In China the farmers created the so called “fields of land mines” by putting chemicals in the fields to improve the growth of the watermelons making them literally to explode. Hoping that this will help them grow bigger watermelons and make more profits they used the forchlorfenuron which is a powerful growth accelerator.
The farmers in the Jiangsu province, from Danayang city, lost almost 115 acres of watermelons because their fruits were affected by this chemical.
As to the U.S. EPA the forchlorfenuron is a chemical that is used for the improvement of the size of the fruits, cluster weight, cold storage in kiwifruits and grapes and for the fruit set.
The professor Wang Liangju from the College of Horticulture at the Nanjing Agricultural University who witnessed the growth disaster of the watermelons said that if this chemical is used properly than it`s not dangerous. The mistake that the farmers did was that they used the chemical in the season of heavy rains which elevated the risk of exploding fruits. Also according to him the type of the melon used had very significant role for what happened. The type of melon that these farmers planted was thin-rind which is actually called “exploding melon” because they have the tendency to split open.
In China the use of this chemical is still allowed but the biggest problem is that the farmers don`t use only the legal ones for the stimulation and improvement of the growth of the fruits. They often use illegal chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides. In the USA this chemical is allowed only for grapes and kiwifruits.
How safe it is?
As to the EPA pesticide fact sheed, the forchlorfenuron is not always harmful if it`s used properly. It shows the following results:
- Avian population show slightly elevated levels of toxicity
- Rats show diminished litter growth and increased mortality of the pups
- Freshwater fish show moderate toxicity
Learn how to tell if the fruit was grown with pesticides and hormones
In 2013 the U.S. Department of Agriculture conducted a research that showed that nearly 2/3 of the 3015 samples that were tested contained residues of 165 types of pesticides on different vegetables and fruits.
When it comes to the watermelons you can easily tell if it was grown naturally or with hormones. If it has cracks inside than it`s a sign that the growth process was accelerated with hormones.
This is the list of fruits and vegetables that showed highest levels of pesticide residues:
- Cherry tomatoes
- Snap peas
This is the list of the products that is not likely to have pesticides residues:
- Sweet corn
- Sweet potatoes
- Frozen sweet peas
Lack of flavor is another indicator that the vegetables and fruits were not grown naturally. The growth accelerators, like florchlorfenuron, stimulate the growth by provoking cell division but also affect the taste draining it from the fruits and vegetables.
In the production of fruits and vegetables are also used other growth hormones. One of those is the oxytocin which is mainly used in India where it was forbidden for public use but still it can be easily found from pesticide and fertilizer vendors illegally.
Some growth accelerators contain ethylene in which can be found calcium carbide and arsenic. These chemicals can cause very serious life threatening health disorders.
To eliminate the risk of buying fruits or vegetables with chemicals, pesticides and hormones always try to find organic food. This goes especially for the items on the list with high levels of pesticide residues.
Whether the fruits or vegetables are organic or not you should always take extra precaution so, always wash the ingredients good and peel them if necessary in order to reduce the risk of contamination.
Source and imagesource: davidwolfe.com