To wash or not to wash? In 1996, the Food Quality Protection Act mandated strict regulation on pesticide levels in produce. Since then, the FDA's vigilant policy has meant that food is safer now than it was twenty years ago.
The problem is, not all fruits and vegetables are equal. Different varieties maintain more agricultural chemicals despite similar exposure. Plus, the effect of combined trace chemicals has yet to be tested. It's like if your doctor prescribed you without knowing what medications you're on.
Unwashed produce leaves children particularly vulnerable. Children's exposure to pesticides is concentrated since they consume greater quantities of biomass in relation to body mass. However, a carcinogen is a carcinogen, whether you're a child or adult. You don't spray Raid on your ankles, it doesn't belong in your food!
A quick analysis of Consumer Reports' findings on agricultural chemicals can be summed up in a simple rule: if it looks like it can be washed, it probably should be. Garlic and onions probably don't need to be rinsed. Green beans? Hot peppers? Peaches? Treat those puppies to a luxurious bath in our homemade veggie wash that you can make with ingredients in your own kitchen:
Natural (cheap) Veggie Wash:
Take a spray bottle and fill it 3/4 with water.
2 tbs of baking soda (or) 2tbs of white vinegar
(and if you're feeling fancy)
10 drops of orange oil