How to reduce toxins in your diet

We are all exposed to endocrine disrupting chemicals in our daily lives. Endocrine disruptors are found as pesticide residues in the food we eat and in the packaging in which our food is stored.

Pesticides are designed to be toxic and can be found anywhere.

They are used on food crops, garden and home weeds to kill pests and weeds. Residues can stay in our food, flow into water supplies and vaporizers can be inhaled. Many pesticides have been classified as carcinogenic.

Some tips for a healthier diet

Organic production is totally free of synthetic pesticides. Food products are grown according to very strict rules that ensure that harmful chemicals are not used. Therefore, it is strongly encouraged to consume organic foods as much as possible, especially for pregnant women and children.

Today, most supermarkets offer organic food. In Europe, they are certified "organic" by the European organic label. This organic farming label guarantees that no synthetic pesticides or fertilizers are used to produce food. In addition, it guarantees agriculture that respects nature and animals (no use of antibiotics and higher standards of animal welfare).

It is best to go to food retailers that sell exclusively organic food. More and more associations in Europe offer food grown by local producers, often organic: AMAP in France, GASAP in Belgium, CSA in the United Kingdom... Shopping there is not only good for your health, but also for your community and the environment in general, as it promotes local and seasonal production.

If you don't just consume organic products, you can always set priorities:

Avoid non-organic products, which often contain pesticide residues such as lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and apples - especially for children and pregnant women.

The best way to wash your fruits and vegetables is to use a baking soda solution, which is the most effective way to remove pesticide residues on the surface and under the skin.

Here's a quick and easy way to wash vegetables with baking soda:

  • For leafy vegetables, fill a salad spinner with green vegetables and then fill with water. Add one teaspoon of baking soda and mix well. Soak your green vegetables for one minute, stir them, then rinse and spin them. If you don't have a salad spinner, you can add the greens, water and baking soda in a bowl, soak them, drain them in a colander, rinse them, then dry them with a clean, lint-free paper towel or kitchen towels.

  • For other vegetables, fill a large bowl with water. Then add a teaspoon of baking soda. Add the vegetables. Soak for a minute or two. Rub with a brush. Finally, rinse the vegetables.

For the fruits:

  • Smooth-skinned fruits, such as apples, nectarines and cherries, can be washed in a baking soda bath in the same way as vegetables.

  • Berries can be rinsed in cold water in a colander and then gently dried with a clean paper towel or kitchen towel just before you eat them.

  • Although your instinct may be to rinse the berries when you bring them home, it actually increases humidity and accelerates deterioration and mold. That's why it's best to rinse them before eating them.

Ensure that young children do not put unpeeled citrus fruits in their mouths: they may encounter large amounts of endocrine disruptors on the surface of the fruit. You can feed babies with specific baby foods because EU legislation sets stricter residue limits for pesticides in processed baby foods.

For fresh fruit and vegetables, this protection does not exist, as these foodstuffs only have to meet the EU's normative requirements. Wash your produce. Even if this does not remove all pesticides, systematic washing certainly helps and is always a good habit to keep in mind.

Peeling reduces the pesticide load of conventional fruits and vegetables. In addition to systemic pesticides that pass through the skin and flesh of food or plants, pesticide residues are mainly concentrated in the skin of products.

Food contact materials and chemical contamination

Have you ever wondered whether chemicals in the plastic wrapper on your veggies or cheese can leach into the food you are about to eat? There are thousands of chemicals in food contact materials which can potentially migrate into food or drink and some are hazardous. Therefore, it is safer to buy your yogurt or other food in a glass jar and store your food in glass containers rather than plastic ones.

Most of the content of this article is from EDC-Free Europe, where you can find more information about this subject.