Do you really need to peel fruits and vegetables?

The skin of fruits and vegetables is full of nutrients, but unfortunately also of pesticides. So, should they be peeled or not?

Rich in nutrients… and pesticides!

In fruits and vegetables, it is the skin and the part of the flesh, located just below it, which are the richest in fiber, vitamins, minerals, polyphenols, fiber and antioxidants. The problem is that it is also in the skin that the most pesticides are concentrated. Peeling them avoids consuming them. But, according to the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF), 97% of plants sold in France contain a level of pesticides that complies with regulations. The remaining 3% is for peppers, tomatoes, spinach, tangerines, lettuce and grapes. But since these levels are controlled, it would seem that they are not so dangerous.

The problem is that we consume a cocktail of chemicals every day. “Certain molecules, apparently harmless in isolation, turn out to be toxic when they are combined with each other,” says Gilles-Éric Séralini, professor of molecular biology at the University of Caen, in a study on GMOs. The damage would even be twenty to thirty times more severe when pesticides interact with each other, according to a study by the University of Aston (England), in 2012.

Eating Bio

Buying organic fruits and vegetables would reduce the risks, even if these are also not completely “clean” as far as pesticides are concerned. One in ten organic foods contains traces of pesticides, compared to one in two for the others, according to the National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety.

Seasonal and local products are sprayed less after being picked than those from distant countries. So stop buying Moroccan zucchini and Kenyan beans in winter.

Clean them well

To keep the nutrients present just under the skin, if you peel your vegetables or fruits, prefer a peeler, to remove only the top layer.

Finally, do not leave them soaking too long to wash them, as the food may lose its vitamins. Rinse them with lukewarm water, brush them and scrape them with a knife or an abrasive sponge.

Leave a Comment