Monday, October 24, 2016

How to remove chemical residue in vegetables

Would you believe that by soaking your vegetables in a solution of two teaspoons of vinegar in a liter of water you can remove up to 80 percent of the pesticide residues?

Yes, that’s one of four easy ways you can remove pesticide residues recommended by Dr. Susan May F. Calumpang of UP Los BaƱos. She and members of her team have found that out in a research project funded by PCAARRD, an agency of the Department of Science and Technology. The study was aimed at establishing mitigating measures to minimize pesticide residues in intact and fresh-cut vegetables and sprouts.

The research team now suggests four very easy and simple ways of removing pesticide residues in vegetables. Here they are:

1. Mix two teaspoons of vinegar into 4 cups of water and use this for soaking your vegetables for two minutes. This can reduce insecticide residues by up to 80 percent.
2. Mix 10 drops of liquid detergent into one liter of water and use this to wash your vegetables. Afterwards, rinse the vegetables in running tap water. This can reduce insecticide residues by 67 to 88 percent.
3. Boil vegetables. Insecticides are destroyed and broken down when they react to heat and water.
4. Broiling or grilling vegetables is another way of reducing pesticide residues. Eggplant is one vegetable that is usually broiled or grilled.

VEGGIES FOR SALAD – The research team recommends that fresh vegetables used in salads should be washed thoroughly using the above procedures if they have not been exposed to heat.

By the way, Dr. Calumpang, who is assistant to the UPLB vice chancellor for research and extension, specializes in chemical ecology which is the study of chemicals that affect insect behavior. Her studies, in collaboration with other researchers, have already resulted in pest control techniques that can be used to protect crops without the use of chemical pesticides.

One example: The placement of leafy stalks of “Tagbak” (about one meter long) in rice fields can reduce green leaf hopper infestation which is the vector of the very destructive tungro virus to rice. Tagbak is a wild member of the ginger family found in many places in the country.

About the Author

The Mail Man

Author & Editor - The Philippines' Web Magazine on Agriculture.

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