It is unfortunate many Americans never eaten fresh, tree or vine ripened fruit. Most supermarket produce is far from fresh. They are picked days or weeks before they are ripe to withstand mechanical picking, storage and transportation. Some fruits and vegetables have travelled more miles than some people. Produce from Chile makes a 1,500 plus mile journey to the United States and other countries.
Producers use various methods to preserve produce until it is sold and shipped. One method, waxing, has been around for decades. It is most noticeable on tomatoes and cucumbers but can be applied to apples and plums.
I like plums and recently purchased No. 1 grade, California fresh black plums from a major warehouse store. The sweetness is hit and miss, but this time I noticed a statement on the label I hadn’t noticed before. It states:
“To preserve freshness, coated with food-grade vegetable or petrokeum wax. May be treated with one or more of the following: Dicloran, Fludioxonil, Fenhexamid, Propiconazol.”
Dicloran is a fungicide used on celery, head lettuce and leaf lettuce. Fludioxonil is a pesticide. Fenhexamid and Propiconazol are fungicides.
I must commend the distributor for supplying this information. It isn’t the type of information supermarkets provide for their produce. Perhaps a California law requires listing chemicals used to grow and preserve produce. This isn’t the type of information required by Federal law which is constantly weakened by by lobbyists to provide consumers with as little information as possible.
If you are concerned about the chemicals used in growing and preserving produce, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for many chemicals are available online. There are also websites devoted to educating people about the chemicals used in foods.
If you have a green thumb, you can grown many fruits and vegetables without using man made fungicides and pesticides.