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Reports of Young coconuts being treated prior to shipment

We have had reports that the young coconuts that are shipped over from Thailand may be treated with a preservative and a fungicide before being shipped.

The young coconuts are it dipped into a solution of sodium meta bisulfite (3% concentration with a fungicide thiobendazole) for 5 minutes.

This information has not been confirmed.  We are still investigating this, and want to get product testing done to see if there is any residual chemicals inside the coconut meat and water.

I believe the coconuts nuts are treated in this way for two reasons:

1. The Sodium solution acts as a "preservative".   Similar preservatives are commonly used in beer making and wine making - Sulfides (Sulfur dioxide) as well as dried fruits (so they keep their "pretty color). If the nuts were not preserved, they would turn brown and begin to oxidize.

2. The Thiabendazole is a systemic benzimidazole fungicide used to control fruit and vegetable diseases such as mold, rot, blight, and stain. It is also active against storage diseases and Dutch Elm disease. In livestock and humans, thiabendazole is applied to treat several helminth species such as roundworms. Thiabendazole is also used medicinally as a chelating agent to bind metals.  This same fungicide is widely used on CONVENTIONAL produce, most commonly bananas. If you read most ANY box of conventional bananas, it will say "treated with Thiobendazole"..  It also appears that Apples, Pears and Citrus are widely treated with this same fungicide.

Please read on for further information and links regarding the above two chemicals.

1. More information on Sodium meta Bisulfite -

2. Thiobendazole

Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #) 148798
Synonyms Thiobendazole
1H-Benzimidazole, 2-(4-thiazolyl)-
Arbotect
Storite
2-(4-Thiazolyl)benzimidazole
Analytical Method EPA Method 641
Molecular Formula C10H7N3S
Use FUNGICIDE FOR SPOILAGE CONTROL OF CITRUS FRUIT; FOR TREATMENT OF DUTCH ELM DISEASE IN TREES; FOR CONTROL OF FUNGAL DISEASES OF SEED POTATOES; MEDICATION ANTIHELMINTIC (NEMATODES); MEDICATION (VET): ANTHELMINTIC. Agricultural fungicide Medication: anthelmintic As fungicide, controls green mold, blue mold, and stem end rot of citrus fruits;to control Fusarium basal rot and Penicillium blue mold on ornamentals bulbs and corms; to control crown rot on bananas; to control blue mold rot, bull's eye rot and gray mold on apples and pears; to control black rot, scurf and foot rot of sweet potatoes; to control Fusarium (dry rot) in potato storage. Also as a preservative for reconstituted tobacco. Control of Aspergillus, Botrytis, Ceratocystis, Cercospora, Colletotrichum, Corticium, Diaporthe, Diplodia, Fusarium, Gibberella, Gloeosporium, Oospora, Penicillium, Phome, Rhizoctonia, Sclerotinia, Septoria, Thielaviopsis, Verticillium spp., etc in asparagus, avocados, bananas, barley, beans, cabbage, celery, chicory, cherries, citrus fruit, cotton, some cucurbits, flax, mangoes, mushrooms, oats, onions, ornamentals, pawpaws, pome fruit, potatoes, rice, soya beans, strawberries, sugar beet, sweet potatoes, tobacco, tomatoes, turf, vines, and wheat. Also used for control of storage diseases of fruit and vegetables. A food additive permitted in the feed and drinking water of animals and/or for the treatment of food-producing animals; also permitted in food for human consumption.
Apparent Color COLORLESS CRYSTALS; WHITE TO PRACTICALLY WHITE POWDER; White crystals; Tan crystals
Odor ODORLESS
Melting Point 304-305 DEG C
Molecular Weight 201.26
Half Life 30 days

Conclusion:
If one is eating conventional produce: the treatments of the young coconuts are not anything "outside of the ordinary".   If one is eating non-organic bananas, one is getting the Thiobendazole.  Its also present on apples, citrus, pears, and other fruits and vegetables (as mentioned above).  The Sulfides that the cocos are dipped in are also present in many processed foods, as well as wines and dried fruits.  Once again,  this chemical probably also appears in one's diet at some point anyway.

I am personally reducing my consumption of young coconuts until further investigation and testing can be done to determine the amount of residual chemicals absorbed into the meat and water of the coconut. 

I am normally very sensitive to any "conventional" treatment of produce. If I eat other kinds of produce that is treated, I will break out in rash.  When consuming young coconuts,  this has not  happened to me.   My girlfriend reports that occasionally after consuming a young coconut she will have an asthmatic response.  This is possibly due to the level of sulfites present in some coconuts.  I believe that some coconuts may absorb the chemicals in greater concentration than others.

Another precaution I am taking is to never unwrap the outer plastic the coconuts come wrapped in, and only handle the coconuts by the plastic.  I will no longer be composting the young coconut shells in my organic compost pile due to the fungicide (which has a half life of 30 days).

If I had to choose between non-organic bananas, apples, pears or citrus fruits for a "does" of Thiobendazole, I would much rather consume young coconuts to get my daily dose.

The above statements are my personal opinions, and research.   This is not given as medical advice. Please consult your doctor for medical advice..

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