Watermelons are one of the most popular fruits, especially in the summer, so they are a common ingredient in smoothies, salads, and other desserts.
Unfortunately, recent news has reported that the desire to raise the profits and enlarge the watermelons in size has led to a rather surprising effect in China, exploding watermelons.
A farmer has noticed that his fruits have started to crack in half in his fields, and thousands of acres were actually lost due to this strange phenomenon.
Yet, apparently, this was not due to the nature of watermelons, and 19 of the 20 farmers affected claimed that they have not used any chemicals in the production process of the fruits. In the end, research has shown that the reason for this was a popular fertilizer they used.
This culprit is known as forchlorfenuron, a commonly used chemical which enlarges melons up to 20%, and accelerates their development for 2 weeks, and their early harvest leads to a much greater profit for farmers.
However, the taste of this melons is changed, they are changed in shape, and are rich in white seeds instead of black ones. Even though the chemical did not directly cause the explosion, the strange reaction was a result of the rain and the poor timing.
According to experts, this chemical has been used since the 80s, and it is generally considered to be safe. According to Cui Jian, director of the vegetable research institute at Qingdao Academy of Agricultural Science:
“Well, in general, we don’t suggest chemicals with plant hormones be used on watermelons, as they are very sensitive. And you should know that they might end up looking very strange and people will not want to buy them. The taste won’t be as good and storage is more difficult, but it should not harm anyone’s health.”
On the other hand, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) does not agree, as they claim that this fertilizer, often used for kiwis and grapes as well, is cytotoxic.
Multiple animal studies have shown that it leads to acute dermal, oral, and respiratory toxicity, and inflammation of the kidneys. Even though it is not carcinogenic, it leads to toxicity, increased fetal mortality, and stomach lesions.
Furthermore, these chemicals leach into the environment and have an impact on the flora and fauna, and cause detrimental effects on or health.
Sadly, this is not enough for authorities to ban its use. The Chinese government will do everything possible to keep the international exports stable and unaffected, and increase the production of food, despite all the adverse effects.
Pan Jing of Greenpeace claims:
“The government is aware of the environmental problems caused by chemical fertilizer, but they are also concerned about food output.”
Yet, you should be the o e that protects your own wellbeing. You can start growing your own food or purchase produce only from your local, known places, and avoid Chinese foods. They have been commonly criticized due to their low regulation laws on the production of foods, numerous fake products, and the illegal use of toxic pesticides.
We will also offer a list of the safest non-organic foods, which can be used in case you cannot afford to buy organic products only.
The Dirty Dozen soaks up pesticides and herbicides, so they should always be organic, and you should only rinse the clean 15 with vinegar before consumption.
- Cherry tomatoes
- Snap peas
- Cherry tomatoes
- Bell peppers
- Sweet peas
- Sweet Potatoes