(Journal of AOAAC International 79: 1447, 1996.) Quoted
Can you do anything to remove pesticide residues on your fruits and vegetables? “You bet,” says Herb Schattenberg, an analytic chemist at the Southwest Research Institute, an independent research and development firm in San Antonio, Texas.
Schattenberg and his colleagues tested 17 popular fruits and vegetables for 22 common pesticides both before and after they were cleaned by different methods.
Sixty percent of the samples started out with no detectable pesticide residues. Washing the produce with a mixture of water and mild dish washing detergent (they used Palmolive) and, in some cases, peeling the skins or removing the outer leaves (of lettuce and cabbage), eliminated all residues in another 21 percent of the samples.
Peeling was enough to get rid of all residues in acorn squash, apricots, bananas, carrots, pears, and potatoes. Ditto for shucking corn on the cob.
And even when peeling and washing didn’t leave the fruits and vegetables squeaky clean, it lowered the pesticide residues by at least 30 percent. In some cases, it almost eliminated them entirely.
If using mild detergent be sure to rinse the fruits and vegetables thoroughly.
The EWG’s complete report, A Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, is available on the World Wide Web at http://www.ewg.org.”