Verdict: **DO NOT EAT, BUY, OR TRY MEYER LEMONS!!!!** (Unless they come out with an organic version.)
"Meyer Lemons are a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange. This unique fruit blends the traditional flavor of a lemon and the sweetness of an orange creating a refreshingly exceptional taste experience. It's rich, dark and aromatic juice is much sweeter than a conventional lemon making it's distinctive flavor a favorite amongst gourmet cooks and dessert chefs. To store: Keep in a cool, dry place."
I bought a pre-packaged bag of 5 Meyer Lemons for $3.99 (1 lb), or 80 cents per fruit. The label says Grown in the USA, distributed by Duda Farm Fresh Foods Inc, Visalia, CA. I bought them at Whole Foods but they are not organic. Typically I only buy conventional lemons at conventional stores; I'm frugal. Occasionally I'll buy an organic bag at Whole Foods if the conventional price at regular stores happens to be high that week.
I had seen these fruit on previous visits to Whole Foods, picked them up and put them back down more than once; was intrigued by the very nice appearance of these fruit, and also because I do love lemons. I strip the squeezed fruit off the rind and eat it with tabouli, or wedges squeezed into hot tea and then fished out and eaten later (hey I'm single!; no not in public), yes it's sour but I love lemons.
Meyer Lemons are the size and appearance of a nice-sized, medium-large lemon. Very nice looking. I washed one and cut it in wedges for hot tea. The deep yellow peel is much finer textured than a lemon; it is smooth and supple, and thin! (like the mandarin). Even the peel is nice.
The first wedge I sliced into two halves and ate by itself before the tea, with a clean palate so I could evaluate the taste of this new fruit.
When I tasted the first half of the first wedge, I thought gee, this is exactly like a lemon! YUM! As I kept assessing the taste, I decided um no, it IS a little sweeter than a lemon. YUM!
However, when I ate the second half of the first wedge, I really tasted the orange then. Perhaps there was an initial delay as my taste buds had to overcome what my eyes were telling my brain, since it LOOKS like a lemon. Still YUM!
There was a pleasant but unfamiliar citrus scent on my fingers from handling the peel; more of an orange-y smell than lemon, but a unique smell all of it's own. Maybe strong citrus with orange after hints.
80 cents per fruit, while not as frugal as conventional lemons, is also not too bad, and the fruit is very nice in size (which is actually even bigger since the peel is thin); pleasant tasting and smelling, and I really enjoyed it.
The bag sits upright, i.e. it has a bottom like a triangle-folded bag or lunch bag. So when I was looking for the bar code to confirm it wasn't organic, since I'm reporting it here and wanted to be accurate, I found the bar code plus something unexpected on the bottom of the bag I hadn't seen until now.
"Coated with food grade vegetable beeswax, and/or LAC based wax or resin to maintain freshness. May be treated with one or more of the following: thiabendazole, and/or imazalil, and/or fludioxonil, and/or pyrimethanil."
1. What is thiabendazole?
Pronunciation: thye a BEN da zole
Thiabendazole is an "antihelmintic," or anti-worm, medication; it's a fungicide and parasiticide. It prevents worms from growing or multiplying in the body (and apparently, on or in Meyer Lemons).
Thiabendazole is used to treat infections caused by worms such as threadworm. Thiabendazole may also be used to treat pinworm (when it occurs with threadworm), hookworm, whipworm, roundworm, and trichinosis.
Take thiabendazole with food to lessen stomach upset. Chew the chewable tablets thoroughly before swallowing.
Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Thiabendazole may cause dizziness. If you experience dizziness, avoid these activities.
Before taking thiabendazole, tell your doctor about any other medical conditions that you have, especially liver or kidney disease.
Thiabendazole is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether it will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take thiabendazole without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.
~ So after reading this, I got up and threw out the tea, and now I want to throw up. But there's more.
What are the possible side effects of Thiabendazole?
Stop taking thiabendazole and seek emergency medical attention if you experience an allergic reaction (swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; shortness of breath; closing of the throat; or hives).
Rarely, other serious side effects can occur. Stop taking thiabendazole and contact your doctor if you experience:
- behavior or personality changes
- skin rash
- vision changes; or
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take thiabendazole and talk to your doctor if you experience:
- dizziness, drowsiness, or headache
- nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, upset stomach, or decreased appetite
- unusual urine odor
- fever or chills
- ringing in the ears
- blurred vision or dryness of the eyes; or
- appearance of live worms in the mouth or nose
~ Oh yeah, you bet I'd continue taking but talk to my Dr if I had any of those. Riiiiiight.
SIDE EFFECTS: Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, or headache may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor promptly. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: seizures, tingling of hands/feet, mental/mood changes. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these highly unlikely but very serious side effects occur: ringing in the ears, vision changes, stomach pain, yellowing eyes and skin, dark urine, fever, fatigue, increased thirst, change in the amount of urine. A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
2. What is imazalil?
See the skull and bones here:
Considered an "Acute Hazard" chemical by WHO, known to be a reproductive and developmental toxin, a probably aquatic toxin, and on the PAN Bad Actors list:
PAN Bad Actors are chemicals that are one or more of the following: highly acutely toxic, cholinesterase inhibitor, known/probable carcinogen, known groundwater pollutant or known reproductive or developmental toxicant.
3. What is fludioxonil?
A fluorinated pesticide (I avoid all fluorides & fluorines for thyroid issues).
Cancer status: "currently unclassifiable" statistically significant trend for malignant LYMPHOMAS in female mice; statistically significant increases in LIVER tumors in female rats
Endocrine indications: Ovary
Endocrine indications: Thymus
Fludioxonil is classed as 'very persistent' in soil
Relatively high aquatic toxicity to fish, aquatic invertebrates and aquatic plants
4. What is pyrimethanil? Yes, another fungicide.
According to wikipedia, Pyrimethanil is a broad spectrum fungicide often applied to seeds. It inhibits methionine biosynthesis, thus affecting protein formation and subsequent cell division.
According to PAN, it's a possible carcinogen, suspected endocrine disrupter (refs Colburn books).
It is sold by many mainland China companies. To stupid Americans too dumb not to know to spray it on their crops.
I'm printing this and taking it to Whole Foods, with my receipt, and asking for a manager. It is not enough to simply get my money back. Though I will do that, too.
I'm sending a copy to Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Inc. products. That they would spray this stuff on their citrus trees, which then drips and is washed off into the soil and water, killing aquatic life, for that alone it is something I will NOT support with my money. What about all the unsuspecting people who did not search the bottom of the bag for the hidden information, like I did?
If anything positive came out of this, it's that I'm buying organic lemons from now on. I had NO IDEA they sprayed all this stuff on citrus trees and seeds.
Citrus is not on the Dirty Dozen list of what to buy organic; but it's definitely on MY dirty list now. If they spray the trees and seeds with this stuff, then it doesn't matter if the peel is thick and non-edible, it doesn't matter if you wash it because it's waxed in, because it ran off into the soil and was taken up by the root system into the tree and fruit, and because they sprayed the seeds with it. It's permeated and peeling or washing won't help.
I just had noooooo idea I was doing this to myself by buying conventional. It's no wonder endocrine problems, liver problems, and cancer are rampant and common and average in our society.