Removing Wax and Pesticides

I love the “Fall” season. Living in Texas, I don’t see what I grew up with. Being from Maryland we had trees change colors, and the cold would come in slowly causing temperatures to lower, at a manageable rate.

As a chef, I look forward to pumpkin and apple season. Wonderful time. It is also time for butternut squash and newly brewed maple syrup. Since the weather is cooling off, its even time for late growing lettuce varieties.

As I was researching a few things, I came across a Facebook post warning about DPA on apples. Several countries don’t allow American apples to be imported. This caught my attention.

Fun Fact: Apples are the #2 favorite fruit in the US.

A common concern that I see from families that attend our program is “how to remove pesticides on fruits and vegetables”. I found some interesting methods and wanted to share them.

What I don’t like about produce shopping is all of the sticky labels and stickers they put on them. I want to be sure all of the sticky residues are gone. I don’t want to eat stickers or tape.


Pesticides usually get sprayed or layered on the outside of the fruits and vegetables. In many cases, the plant’s root system will reject the processing of most pesticides. A plant doesn’t grow if what it takes in from the roots is poisonous to the plant. The root system is the plant’s filter. It is amazing to study. However, on the outside, pesticides need to be washed off.

1st method of removing pesticides from plants is by using a water and salt solution. When ready to use, place water in the bottom of a large bowl or sink and add about 1 teaspoon of salt per gallon of water. Wash the produce in that solution, then rinse and dry. Then they are ready for use.

2nd method is to use a water and baking soda solution. After all, baking soda generally just sits in our pantry unused for years. Soak apples in a baking soda solution for 15 minutes. Add 4 tablespoons baking soda per gallon of water.

3rd method is to peel the apples, thus removing the layer exposed to such chemicals.

4th method is to scrape the apples with a knife to get the wax and other unwanted gunk off.

Organic is expensive and doesn’t guarantee the lack of pesticides. In fact, there are organic pesticides used in most cases.

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