Apples and Diphenylamine (DPA)

Photo by Brian Y.; Flickr.
Photo by Brian Y.; Flickr.

The Environmental Working Group recently blogged about apples and DPA, the pesticide applied to apples once they’re harvested to protect them during storage.

DPA is an antioxidant that slows the development of black patches on the skins of picked apples in storage.

This chemical has caused a debate in both the US and EU on whether or not DPA should continue to be used on our produce.

The EU recently restricted DPA to 0.1 part per million, because people would not be at risk with concentrations that low, but some apples, although not sprayed with DPA, can have trace amounts of the pesticide if stored in a warehouse that once used it.

Although the EPA must review pesticides every 15 years to make sure there is no harm to humans, they haven’t reviewed DPA in 16 years.

Purchasing organic apples, organic apple juice, or organic apple sauce, is an easy change to make to reduce the risk of ingesting potentially harmful chemicals.

To read the full story on apples and DPA, click here.

Iowa’s apple crop devastated by atypical weather

Apple orchard. Photo by scrumpyboy, Flickr.

The Iowa Environmental Focus covered the potential effects of Iowa’s unusual spring weather throughout April (see our radio segment here). Now, it’s becoming clearer how the weather impacted Iowa’s crops.

Many fruit crops bloomed early this year, leaving them vulnerable to an April or May freeze. This freeze came, and reports indicate that up to 80 percent of the apple crop in eastern Iowa was damaged.

While the apple crop faced the most severe damages, other crops were hurt as well. Strawberry production in Iowa could see a 20 percent reduction due to the weather.

Read more about the consequences of our atypical spring weather at the Des Moines Register here.