Should You Be Picking and Buying Organic Apples?
How to Minimize Exposure to Pesticides
If you choose conventional, rinse your apples or remove the peel. Research shows that rinsing your apples thoroughly under running water removes some pesticides. No need for a fancy vegetable-and-fruit wash (or even a mild soap): scientists at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven have shown that plain water is just as effective.
A high percentage of the pesticide residues are found in the peel of the apple, so discarding the skin can reduce residues significantly—by up to 98 percent, according to a 2008 Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry study. That said, ditch the peel and you lose out on half the fiber and many of the antioxidants. “If your choice is to peel off the thing that carries many of the nutrients or feel freaked out that you’re consuming pesticide residues,” says Wallinga, “you may have the wrong apple in front of you.”