Vegetables reaching people’s plates in Bengaluru city are being grown in contaminated and polluted water, which contains dangerous metals and chemicals.
A government agency collected samples from various small and large vegetable shops in Bengaluru and found that a significant portion of the vegetables in the city’s markets are being grown in wastewater, which is dirty and contaminated water.
This can be extremely harmful to health. Vegetables grown in contaminated water contain high levels of heavy metals like arsenic, nickel, cadmium, chromium, mercury, zinc, and magnesium, which can lead to diseases such as kidney, liver, gastrointestinal, and cancer.
Shocking revelation in research
Researchers from the Institute of Environmental Management and Policy Research (IEMPR) conducted tests on 400 samples of 10 vegetables being sold in the city’s markets, finding contamination above the limits set by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Bengaluru, the fifth most populous city in the state of Karnataka, is supplied with vegetables by farmers from Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Ramanagara, and Bengaluru Rural regions. HOPCOMS (an agency responsible for handling the supply of vegetables from farmers to markets) alone distributes 70 tons of vegetables, while the rest of the city’s population relies on various private small and large stores, from pushcarts to supermarkets.
Samples were taken from many vegetable stores.
Researchers from the Institute of Environmental Management and Policy Research (IEMPR) collected 400 samples of vegetables from 20 stores in Bangalore, including five supermarkets, five local markets, various stores, and Hopcoms. Subsequently, an examination was conducted to check for the presence of heavy metals in samples of 10 vegetables, including brinjal, tomato, capsicum, beans, carrot, green chili, onion, potato, spinach, and coriander.
The maximum permissible limit for iron in any food item is 425.5 milligrams per kilogram. However, during the examination, the density of iron in the produce of a store claiming to sell organic vegetables was found to be 810.20 milligrams per kilogram in beans, 945.70 milligrams per kilogram in coriander, and 554.58 milligrams per kilogram in spinach.
In Hopcoms, 592.18 milligrams of iron were found per kilogram of onions.
These dangerous metals found in vegetables
Some of these metals can be extremely harmful to health. For instance, cadmium, which can create toxicity in the liver and lungs and can harm the immune system. Lead (सीसा), which is as toxic as poison, should not be present in any food substance in quantities exceeding 0.3 milligrams per kilogram.
During this research, heavy metals have been found in vegetables, which is not suitable for the human body. The research also suggests that wastewater should not be used for farming. Farmers should refrain from using such contaminated water for activities like irrigation or planting crops.