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  #1  
Old 10 January 2008, 11:04 PM
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Icon86 Supermarkets spray produce with insecticide every night

Came across this comment in another forum:

Quote:
I also heard (don't know how true it is) that major supermarkets Baygon their fruit and veg every night to stop cockroaches getting into them (rather than putting them away in a cold room).
Now, I'm not entirely sure what to think of this one. Sure, some supermarkets have less-than-ideal food storage practices - but surely you'd notice something about the smell/taste/quality of your fruit and veg?
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  #2  
Old 11 January 2008, 02:32 AM
Jelly Bean Queen
 
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I only buy fruit a veges from a supermarket as a last resort because I've often thought the produce at supermarkets tastes of pesticide. Imagine how easily pesticide would soak into mushrooms in a way that washing couldn't remove.

I've always preferred to buy from a small family owned fruit shop where I see them clean up and pack everything away every night.
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Old 11 January 2008, 02:40 AM
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Well, around here we have 24 hr. supermarkets, so I know the produce there isn't getting stored in a cold room - they have chilled display racks for the vegetables that require it, with cool mist (not insecticide) sprayed at regular intervals.
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  #4  
Old 11 January 2008, 03:17 AM
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I work at a SuperTarget and though I don't work in the grocery section (I'm a cashier/front end worker) I have been at the store after we close and a lot of the produce is picked through every night to get rid of the ones that are past their prime while the good stuff is stored in the cool storage in the back. Other things like onions and garlic and tomatoes, etc. that don't really need cool temperatures are picked through as well but then covered overnight. The only thing that ever gets sprayed on anything is water. Nuthin' else!
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  #5  
Old 11 January 2008, 06:37 AM
HoneyBunchingOats
 
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Some Safeway stores in Northern California have speakers that run the sound of rainfall when their mist sprays go on.

If this has been going around I would be highly suspicious of its veracity.

Maybe someone saw the mist and assumed it was spraying pesticide. I would doubt that an unscrupulous owner would save money and put pesticide in the mist line rather than throw out fruit fly infested produce. I doubt anyone would be stupid enough to do it nightly. The authorities would get suspicious once the bodies start piling up.
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  #6  
Old 11 January 2008, 01:32 PM
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Former produce worker at Albertson's here... Produce is at least rinsed off before displaying (and trimming stems and removing of rotting leaves is routinely done); the misty stuff is just tap water; not all vegies/fruits require refrigeration, and those that do certainly get it; any produce that is not "out front" gets proper storage in a back room; first shift every day (around 5am) pulls out all the crappy stuff and disposes of it. We did not add to the insecticides that were already on the produce when it arrived at the store. If anything, we removed some of the residue during the rinsing and misting.
FWIW we had to deal with mice and fruit flies, not roaches. Blech!
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  #7  
Old 11 January 2008, 04:25 PM
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My son works in the produce department at Walmart - at night they spray something to make it look shiney (food grade oil or wax of some sort I suspect) but not insecticide.
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  #8  
Old 11 January 2008, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Galaxy View Post
Came across this comment in another forum:



Now, I'm not entirely sure what to think of this one. Sure, some supermarkets have less-than-ideal food storage practices - but surely you'd notice something about the smell/taste/quality of your fruit and veg?
Noting that you are from Australia, (as is Baygon AFAIK), I remember that most (all) household insecticides there had a stern legal warning on them, to the effect that any use other than that shown on the can is illegal.
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  #9  
Old 12 January 2008, 04:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
Noting that you are from Australia, (as is Baygon AFAIK), I remember that most (all) household insecticides there had a stern legal warning on them, to the effect that any use other than that shown on the can is illegal.
True of all pesticides, household or agricultural, in the USA.

Legal use of agricultural pesticides requires that they only be applied a) on a crop they're labeled for b) against a specific pest that's on the label c) at rates given on the label. There's also an hours or days to harvest limitation (after application there must be a waiting period of that length before harvest for consumption), which depends on the degree of hazard and rate of breakdown of the specific pesticide.

Having said that: I don't know what, if anything, can be legally applied by warehouses and/or supermarkets as post-harvest treatment, besides the "food-grade" waxes that are common on some produce. And I don't know what the supermarket can legally apply to floors, walls, etc. of the store. And I can't guarantee that everybody's always behaving legally. But I very much doubt that supermarkets would be routinely spraying produce with random insecticides.

Of course, you may get fresher stuff at your local farmers' market . . . (note: insert conflict of interest statement here)
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  #10  
Old 12 January 2008, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
Of course, you may get fresher stuff at your local farmers' market . . . (note: insert conflict of interest statement here)
At almost every Farmer's Market I have been to in at least 20 years, the sellers are pulling the produce out of the same shipping boxes that the groceries are. Maybe they just reused the bioxes, but you'd think a few would not be labeled for the product in the boxes if it was reuse.
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  #11  
Old 12 January 2008, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
At almost every Farmer's Market I have been to in at least 20 years, the sellers are pulling the produce out of the same shipping boxes that the groceries are. Maybe they just reused the bioxes, but you'd think a few would not be labeled for the product in the boxes if it was reuse.
I agree that that's suspicious. Although there are some growers who sell both retail and wholesale, and may be using the same boxes for both, there are some markets that do have primarily or even entirely produce bought in from elsewhere. I've seen a market like that, while visiting in southern Florida; and I'm sure there are others. But the market that I sell at requires that all produce (and other items) be local, and at least 60% produced by the vendor offering it. There are many markets in New York, and in other states, with similar or even stricter rules. I also know markets with no such rules that have some vendors who are growing their own produce, though others source it wherever they can.

I just checked http://www.localharvest.org/ and got 41 results for markets in Georgia with local produce. I don't know whether any of them are near you.
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