Silicone spray, coloured dye and injections: What farmers are doing to make stale veggies look fresh.
Next time you reach for the biggest, shiniest or freshest looking vegetable on the cart, think about what may have been added to it. The shocking revelations of a vegetable farmer just outside New Delhi show us the additives, injections and sprays used to make old vegetables look fresh. And according to him, he isn’t the only one. All farmers do this, he says. With rising inflation and families to feed, he says poor farmers such as himself are left with no option when consumers reject even fresh, hygienic vegetables.
Silicone spray makes the vegetables look shiny and fresh, even when it’s actually a few days old. Malachite green, a manufacturing dye, is added to green vegetables to make them look more vibrant, attractive and fresh. Oxytocin injections are pumped directly into vegetables like bottle gourd, making them swell in size overnight. What would otherwise have taken a week to mature, is now ready to be shipped to the market overnight.