8

votes

Do you use/buy lemons, limes or oranges regularly?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 27, 2011 at 6:43 AM

I work in a bar, so I am surrounded by, and use all manner of citrus fruits regularly. Did you know that most citrus fruits are treated, before shipping, with Imazalil, an antifungal agent that is a known carcinogen?

Did you also know that citrus fruits are treated with an anti-fungal parasiticide Thiabendazole that is toxic in high doses? Fruits and vegetables coated with these chemicals include oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, melons, and peppers

http://www.whatsonmyfood.org/pesticide.jsp?pesticide=604

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enilconazole

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiabendazole

Next time you buy citrus fruit, tropical fruit or warm-climate vegetables, will you think of what they are treated with before they are shipped? Next time you drink a vodka soda with a lime, or a NorCal margarita will you ask the bartender if he washed the fruit before he put it in your drink?

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on October 28, 2011
at 03:01 AM

Would the fruit and veggie washes/sprays like Citrus Magic or Environne that remove pesticides work to remove these ingredients from the surface?

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on October 28, 2011
at 03:00 AM

Would the fruit and veggie washes/sprays like Citrus Magi or Environne that remove pesticides work to remove these ingredients from the surface?

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on October 28, 2011
at 12:08 AM

organic fruit can be treated with natural fungicides if they are on the NOP. http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr;sid=2a6e06250e83a9192c044aec8b9d9d3e;rgn=div7;view=text;node=7%3A3.1.1.9.32.7.354;idno=7;cc=ecfr

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on October 27, 2011
at 11:58 PM

absolutely, futureboy. The good thing is, citrus is available all year around if you get the right varieties.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on October 27, 2011
at 11:40 PM

I'm a big grapefruit fan; I also enjoy lime in just about anything.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on October 27, 2011
at 11:32 PM

Hmm, I should stop getting lime in my club soda. Thanks for the head's up.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on October 27, 2011
at 10:45 PM

See my response to Aili below. As for the compounds you describe above, based on chemical structure, they'd likely have little to no solubility in water, and realistically have little risk added to a drink.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on October 27, 2011
at 08:08 PM

not sure about "organic" lemons...but if it means anything to you, the place I work is supposed to be 100% additive and chemical free...

Medium avatar

(5639)

on October 27, 2011
at 08:07 PM

sort of a built-in argument for seasonal/local eating, huh?

Medium avatar

(5639)

on October 27, 2011
at 08:05 PM

I fail to see how this is chicken little panicking? I'm simply informing people of something that I discovered behind the scenes. I don't think I've ever seen any signs at the produce stand or the grocery store warning consumers about what their fruit was treated with. Everyone can be vigilant now that I've educated them...does that work for you?

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on October 27, 2011
at 07:20 PM

But don't you need to treat them with Imazalil and Thiabendazole before transporting them into your house?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on October 27, 2011
at 06:10 PM

Well, you have to be smart about it. Typically, one doesn't eat the rind on citrus. And it depends on the chemical characteristics of the contaminant. If it washes off with water, it's likely not going to accumulate in your body, nor stay around for all that long. If it's a greasy compound, it's not going to wash off in water. As such, it's not likely to dissolve into your drink in appreciable amounts either. I wouldn't give citrus in my water a second thought. In a strong alcoholic drink, perhaps. Actually eating the rind (as in preserved lemons), definitely yes, concern yourself.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on October 27, 2011
at 05:21 PM

Educated vigilance is what matters. Chicken-Little panicking is not vigilance, nor is it worthwhile effort.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on October 27, 2011
at 04:24 PM

that is definitely the wrong attitude. vigilance is better than apathy.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on October 27, 2011
at 02:52 PM

I do use a lot of lemons actually, in my green tea. I won't be doing this anymore. CRAP! But thanks. :)

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 27, 2011
at 02:52 PM

Thank you for scrubbing them down! I do scrub mine down at home...and will continue to. I have given up on getting a decent drink unless I make it myself and really have low expectations in that regard.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on October 27, 2011
at 08:46 AM

This is very interesting, thanks. I use a lot of citrus, both in water and in cocktail making. I usually don't leave the wedge in the drink, though, but when I make Negronis I am peeling off the rind and dropping it in the drink (after giving it a twist). Do you happen to know if organic lemons are treated in the same way?

Medium avatar

(5639)

on October 27, 2011
at 06:44 AM

BTW, I noticed these chemicals listed on all the crates of citrus fruits that we use while I was grabbing some lemons to juice. Now I wash all the fruit I serve to customers.

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7 Answers

4
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on October 27, 2011
at 12:43 PM

If you think about every possible toxin and contaminant possible, you will drive yourself crazy. Especially considering that such low doses have essentially no effect on your health.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on October 27, 2011
at 05:21 PM

Educated vigilance is what matters. Chicken-Little panicking is not vigilance, nor is it worthwhile effort.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on October 27, 2011
at 04:24 PM

that is definitely the wrong attitude. vigilance is better than apathy.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on October 27, 2011
at 08:05 PM

I fail to see how this is chicken little panicking? I'm simply informing people of something that I discovered behind the scenes. I don't think I've ever seen any signs at the produce stand or the grocery store warning consumers about what their fruit was treated with. Everyone can be vigilant now that I've educated them...does that work for you?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on October 27, 2011
at 10:45 PM

See my response to Aili below. As for the compounds you describe above, based on chemical structure, they'd likely have little to no solubility in water, and realistically have little risk added to a drink.

4
44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on October 27, 2011
at 07:14 AM

One good trick after washing fruits is to give them hard rub with microfibre cloth. Neat way to remove some of that gunk.

3
9ac8a7b68cf079b22de42b703e466e64

(787)

on October 27, 2011
at 04:24 PM

That's why I pick them from my tree

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on October 27, 2011
at 07:20 PM

But don't you need to treat them with Imazalil and Thiabendazole before transporting them into your house?

3
C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

on October 27, 2011
at 04:14 PM

I don't put citrus in my drinks to float unless they're organic. I don't use zest from citrus unless they're organic, either.

3
3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on October 27, 2011
at 02:27 PM

@Matt- yes, it is true that thinking about toxins is mind-boggling, but saying that low doses "have essentially no effect on your health" leaves me wondering, how do you know, or any of us, if that is true? Also cumulative effects....I totally agree that if we ingest anything that has been 'treated' with toxins, it should be scrubbed well beforehand. Better yet, find non-treated alternatives.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on October 27, 2011
at 06:10 PM

Well, you have to be smart about it. Typically, one doesn't eat the rind on citrus. And it depends on the chemical characteristics of the contaminant. If it washes off with water, it's likely not going to accumulate in your body, nor stay around for all that long. If it's a greasy compound, it's not going to wash off in water. As such, it's not likely to dissolve into your drink in appreciable amounts either. I wouldn't give citrus in my water a second thought. In a strong alcoholic drink, perhaps. Actually eating the rind (as in preserved lemons), definitely yes, concern yourself.

2
8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on October 27, 2011
at 04:29 PM

I grow my own or trade with friends, and that keeps the pesticide level down. A natural citrus fruit will shrivel and darken gradually if left outside the fridge. In the fridge, it will rot quickly if exposed to too much moisture, like if you put it wet into a plastic bag. Peppers can be left on the kitchen for a week or two with no treatment. Fresh, they can last for weeks in the fridge if stored in containers with holes, like for strawberries or basil. Kind of gives you an idea how long some of the grocery store stuff sits around before you buy it. For my own strawberries, I pretty much have to eat them the day I pick them, or they are a rotten mess. Berries from the store that sit on the counter for days, or in the fridge for weeks aren't treated, they're embalmed.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on October 27, 2011
at 08:07 PM

sort of a built-in argument for seasonal/local eating, huh?

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on October 27, 2011
at 11:58 PM

absolutely, futureboy. The good thing is, citrus is available all year around if you get the right varieties.

0
38fca13acabddf7b9c54098507e4041a

on October 27, 2011
at 11:24 PM

I use lemons daily though for years I didn't.

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