Can Chemicals Be Washed Off Your Produce?

I often get asked if you need to buy those produce washes to clean off your fruits and veggies, especially if they are not organic. My gut instinct has told me two things: One, a little bit of soap and water works just as well, and doesn’t cost much. And two, I have always suspected that you can’t really wash those chemicals off. It’s both good and bad to know, now, that I was right.

A recent study of soybeans reported in Beyond Pesticides Daily News Blog, done by the University of Toledo, shows that the chemical triclosan—a pesticide used in antibacterial products; remember, I have said never to use them!—actually runs off into water and the waste materials that are used to treat the crops (if they’re not grown with organic methods). The triclosan is taken up in all parts of the plant, including the bean. So, the chemical is INSIDE the plant and can’t ever be washed off.

How organic farming can heal our planet, feed the world, and keep us safe

How many times do I have to tell y’all to eat organic?!

What’s actually most frightening, though, is that once the water is contaminated with our chemical waste, even organic farmers will have a hard time keeping their plants clean and pure. There is only one solution: to stop buying chemical food and stop using chemicals in your life.

In an ironic twist, a new update from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that rich people apparently have the highest levels of triclosan in their blood, and adults have more than children. Why? Probably because rich people can afford all those antibacterial products that contain triclosan, and are often obsessed with hygiene. (At least, the adults are…you know how hard it is to get a kid to wash his or her hands!) Remember, those antibacterial products kill both the good and the bad bacteria, and we need bacteria to live. Killing the good guys make the bad guys even badder.

Growing evidence that chemical agriculture is killing us

So, here is my advice:

1. Don’t ever buy a product that says antibacterial on the label (unless it’s vinegar, or something natural and nontoxic like that).

2. Always buy organic food!

3. Always wash your fruits and vegetables before you eat them—just plain water works best.

4. Always wash your hands and your kids’ hands with just plain soap and water.

See what harmful chemical the FDA is considering putting in your mouth


Elisa F.
Elisa F4 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Deborah L.
Deborah L6 years ago

Remember; we are what we eat! Ugh!

Lynn C.
Lynn C6 years ago

If you understand how a plant grows you would have come to this conclusion a long time ago. What goes in must come out. You can't soak the roots of a plant in water with poison in it, and not KNOW the plant is taking it up into it's cells and membranes along with the other things we call nutrients.

I would dearly love to see an end to every chemical company on this planet! Yes, even the chemicals we call medicine. Mother Earth has a remedy for every malady, and that undoubtedly works much better.

Salad bars are not - NOT - healthy! Not only do they have loads of pesticides on the veg but the cleanliness of the preparation is always very doubtful. I been in some of those kitchens and seen people come back from the bathroom to the cutting boards and know they haven't washed their hands! I was working in a restaurant once, a rather 'nice' one actually, and went to the kitchen for something or other - you could quite literally skate on the floor it was so greasy! Tell me those cooks were conscientious about cleaning the rest of the place and washed their hands after taking a pee.
Eat at a salad bar? NO way!

Jon Hoy
Jonjon Hoy6 years ago

Even if we wash our produce, the chemicals are inside the produce as well.

Brenda Towers
Brenda Towers6 years ago

I can't see how we can avoid them.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal G6 years ago

Look at the picture, is this the way you want your food to be grown?
We must demand sustainable agriculture practices!

Eternal Gardener
Eternal G6 years ago

Look at the picture, is this the way you want your food to be grown?
We must demand sustainable agriculture practices!

Karla T.
Karla Trailer7 years ago

I was only telling my husband the other day at the markets that I dont believe organic vegies have no chemicals. Later on that night organic vegies were exposed on tv. We don't know if they are truly organic. Are you there,on the farm? Whatever we eat it still has some chemicals. I just wash everything in pure soap and water and hope for the best.

Charmaine No Fwds Plse
Charmaine C7 years ago

Very good advice Maria.

Organic isn't that much more expensive than pesticide rich foods. Is it really worth the gamble to buy non organic? Price is such a lame excuse.

Jane R.
Jane R7 years ago

Thanks. However organic foods cost more. Not everyone can afford to buy them.