You’re in the grocery store doing your regular two weeks shopping. You know, the norm. You’re getting your eggs, your milk, your bread, and those toaster strudels your kids demanded on the way out the door — Oh, and before you forget, you need some fresh fruits and veggies to keep your family strong and healthy. Because as a parent, it’s your duty to make sure that your family gets all the nutrients and vitamins needed to have a well balanced diet, right? But what’s the grocery store’s duty? To provide you with the best of the best for you and your family at amazing prices. Optimism.  It’s cute, and it can get you pretty far in life, but sometimes you cannot hold people, companies, or even federal agencies to do as they promised. Still using that optimism? Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Here are the 5 things grocery store managers don’t want you to know about their produce.

 

Oh the many, many secrets that grocery stores have hidden in the “EMPLOYEE’S ONLY” room. According to blogger Lori Taylor, produce is stored in a climate-controlled room and has all of the oxygen sucked out of it to slow down the fruit-ripening process significantly. This process temporarily puts the fruit to sleep, in order to extend its season. Therefore, those Mcintosh or Granny Smith apples you’re buying from your local Walmart in the summer, were actually grown late last year. So much for fresh fruit, right?

 

Experts believe that 1 third of the 200,000 to 800,000 cases of food poisoning Americans get each day comes from produce. Sami Gottlieb, MD, an epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated, “Produce is an overlooked source of foodborne illness.” Don’t believe me? Neither did Kayce Galindo. The 16 year old became very sick after eating at a local restaurant in Carlsbad, CA. She ordered the lemon-chicken salad, assuming it was a healthy choice, and thought she had gotten food poisoning from the chicken. Wouldn’t we all? However, after cramps, vomiting and bloody diarrhea, her doctor diagnosed her with the potentially deadly E. coli bacteria. The local health department did further research, and traced the contamination to the salad greens. Not the chicken.

 

 

Not all produce are handled with the same amount of TLC. Depending on what kind of fruit or vegetables you want, some can put you and your families health in extreme danger. The United States Department of Agriculture compiled data on the amount of pesticide residue found on non-organic fruits and vegetables after the produce was washed using high powered pressure water systems. And the results were far from pretty. Even after the produce was washed, some tested positive for at least 47 different chemicals, while some tested positive for as many as 67. That one apple, strawberry, or even something as small as a blueberry could have over 40 different chemicals in it. Imagine your children eating that entire container of blueberries thinking that it’s healthy for them, but in all actuality it’s doing more bad than good? I mean, these harmful chemicals and pesticides are linked to increased risks of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, prostate, ovarian, and other cancers. Celery, peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries, nectarines, bell peppers, cherries, potatoes, grapes, lettuce (and many more!) are on the Dirty Dozen™ list of produce. This means these fresh produce items contain over 40 different chemicals!  Shopping at non-organic grocery stores may have great prices, but it also comes with bigger risks.

 

Your local grocery store may look clean, but there’s more than the human eye can see. Trying to keep flies out of a building that has automatic doors is pretty inevitable. So how do they keep flies out of their store? I mean, it’s practically fly heaven! Grocery stores have many light traps. To us, it may look like a regular ol’ light, but these high voltage sparks can spatter fly parts onto foods nearby. Spreading diseases like salmonella, cholera, shigella, and parasitic worms and fungi. The same goes for rodents and roaches. Just because we cannot see them, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Cockroaches tend to hide in dark places such as cracks in the walls, floors, drains and sewers.

 

 

That’s right. The majority of your non-organic, and even some of your organic, fruit has rocket fuel, also known as perchlorate, in it. This man-made colorless and odorless chemical is commonly used to make explosives, military grenades, fireworks, gun powder, and a preservative for your nice and healthy fruit. Even though all of these things are deadly and have a, “Caution do not eat” warning on them; somehow, in someway, it isn’t as harmful as it may seem after all. Even though it can cause brain damage, autism, infections, and possibly cancer it’s not that big of a deal.

As long as you continue to put your family’s health in the hands of others, there’s no sure way of knowing what you’re feeding your loved ones. You’re the parent, and it’s time you take your children’s health seriously. The only way you can do this is by growing your own produce or calling corporate hoping they answer your questions honestly or even answer at all.

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Pam
12 years ago I was sitting around, talking with two of my favorite, fellow Plant Geeks. We were trying to figure out why so many, superior plant varieties were not available to the public and were seldom offered in Garden Centers. Instead, the stores sold less attractive, older varieties, proven to be disease and insect prone. They also sold the sprays and chemicals that their customers would eventually need. The Ah Ha moment hit us and a company was formed. We decided that we would only offer the highest quality plants that must be Easy to Grow.
  • J. Nitz

    Umm no. I worked in a grocery store (Safeway) for 7.5 years in the floral department. We were located next to produce and had a close relationship to them and helped them out a lot. “Cold room that sucks out the air?” Um try your run of he mill walk in cooler, it certainly had air because we wouldn’t go in it plenty. Everything is stored off the ground to keep it safe. Foods that should not be refrigerated would be in the back room. We never had rodent/ roach problems. Everything is stored off the floor at minimum on pallets by health safety codes. The one time a possum got into out outside storage (no food kept there just my backstock vases and equipment) it was handled immediately with an animal control person called. I think we had a mouse once, again immidiately handled. The only place I ever saw flies was in behind the meat department in the back room where no food is kept and we never had zapper lights, that would be disgusting. Grocery stores tend to be kept cold and clean. That’s how they handle pests.