Is Salad Safe To Eat?
In yogic diet, the importance is given to eating salad. Salad is the raw form of a vegetable. Getting organic vegetables is not possible every time. There is no doubt that raw vegetables have maximum nutrition value but how much it is safe to eat chemically processed vegetable in its raw form?
Eating raw has the advantage that the essential vitamins and the enzymes are preserved as there is no boiling and frying of food. To completely avoid pesticide residues in the vegetables and fruits, eat only organic produce.
Otherwise the pesticide residue will remain in the fruits and vegetables, whether you eat cooked or raw.
For all non organic produce, follow these three main methods to reduce the pesticide residue:
~ Washing the fruits and vegetables thoroughly with water.
~ Peel and discard the outer skin.
~ Cooking the food also breaks down the structure of some of the pesticide residues.
Get the knowledge of what agricultural produce is likely to contain more pesticide residue. "Environment Working Group's Shoppers guide to Pesticides in Produce" list 12 food items likely to be having high pesticide residues and 15 food items likely to have low pesticide residue.
For food items likely to have high pesticide residue, either eat in less quantity or buy organic.
For food items likely to have low pesticide residues you can attempt to eat raw.
Although the safe level of pesticide residues are specified, but in most of the countries (including India) there may not be effective monitoring mechanism. If the standards are strictly enforced there is no problem in eating raw.
Even if you want to eat raw, eat a wide variety of food so as to avoid more exposure to any food item with high pesticide residue.
Make a judicious choice of fruits and vegetables you want to eat raw. Eating raw by proper washing and peeling can be considered as eating raw has its own advantages as compared to some amount of pesticide residues it may contain. Best bet is to start a kitchen garden and get most of your vegetables as pesticide free home produce. That's the way yogis do. References EWG's Shoppers guide to Pesticides in ProducePesticide residues on fresh fruits and vegetables