Re: Get rid of pesticide residues on fruits and vegetables?

I replied only to the sender at first, but will respond to sanet.
Regarding chlorine bleach.  It IS a pesticide.  The Chlorox Co, based here
in California pays more pesticide mill taxes than any other pesticide
manufacturer.  ( The mill tax funds the work of the CA Department of
Pesticide Regulation which, among other things, requires that all
agricultural applications of pesticides be recorded with the County
Agricultural Commissioner.)  Chlorine bleach is allowed in organic
production and processing systems in only limited uses.  CCOF allows bleach
to be used to flush irrigations lines and for disinfecting equipment, but
with further restrictions on rinsing and flushing.  Chlorine  used in wash
water or other processes in contact with food cannot exceed the Maximum
Residual Disinfectant Limit under the Safe Drinking Water Act, currently 4
mg/Liter (residual) chlorine.

Recommendations for washing produce in dilute bleach solutions have been
most closely associated with the reduction of food borne pathogens such as
ecoli O157 and salmonella. But lest this be cast as a Panacea, health
officials have also told us that they have observed ecoliO157 to survive
highly chlorinated envirrnments, as low as 2.5 Ph.  Here in California, we
have continued to work with the CA Department of Health Services and others
in the agricultural industry to develop guidelines for prevention of food
borne pathogens.  Most of these guidelines involve simple, non chemical
approaches as well as limited chemical disinfection of equipment
accompanied by proper rinsing.  There are some approriate uses of chemicals
to ensure food safety, but they are neither necessary nor a silver bullet
for all our food safety problems.

Diane Bowen
California Certified Organic Farmers

>Would those of you who respond, please do so through the sanet, there are
>probably several of us who would like the answers to those questions.  Thanks.
>Hi, we're new to sanet and sustainable ag, but pretty sure this is a good
>place to post this question.
>For people who either can not obtain, or perhaps not afford "certified
>organic" produce, what is the best way to remove pesticide residues, and
>why?  We've heard any of the following three options, but no explanation of
>the presumed mechanism of action of any of them, and no comments on what
>happens to water-soluble vitamins etc. with various soaking times.  Is
>there a consensus (in this group!?) on the best compromise between nutrient
>loss and residue removal, if compromises have to be made?
>1. Tablespoon of household bleach per gallon of soaking water.  How long to
>2.Tablespoon of vinegar per gallon water, how long?
>3. Wash thoroughly with dishwashing detergent.
>Also, what's the best solvent for that nasty wax. Moderate scrubbing
>doesn't do it.
>Thanks in advance for any guidance you can give here.
>Gayle Gross de Nunez
>and Ramon Nunez
>Sabbath Farm, Knox, Indiana
>Karen Mundy
>Rural Economic Analysis Program
>Dept. of Ag. and Applied Econ
>Va. Tech
>Blacksburg, VA 24061-0401
>(540) 231-9443