Should I Juice Non-Organic Fruits and Vegetables?

May 10, 2014

Should I Juice Non-Organic Fruits and VegetablesOrganic produce is grown without harmful pesticides and fertilizers. For the most part organic foods are considered to be healthier than other types of produce that are grown commercially. Non-organic produce is much cheaper because it can be grown in larger amounts at less expense. While organic produce is the best choice for juicing, non-organic will work if a few precautions are taken.

The Dirty Dozen

The Environmental Working Group has come up with a list of produce foods that are most likely to contain pesticides or other chemicals. This list is commonly referred to as “the Dirty Dozen“. Many of the foods are popular for juicing. They include:

  • celery
  • cucumbers
  • spinach
  • apples
  • pears
  • cherries
  • nectarines

Several of the non-organic produce items listed are grown on trees. As they are growing, they are often sprayed with pesticides to prevent bugs from destroying them. When fruits and vegetables are put into a juicer, the entire fruit is put into the machine including the peel.

The Effects of Oxidation

Oxidation is the process in which something deteriorates when it is exposed to oxygen. Much like steel rusts or an apple turns brown shortly after it is sliced open. When produce is juiced, the same basic concept applies. Once the juice is finished and exposed to the air, the potency of the nutrients it contains begins to fade away. Non-organic produce starts out at a disadvantage to begin with, but because of the increased exposure to chemicals and other substances, nutrients are lost much more quickly.

One way to prevent the loss of nutrients is to only juice what is needed at one time. If only one or two servings are needed, juice that amount and consume it as soon as possible. This prevents nutrients from being lost and also prevents waste. Juicing per serving allows a person to add different fruits and vegetables each time, increasing variety and the type of nutrients consumed. Using several different kinds of fruits and vegetables ensures a wide variety of nutrients are taken in on a regular basis.

Clean Produce Thoroughly

Clean Produce ThoroughlyIf non-organic produce is going to be used for juicing, it is extremely important to thoroughly wash each piece before placing it in the juicer. Non toxic cleansers are available that will wash away excessive amounts of pesticides and fertilizer that can be found on the surface of produce. Simply washing produce with water will remove a small percentage of toxins and contaminants but a thin layer of residue can be left behind. Cleansers designed for produce are found in the aisle near the fruit and vegetables.

Expensive juicers are available that prevent nutrient loss, but their cost can outweigh their benefits. By taking simple precautions like purchasing the freshest produce and thoroughly washing and rinsing each piece, a person can create delicious, nutritious juices. Consuming juices immediately after processing ensures they contain the maximum amount of nutrients and prevents oxidation from occurring. Juicing doesn’t have to be overly expensive to provide positive health benefits.

Becky Flanigan

About the Author

Becky Flanigan

Becky Flanigan has lived near the beach since she was a kid. She gave up on surfing a while back, but enjoys walking the beach just as much as ever. Becky always enjoys the challenge of a new writing assignment.

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