas as an insecticide!
Indoor use of pesticides is restricted by law in some countries, including Canada, the United States, and most European nations. Pesticides should not be used inside homes unless all other options have been tried first. In particular, children should never be allowed near any kind of pesticide. The effects of overexposure to pesticides are often not apparent until later when symptoms appear after being exposed to a new source of contamination. For example, someone who has recently cleaned their house with gasoline may seem fine but still be vulnerable to fire damage hours or days later.
To decrease pesticide exposure and dangers to health and the environment, follow these guidelines:
When spraying insecticides, never smoke, drink, or eat. Keep humans and animals away from pesticide and other chemical-treated areas for the time period specified on the product label. If you're using a liquid spray, don't let anybody back in until the product has completely dried.
If you go into a building that's been treated with a pesticide, stay inside until the house has been thoroughly cleaned. Pesticides can cause serious health problems if they are absorbed through the skin or ingested through mouth contact or inhalation. Even when used according to instructions, pesticides can be harmful if not handled properly.
Pesticides also have the potential to harm people through runoff of these chemicals into water sources. They can enter lakes, rivers, and streams and eventually reach our oceans. This can happen even if you follow all the instructions carefully and use pesticides responsibly. The only sure way to prevent this is not to use pesticides.
Additionally, there are natural ways to control pests without using pesticides. For example, you can place around your home such products as hot peppers, cinnamon, garlic, ammonia, and orange peel. Be sure to test any substances you plan to use before application because some items may be harmful to certain plants or flowers.
Finally, keep in mind that pesticides can kill beneficial insects too. If you want to avoid using them, consider planting insect-resistant garden varieties.