Yes, pesticides do penetrate the surface of fruits and vegetables. There have been studies where children in Mercer Island (Seattle) were found with organophosphates in there urine and saliva–a pesticide derived from nerve gas used in WWII. This study has not made effective correlative data relating to specific foods, however there are other studies that do with various fruits.
Check out the second link below for a 13 fruits and vegetables that contain detectable traces of pesticides.
Yes. Destructive insects tend to lay eggs inside young fruit so the larvae can feed off the ripened fruit once both organisms reach maturity. This means that in order to be effective, most pesticides have to be sprayed very early on in a plant’s lifecycle, from when the plant germinates to when the fruits are very young. As a result, pesticides are fully incorporated into the development of fruits, and many are additionallly designed to penetrate through a young fruit’s surface to dissuade bugs from making it their home.
Washing can only remove so much; in most cases, peeling off the fruit’s top layer should remove most of the more concentrated pesticide residues and result in a clean, edible fruit.
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