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Why do my fruits and veggies taste so funny?


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I started noticing this really odd taste a few months ago. I bought some red bell peppers and they had this taste and smell to them. I really don't know how to describe it except that it tastes as if it has been near REALLY REALLY RANCID veggies, but it is more of a chemical taste, very strange... The pepper was bright and crisp... but smells almost like a gas that rotten produce would put off if it was left to rot. Maybe the way fruit would smell if you were trying to produce alcohol??? I dunno. But I have bought strawberries and tomatoes on the vine with the same smell/taste of the red bell pepper. I can not eat them. Once I notice the odor or taste I have to throw them away.

Does anyone know what I am talking about?

Edited Dec 02 2013 20:30 by coach_k
Reason: locked to prevent unneccesary zombie and/or spam bumps
34 Replies (last)

Some thoughts about this:

  1. Do you very carefully wash off the fruits and vegetables with cold water (and no soap).
  2. Have you tried using water from a different source to wash them off ?
  3. Are you buying/getting your fruits and vegetables from different sources?
  4. Is there a chance that your body has undergone some change that is producing a chemical taste to your foods.
  5. Perhaps some dental work or tooth problem or filling problem such as having metal in your mouth is the culprit.
  6. Is there a chance that you are drinking something such as coffee, tea, water, etc. that is producing this taste?

 

I wash it good, no soap. I have not tried another water source... I have always just used my water from the sink (good water as far as I know). Same store... No health issues and others taste it too when I point it out. I was thinking maybe it is from some sort of gas they may use for ripening when the fruits are are out of season maybe... Whatever it is... Is really bad and I hope someone comes along that knows what it could be.

Could be ethylene.  It's a natural gas produced by fruit when it ripens and is used commercially to ripen things up.   However, it shouldn't be an noticeably unpleasant smell... mabye mildly alcoholic, that's all.   Were the products wrapped in packaging?  Sometimes plastic wrapping can leave a 'chemical' flavour on things it has come into contact with.

And does anyone else smell this or just you?  I ask because sometimes people can be sensitive to particular smells that others can't detect ... pregnant women being a notorious example

Bite your tongue! PREGNANT!!! Surprised  no, thank you.

The strawberries were in the plastic crate, the tomatoes were wrapped in plastic but the red peppers were loose. I think it is the gas I taste. I had others try them and they say they taste it... but still ate them so it did not bother them as much as it did me. I asked the produce manager and he just offered me free peppers to replace the bad ones. I guess it could just be me? My tastes have changed a lot the past year... I was really hoping to get an answer... Because that smell and taste bothered me so much. It is like I can still smell it.

Thank you... for the replies so far. If anyone else thinks they know I would love to hear about it. I just do not want to eat GAS.

I was going to say pregnant too... first thing I noticed before I found out was that my previously adored red bells, were the most disgusting tasting things I had ever eaten. 

I had the same thing happen to me.  Most often with Red Peppers.  (Fresh whole and fresh from the salad bar)  I just thought that I was eating too many red peppers so I gave them up for a week or so.  I did not notice it with other fruits and veggies.  Except for one apple which, even though I washed it, tasted bitter and chemically...like it was injected with aspirin...ewww.  The other one I got from the same bin at the same time tasted fine, go figure...

It is paint thinner that I taste? Like lacquer??? I don't know...But it is not a good taste for fresh fruits or vegetables.

What I do know for sure though is that I am not pregnant Innocent

I've had that happen from time to time with red bell peppers - haven't noticed it with any other vegetables.  There's just something a little off with one once in a while that's not obvious from the appearance.  Also, I'll buy four or five at a time, and sometimes one of them will look great on the outside, but when I cut it, there is some sort of fungus (or something) that's kind of black and nasty looking. 

I eat colored red, orange, and yellow bell peppers quite often; I have never noticed a strange taste to them, inside or out.  However, I have on two occasions in the last two years thought that an apple had a peculiar taste, at least the outside, not unlike what you are describing.  I just assumed it was either chemical spray or something they rubbed on the apple to "polish" it.  As I recalled, I peeled them, which is something I almost never do with apples, no matter how I fix or eat them.

I am wondering, if you had the inclination, if you could buy separate (but the same category--such as red bell peppers) items at, say, 4 or 5 different stores; then wash them all off and taste them to see if all of them had the same taste or aftertaste.

Do you ever notice this smell when fruits and vegetables are not involved?  Is it possible that there's something in your kitchen?  Try taking an apple on a picnic and see if perhaps it's the location.  If you notice the smell when the fruits and veggies aren't around it's probably time to get yourself checked out.

well.... I have only noticed it the 3 times. I guess it could be me. But I was thinking it was something weird "they" were doing to my food. I am kinda getting freaked out by foods more than I use to. Like a have a food phobia or something... I just feel like big companies are doing weird things to food and I just don't want any part of it... I especially don't want to be eating it. I love fruits and veggies and do not want to be "freaked out" by them... I try to buy organic when I can and when they even look ediable. They are always so droopy and old looking though. I guess I prefer the waxed up shiny happy looking stinky stuff!

So... it is just me. Huh.

Original Post by roxiegirl42:

I just do not want to eat GAS.

If you want to smell concentrated ethylene, put an apple and a greenish banana in a paper bag for a day or two and twist the top shut.  When you come to open the bag you will get a whiff of ethylene and the banana will be very ripe .... it's a natural by product of the ripening process.

If you've become more sensitive to particular odours and flavours then check your iron intake.  One of the symptoms of anaemia can be an acute change in smell and taste.  But low iron-stores can produce a less pronounced effect.

How are you storing your fruits and veggies?  I've heard you need to keep ripening bananas away from other fruits and veggies, so perhaps thats it.  If you are storing them in a drawer in the fridge, try cleaning out that drawer and removing/changing any liners. 

Also try rubbing your produce with lemon or vinegar then rinsing well to make sure you are cleaning off the waxy coating the farmers like to put on some fruits and veggies to make them shine and keep them from drying out.

If you are still having problems, I'd try a different store and/or buy organic.

Good luck!
Sherri

Also I want to throw in that, yeast is generally present floating around in the air. If you leave a cup of juice sitting out, yeast will get in it and start it fermenting. It is a different type of yeast used for breads or alcohols.

My husband and I make wine sometimes, and even if we have put wine yeast into the batch - if 1 little stupid random other yeast gets in, it will actually take over and leave this horrible... almost walnut smell.

So, it is possible the store might have some sort of yeast issue, or wherever they get their produce from. Check other stores for local produce, at least with my stores here (SC) it is almost never more expensive than imported mexican items. You should have some actual produce only type store somewhere near you, farmers market, etc.

 

The same thing has been happening to me! I notice it in red bell peppers. They look fine and I wash them but they have a weird chemically taste. I bought three peppers over the span of two months and each one had that strange taste. I can't stand it!

Original Post by teaandtrifle:

The same thing has been happening to me! I notice it in red bell peppers. They look fine and I wash them but they have a weird chemically taste. I bought three peppers over the span of two months and each one had that strange taste. I can't stand it!

This seems so odd, as if maybe some bell peppers are coming from a contaminated source.  A week seldom goes by that I do not buy bell peppers (usually red, orange, or yellow or all 3 and occasionally green).  I buy from 4 stores: Walmart in one town, Super Walmart in another, our local grocery store, and a larger grocery store in a neighboring town.  I am stating that I have bought hundreds of bell peppers the last two years or so and have never had one taste or smell funny.  So I am thinking that the bell peppers I am eating are coming from different original sources than from where some others of you are getting them from. 

Or maybe there is something in the peppers that causes some people to have a "chemical" reaction with what their body/mouth produces.  Some people are not tolerate of dairy products, nuts, gluten, etc.

Original Post by teaandtrifle:

The same thing has been happening to me! I notice it in red bell peppers. They look fine and I wash them but they have a weird chemically taste. I bought three peppers over the span of two months and each one had that strange taste. I can't stand it!

Thank you! I thought I was going crazy... Because I know there is something WRONG with those peppers... not all of them but some of them!  (and the strawberries too!) They were definitely bad... Looked PERFECT but the taste is so strange. Thank you teaandtrifle for noticing it too... I knew it could not just be me.

There is something wrong with those peppers!Yell

Original Post by kdh1221:

Also I want to throw in that, yeast is generally present floating around in the air. If you leave a cup of juice sitting out, yeast will get in it and start it fermenting. It is a different type of yeast used for breads or alcohols.

My husband and I make wine sometimes, and even if we have put wine yeast into the batch - if 1 little stupid random other yeast gets in, it will actually take over and leave this horrible... almost walnut smell.

So, it is possible the store might have some sort of yeast issue, or wherever they get their produce from. Check other stores for local produce, at least with my stores here (SC) it is almost never more expensive than imported mexican items. You should have some actual produce only type store somewhere near you, farmers market, etc.

 

that is interesting... because it has been from one HEB store here in Texas. I buy from 3 differnt HEB's but it is only the one that I have had this issue.

Thanks for the info!

I'd try a different store. I bought produce at an Aldi's once (no frills, low cost, cheapo store) and it was frighteningly gross. Strange taste, moldy flavors, flavors I'd never tasted before. never again.

This is so frustrating! I have been experiencing the exact same thing with peppers and strawberries. I first noticed this smell and taste from strawberries at a local produce market where the berries were always wonderful. I haven't bought fresh strawberries since then (November) so I can't compare to other stores. But I have noticed this repeatedly with red peppers from that market and Walmart. It even leaves that mildew-like smell on my cuttingboard, knife, and food processor. I'm at my wits' end! I think I may buy frozen for the rest of the winter and hope that this is some sort of spray or something that is used outside of season to ripen them. If you get any more info, please let me know! I'm not pregnant or crazy, and I do not eat bananas. It is something FROM THE STORE, not my fridge, because I smell this odor very strongly from the peppers at Walmart without even touching them.

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