Cauliflower- All of us enjoys our cauliflower roast during the winter months. But this harvested flower attracts the semi-looper worm and dozen other caterpillars. These lay eggs and multiply, causing havoc especially during transport. We hate to see caterpillars in our cauliflower, so traders treat it with endosulphan. These vegetables which are sprayed with endosulphan should not be eaten for fourteen days. But they are sprayed and sold within the same say and certainly within a week. Sometimes we get to see tiny black spots on the cauliflower. These black spots may look ugly, but actually they are not harmful to health. But we always like those spotless cauliflowers and to please us the farmers generously sprays it with fungicides like bavistene.
Cabbage- Cabbage is another vegetable which is very popular in Indian markets. To achieve an instant shine farmers drunk their cabbages in carbofuran dip to give it a greenish blue shine. This shine remains for several days. Any vegetable on which carbofuran is used should not be consumed for a minimum of 28 days. But our very smart farmers and traders sell it on that very day. Cabbages should be picked up very carefully those that are dark green and without sheen. Remember nature cannot provide naturally shiny cabbages.
Tomato- This particular vegetable is eaten raw by many of us. Tomatatoes have a shiny skin and so external use of pesticides may not be very effective. Hence farmers use systemic insecticides. These enter the entire plant through the stomata contaminating the tomatoes from within. No matter how much you wash tomatoes you will not be able to get rid of it.
Greens- Spinach, mint, curry leaves are also regularly sprayed with chemicals. Spinach is sprayed once a week to ensure that insects do not chew the leaves because we all hate spinach leaves with holes on it. Curry leaves, mint leaves and coriander leaves are also sprayed. The important thing to remember is that we can grow curry leaves, mint leaves and coriander leaves easily in our own terrace garden and that I think is definitely a better option.
Potatoes- Potatoes are root vegetables and are subject to root grub and potato beetle attacks. Systemic chemicals like organo chlorines are put in the soil so that they enter the vegetables and kill the pests. To prevent the pests from eating up the vegetables when they are stored Fumigants are used in their place. These come in tablets which need to be dissolved in water. These tablets release a toxic gas.