Does anyone know if the gassing of fruit (for ripening) is a regular practice for most grocery stores? Is it done on organic and conventional or just conventional? Is it done on all fruit or just some? We were buying fruit in bulk (especially our 40lbs of bananas) at a food warehouse that sells organic and conventional produce in bulk (they supply to other grocery stores as well). My husband was just there today to pick up some bananas for me and he found out they gas their bananas to get them to ripen faster! We're not sure if they gas organic bananas (they didn't have any organic ones today), but they definitely do their conventional bananas. The thing is, we would buy conventional when we couldn't get organic. So how dangerous is this to our health? I know it can't be good! UGH. Is there a variety of gasses used? Based on a quick google search I did, I only found info on carbide gas used specifically for ripening fruit. And it's pretty hazardous to our health and has even been banned in India. I'm trying to figure out how widespread this practice is, especially in America. I know that Walmart gasses its produce. A friend of ours who works there told me about it and is why his family doesn't buy produce there. So frustrating!!!
I posted this in the Beginners in Fruitarian group, but it was suggested I post here to see if there's a bigger response. I'm new so still learning the ropes on where the best place is to post things. :)
Thanks for any feedback!
Its just ethylene gas. Its naturally occurring in fruits and veg. Put a few tomatoes in a box of bannas and thats 'gas ripening'.
Its standard practise in the organic industry btw. I remember in 2002 I was at a netball game with my gf at that time. I was eating a meal of bananas and this guy eating a hot dog next to me said 'you like your bananas mate! did you know they are GASSED though!'.
I said 'these are organic mate, not gassed Im pretty sure!'. At the time I had no clue what gassing meant but it sure sounded bad as we all think of the nazi gas chambers. Its just a sound bite that has no real meaning though. Bit like 'I got killed in the running race this morning' or 'Im going to smash you up the next climb'. Some people that don't know, take it literally lol!
Anyways the next day I went to the organic shop and ask the guy that would answer all my questions. He told me the truth about ethylene gas. I never bumped into Mr Hot Dog guy again unfortunately.
I love it when people eating AGE rich foods come up with some lamo excuse like 'oh yeah, I would eat organic bananas instead of big macs, paleo protein powders and bullet proof coffee but they GAS them man!' Its a bit like the time my brother was smoking a cigarette and screaming at me for eating grapes with seeds and not spitting out the seed' OMG! HARLEY YOU ARE GONNA GET A GRAPE SEED STUCK IN YOUR GUT MAN!! EATING GRAPES WITH SEEDS IS SO UNHEALTHY!!!'
Here is something to focus on though AGE' content of various foods.
I sometimes gas my bananas and papayas! I place papayas from my tree which I pick before fully ripe (otherwise they could be eaten by bats and birds) in a paper bag with a banana or apple to enclose and increase the amount of ethylene. This accelerates the ripening process.
When bananas are shipped from South American to Europe the bananas are picked green. They are placed in cool storage (around 10 degrees celsius I believe) to minimize the amount of ethylene otherwise the bananas would ripen on the way to Europe.
I use a plastic bag, does paper work better?
My main concern in using plastic bags is that the fruit may 'sweat'. It could lead to the fruit 'going off' before ripening.
Thanks so much, Durianrider! That helps a lot! Now I can relax again. LOL. I began to wonder if carbide gas is ever used so I did a little further research on it. What is found is that calcium carbide gas produces acetylene gas, which is an artificial chemical gas used for ripening fruits. It's extremely dangerous to our health and has been banned in many countries for ripening. In the US, all fruits are acetylene free products! Here's an short article I found helpful on this topic: http://www.mamashealth.com/environmentalhealth/fruits.asp
I am amazed that the US banned it for ripening. Usually, anything that will kill us is legal for use here. Must not be any $$$ in it.