How to Detect Pesticides in Fruits and Vegetables at Home
Fruits and vegetables are a vital part of a healthy diet, and it is important that you purchase produce that is free of harmful pesticides. Unfortunately, some fruits and vegetables can contain pesticides, making them unsafe to consume. While it is impossible to detect pesticides simply by looking at a fruit or vegetable, there are certain methods that you can use to test for these substances while at home.
Things You’ll Need
- Cotton swab
- White vinegar
- Mild detergent
Step 1: Clean the Fruit or Vegetable
Using a cotton swab, gently clean the fruit or vegetable with a US FDA approved detergent. This will help to remove any layers of external particles that may be present on the fruit or vegetable’s outer skin.
Step 2: Spray the Fruit or Vegetable
Spray the fruit or vegetable with white vinegar, and then rub it with a clean cloth or paper towel. If the vinegar turns a dark grey or black color, this means that the fruit or vegetable has been sprayed with a pesticide.
Step 3: Rinse the Fruit or Vegetable
Rinse the fruit or vegetable with cool water and then let it dry. This will help to further remove any pesticides that are present on the fruit or vegetable.
Step 4: Re-Test the Fruit or Vegetable
Using the same method, re-test the fruit or vegetable with white vinegar. If the color does not change, then the fruit or vegetable is safe to consume.
Step 5: Discard Pesticide-Infested Fruit or Vegetables
If the vinegar does turn black or dark grey while being tested, it is important to discard that particular piece of produce as it is likely to contain high levels of pesticides. It is also a good idea to tell the grocery store about the presence of pesticides so that they can ensure that all their produce is pesticide-free.
Using these steps, it is possible to detect pesticides in fruits and vegetables when shopping at the grocery store or even when purchasing produce from a farmer’s market. Doing so can help to ensure that you and your family are eating healthy and safe produce.