If there is one fruit most people love eating it’s watermelon; while this juicy tasty fruit is quite healthy and beneficial to your wellbeing as it is rich in minerals such as magnesium and potassium as well as vitamin A and C, you should note that there are some unhealthy cultivation practice that can make it detrimental to your overall health.
In the early 1980s a chemical known as forchlorfenuron was introduced for use as fertilizer in the cultivation of watermelons and used in China, the U.S and many other places.
This chemical helps to increase the size of the watermelon by as much as 20% and also shorten it’s harvest tenure by two weeks.
The drawback of this chemical as a fertilizer is that it causes the watermelons to become misshapen, to have water coloured seeds instead of black and to be less tasty.
Farmers also noticed that their watermelons were exploding and having large cracks as a result, before long accusing fingers were point at this fertilizer as the cause of this.
Although the chemical wasn’t directly responsible for the watermelon exploding phenomenon but rather it was due to heavy downpour as well as inadequate timing that led to this unusual situation.
Scientists in China are of the opinion that the fertilizer is safe, as they believe that the only disadvantages of using the fertilizer is that it would make the watermelons have an odd shape which would freak people out and lead to drop in sales and also the fact that the fruits taste would be made less favourable and storage slightly difficult, but other than these issues they believe that the fertilizer is good for use.
However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) believe otherwise.
They believe that the fertilizer which is also being used by farmers in the U.S is cytotoxic.
In tests carried out on animal subjects the fertilizer has caused the following health issues;
- Kidney inflammation
- Acute dermal, oral and respiratory toxicity
- Reproductive toxicity
- Increased fetal mortality
- Stomach lesions
Apart from these possible health issues the fertilizer is also gradually escaping into the environment and ultimately affecting the natural fauna and flora.
In China where there is increasing demand for food supply to meet the teeming population, having crops that give a greater yield in a short period of time is in high demand and so stopping the use of this fertilizer will be extremely difficult indeed.
So How Do You Avoid These Watermelons?
Here’s what you need to do.
- Grow your own watermelon
- Buy only organically grown watermelon
- Avoid Chinese imports
Getting organic watermelon and generally any other fruit can be quite expensive in the long run. There are inorganic fruits that are extremely difficult to wash off the pesticides used on them while there are some that only need rinsing with vinegar and scrubbing before consumption.
Here is a list of GMO fruits and veggies that have harmful pesticides in them that are difficult to wash off.
- Bell peppers
- Snap peas
- Cherry tomatoes
Also see below a list of veggies and fruits that only require a good scrub and vinegar rinse before consumption.
- Sweet Potatoes
- Sweet peas