Food is the basic need for human life. We need fruits, vegetables, cereals, etc to have a nutritious diet. The demand for food is increasing day by day. The difference in demand and supply is also increasing. So the use of chemicals in the food industry is increasing rapidly. Artificial ripening agents like Acetylene, Ethylene, Glycol, and Calcium Carbide are being used. Farmers also use different herbicides, pesticides, insecticides in the field. These get into the soil and eventually on to our plate. This is bad, so we want to focus on the negative impacts of harmful chemicals in food.
We hear the use of artificial ripening agents in our vegetables and fruits very much. Mostly we get to know about Mangoes, Grapes, Watermelons, etc. Ethylene gas and Calcium Carbide are mostly used in the market. These are some hormones that promote the fruit to grow forcefully. European Union banned the import of mangoes from some countries because they found a lot of artificial ripening agents.
Another problem is the real position. Farmers use Urea, insecticides, pesticides, and herbicides. Most times they use in excess amounts. The applied chemicals can directly be absorbed by plants or they can come indirectly. Chemicals and poisons can go to the soil and can get absorbed by the plants. Such poisonous chemicals can also pollute nearby water bodies and underground water table.
Toxic Fruits and Vegetables
Different countries have regulations on this. The fruits and vegetables should not exceed the limit of such chemicals. There are provisions of regular check and batch tests to ensure safety. The market wants supply and farmers want money. So they can take drastic measures. Many times users don’t even know the negative impacts on health.
One test showed that most chemical containing vegetable was Potato. There is a good explanation for this. Potatoes are underground root vegetables. Many farmers grow other vegetables around them. They tend to use chemicals and other fertilizers including pesticides and insecticides. When rainfall occurs, the chemicals are washed and swept away. Finally, all the diluted toxic water goes to soil and they are absorbed by potatoes.
There are some methods to find out the fruits with such chemicals. White color powder on the surface is the first indicator. Patchy color, like green patches on yellow colored mangoes, is another indicator. Doctors usually suggest to not eat fruits such as mangoes during offseason.
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Detrimental Health Hazards
There are many health hazards of consuming such a thing. People may suffer from diarrhea, stomach upset, throat burn, etc. Prolong use may even lead to cancer. Major risks are hormones disruption, diabetes, hypothyroid, Parkinson’s disease, etc. The toxins are pretty lethal and almost all of them are slow poisons. Their slow deposit in the human body can show a bigger reaction in the future.
People may also get a headache and dizziness. They can suffer from irritation, weak digestion, and URTI as well. Cancel and organ failure are extreme cases. Calcium Carbide can contain a small amount of Arsenic which is very dangerous.
Getting away from such food is almost impossible these days. We can’t get pure organic vegetables and fruits easily. The best way is to grow by own-self as far as possible. It is good to grow vegetables and herbs in your own garden if possible. A small kitchen garden can be very good for a household.
But growing is not possible for everyone. While buying, keep a sharp eye on everything. These toxins and chemicals are pretty much soaked inside. So there is less thing we can do to remove these chemicals. The best way is to wash everything properly. Soak the fruits like Mangoes in brine (Dilute Salt Solution) for a minimum of 3 hours. Washing and soaking in baking soda are also suggested by some people.
First thing is to be careful about the season. Most of the time offseason fruits have more of such chemicals. Always try to eat seasonal vegetables and food. Many people consume fruits without washing properly. Even after washing some chemicals can’t be removed. Still many can be washed off with some work. Cooking vegetables and peeling the outer skin can also help a lot.