Watermelon is a summer favorite for many people. However, you should be checking your watermelon for any cracks and where it is coming from. When you are buying a watermelon, you should make sure that you are not buying watermelons from China.

The reason is that, in the past, many farms in China used a chemical that was meant to make watermelons grow faster and larger. This chemical caused the watermelons to start cracking and exploding in the fields. This chemical affected about 115 acres of land and 20 farms’ watermelons were affected. The chemical that was used is Florchlorfenuron.

Watermelon

What is Florchlorfenuron?

Florchlorfenuron is a type of cytokine which is used to make fruit larger. It can also improve the fruit’s weight, taste, and shelf life. Professor Wang Liangju from Nanjing Agriculture University claims that Florchlorfenuron is safe when it is used correctly. He claims that the reason that the watermelons exploded was because the chemical was applied too late in the growing season. The heavy rain fall could have also caused the exploding watermelons.

Is Florchlorfenuron Safe?

Florchlorfenuron has been stated to be safe for human consummation. However, it has negative effects on many animals. An EPA pesticide sheet reports that Florchlorfenuron decreases sizes of litters in rats and it is mildly toxic to freshwater fish and birds.

How Can You Find out If Your Fruit is Grown Using Hormones or Pesticides?

The EWG or Environmental Working Group has claimed that around two-thirds of all tested samples of produce contained some level of pesticide residue. They had tested over 3,000 items and found 165 unique pesticides on most of the samples of fruit and vegetables. The Environmental Working Group publishes a list of the fruits and vegetables each year of what ones have the most or least amount of pesticides.

Watermelons that have been grown using hormones will have cracks on their inner parts. This is the most visible sign that the fruit was grown faster and larger that it should have been. Another common sign that a fruit is grown using pesticides is lack of flavor.

Florchlorfenuron is just one of the chemicals used to stimulate growth. Oxytocin is another chemical that is used. Originally, it was mostly used in India, but it is still used in fertilizers and pesticides. Ethylene can also be used, and this chemical can contain traces of arsenic and calcium carbide. These chemicals can all cause health issues in large amounts. While more pesticides are being banned, more are taking their place. These new pesticides have unknown effects, and some are worse than the ones that they are replacing. However, it is hard to tell what their side effects are because they have only been used for a few years.

The best option to limit the amount of pesticides that you are eating is to purchase organic fruits and vegetables. You should also make sure that you are washing your produce before eating it, no matter if it’s organic or conventional. Some organic produce will have some pesticides used on them.