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Author Topic: How pesticide loaded are non-organically grown young coconuts?  (Read 20006 times)

Offline MarliseK

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How pesticide loaded are non-organically grown young coconuts?
« on: October 15, 2008, 06:08:51 PM »
We recently had a wonderful coconut shake as a snack in our NE class (thanks Shannon!). After cracking my first non-organic coconut at home I was thinking about the pesticide load (or other nasty stuff that we do not want to have in our body) of coconuts... Does anyone know if pesticides are involved in growing coconuts? Obviously, organic coconuts do exist since some brands offer organic and non-organic coconut milk. Or is this just marketing?

Any information is much appreciated!
Thanks, Marlise

Offline jodi f.

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Re: How pesticide loaded are non-organically grown young coconuts?
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2008, 07:09:50 AM »
I don't know the answer to this, though I suspect coconuts, with their tough shells, don't require much help repelling pests. Why don't you do a Google search and see what you can find? Let us know.

Offline MarliseK

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Re: How pesticide loaded are non-organically grown young coconuts?
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2008, 09:03:13 PM »
I did a quick google search about pesticides in coconuts and here are my findings:

On the website of Genefit Nutrition, a seller of organic young coconuts, I found the following information:

"The problem with conventional coconuts: As young Thai coconuts have become a highly commercialized product, the use of large quantities of fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides is omnipresent on exporting farms. In addition, coconuts are treated with post harvest treatments such as bleaching agents, fungicides and preservative to survive the 3-week boat trip to the US and still arrive with weeks of shelf-life thereafter. Without treatment, the fiber of the coconut will get reddish brown within hours after husking, the fiber is prone to mold and fungus development and the water will ferment naturally within a few days at ambient temperature and 2 to 3 weeks under refrigeration. These natural processes can only be prevented with the use of chemicals which often leave a bitter after-taste.

Our alternative:
• Young Thai coconuts, grown on organically certified farms (free of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides)
• Maximum freshness with weekly harvest and weekly shipments
• Pealed by hand and polished to remove all fibers down to the hard shell in order to skip the conventional post-harvest treatments (chemicals, heat, freezing)
• Flown in overnight allowing no time for mold and fermentation,
• Sold/shipped within 48 hours upon arrival in the US."

Source: http://www.genefitnutrition.com/coconuts.html

On the other hand, I found a paper in a pretty high ranked scientific journal (Journal of Chromatography A) about pesticide residues in coconut water. In this publication, the researchers came to the following result: 
Two simple methods were developed to determine 11 pesticides in coconut water. Limits of detection ranged from 0.002 to 2.0 mg/kg. The analytical procedures were applied to 15 samples and no detectable amounts of the pesticides were found in any samples under the conditions described.

I did not read the whole paper and have therefore no idea if these tests were sensitive enough or if the whole setting was reasonable.

Source: Determination of pesticide residues in coconut water by liquid–liquid extraction and gas chromatography with electron-capture plus thermionic specific detection and solid-phase extraction and high-performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection (N. M. Britoa et al., Journal of Chromatography A, Volume 957, Issue 2, 31 May 2002, Pages 201-209)

And then, I found another article, about formaldehyde in young coconuts.
Matt Amsden, a raw food chef sent some coconuts to a laboratory in California and no formaldehyde was detected in the coconut water. The full article can be found here:
http://www.basilandspice.com/journal/matt-amsden-tells-the-truth-about-thai-coconuts-and-formalde.html


Offline jodi f.

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Re: How pesticide loaded are non-organically grown young coconuts?
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2008, 06:32:56 AM »
Marlise, thank you for doing this information search. Did you come to the same conclusion I did--that the first source has a major conflict of interest? I have no doubt that organic coconuts, if you can find them at an affordable price, are better. Most produce grown organically is supplied with better and cleaner nutrients. However, the second two sources sound objective and accurate and until we hear otherwise, it certainly sounds like non-organic coconuts are safe.


 


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