Organic Coconut?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created December 19, 2011 at 4:31 PM

I generally don't try and pinch pennies, and opt for the more expensive organic produce. But I can't help but think that coconuts, with their thick shell, might not necessarily be at the top of the list with regard to needing the organic version?

Note: I already purchase organic coconut oil (expeller pressed), but was referring to things like flaked or shredded coconut. Though, I suppose it makes little difference.


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on December 19, 2011
at 08:03 PM

Found some post by a "marliseK" here and thought the response seemed good. I'm pasting it below:

I did a quick google search about pesticides in coconuts and here are my findings:

On the website of Genefit Nutrition, a seller of organic young coconuts, I found the following information:

"The problem with conventional coconuts: As young Thai coconuts have become a highly commercialized product, the use of large quantities of fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides is omnipresent on exporting farms. In addition, coconuts are treated with post harvest treatments such as bleaching agents, fungicides and preservative to survive the 3-week boat trip to the US and still arrive with weeks of shelf-life thereafter. Without treatment, the fiber of the coconut will get reddish brown within hours after husking, the fiber is prone to mold and fungus development and the water will ferment naturally within a few days at ambient temperature and 2 to 3 weeks under refrigeration. These natural processes can only be prevented with the use of chemicals which often leave a bitter after-taste.

Our alternative: ??? Young Thai coconuts, grown on organically certified farms (free of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides) ??? Maximum freshness with weekly harvest and weekly shipments ??? Pealed by hand and polished to remove all fibers down to the hard shell in order to skip the conventional post-harvest treatments (chemicals, heat, freezing) ??? Flown in overnight allowing no time for mold and fermentation, ??? Sold/shipped within 48 hours upon arrival in the US."

Source: http://www.genefitnutrition.com/coconuts.html

On the other hand, I found a paper in a pretty high ranked scientific journal (Journal of Chromatography A) about pesticide residues in coconut water. In this publication, the researchers came to the following result: Two simple methods were developed to determine 11 pesticides in coconut water. Limits of detection ranged from 0.002 to 2.0 mg/kg. The analytical procedures were applied to 15 samples and no detectable amounts of the pesticides were found in any samples under the conditions described.

I did not read the whole paper and have therefore no idea if these tests were sensitive enough or if the whole setting was reasonable.

Source: Determination of pesticide residues in coconut water by liquid???liquid extraction and gas chromatography with electron-capture plus thermionic specific detection and solid-phase extraction and high-performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection (N. M. Britoa et al., Journal of Chromatography A, Volume 957, Issue 2, 31 May 2002, Pages 201-209)

And then, I found another article, about formaldehyde in young coconuts. Matt Amsden, a raw food chef sent some coconuts to a laboratory in California and no formaldehyde was detected in the coconut water. The full article can be found here: http://www.basilandspice.com/journal/matt-amsden-tells-the-truth-about-thai-coconuts-and-formalde.html



on December 19, 2011
at 08:08 PM

Don't forget, everything inside the shell that you want to eat had to get in there at some point as well. Soil quality is an issue which can affect any plant.

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