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The Sneaky Reason Why Grocery Stores Spray Produce With Water

It's not saving you any cash–that's for sure.

It's a scene we've all experienced: Rolling your shopping cart through the produce section of the grocery store, you suddenly hear a rush of water come spraying out onto the produce through little nozzles. From herbs and carrots to lettuce and broccoli, everything is glistening with a layer of fresh water.

You may just think it's to keep the produce fresh—but that actually isn't the only reason

Keep reading to learn why grocery stores reportedly spray water onto their produce, and then, check out these 6 Things You'll See at Costco This Year.

According to Southern Living, misting produce with water causes its weight to increase—so if you're buying produce by the pound, then that extra water means you'll be paying more at checkout. Most produce absorbs the mist and causes it to bloat out, making it weigh more due to the water weight. 

In 2016, Produce Business shared numbers from a study that found that broccoli that was not misted weighed about 4% less over a 16-hour period. Misted broccoli gained an additional 5% of water weight—causing customers to pay more than needed. 

In the study, researchers also found that carrots lost more than 7% of their weight in just 16 hours when not misted.

While it's true that grocery store produce glistening with droplets of water looks more fresh and clean, it's not necessary for some produce to remain wet in order to stay fresh. Some vegetables, such as potatoes and onions, have skin on them that allows them to retain moisture without misting. 

But some produce, The New York Times notes, really needs to be sprayed to keep it from wilting or spoiling before it can be sold. 

However, that's far from the only reason grocery stores use this tactic—it's to increase profits as well. The next time you're food shopping, be sure to shake that extra water off before going to the checkout lane. It might save you a few cents!

For more grocery news, check out This Is One Of Costco's Biggest Secrets.

Kristen Warfield
Kristen Warfield is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz’s journalism program in the Hudson Valley region of New York. Read more about Kristen