Pumpkins and Bone Meal


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Hi, I am relatively new to gardening and have been growing pumpkins. I started using bone meal as several of my pumpkins are right at the flowering stage and I read that this would be a good time to add bone meal to encourage the flower growth which needs phosphorus to help with that. My question is: once my pumpkins fruit and I harvest them, will they be safe to eat? I’ve read several articles about the dangers of bone meal and I don’t know how accurate those articles are, but I don’t want to consume my pumpkins if they are in danger of being contaminated or something by the bone meal, thanks to anyone who can offer advice!
 
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A quick search brings up an article about the possibility of bone meal being contaminated with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (A.K.A. Mad Cow Disease), but there doesn't seem to be too much data showing actual risk.

Of course, it is important to remember that eating a plant nourished by fertilizer is very different than directly consuming the fertilizer. Most or all fertilizers, including ones certified for organic use, should not be directly consumed.

 
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A quick search brings up an article about the possibility of bone meal being contaminated with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (A.K.A. Mad Cow Disease), but there doesn't seem to be too much data showing actual risk.

Of course, it is important to remember that eating a plant nourished by fertilizer is very different than directly consuming the fertilizer. Most or all fertilizers, including ones certified for organic use, should not be directly consumed.

I just scared myself. The longer term implications are stunning.


Anyway you should fertilize with nitrogen and potassium when those fast growers hit the flower stage. They are heavy feeders on all the nutrients. One key is usable calcium to prevent blossom end rot. Magnesium Sulphate (Epsom Salt) are supposed to help uptake of existing stores while Calcium Nitrate is an immediately available form of calcium with a nitrogen kick if you get in trouble. No time is available to wait on calcium from sources that have to be broken down first.
 
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I admit that prion article is interesting, but so much more research is needed. Not eating any plants that may have come into contact with an animal or its by-products will greatly reduce one's dietary choices.

By the way, that article led me to an abstract of a recent 2021 paper by the same authors showing that the misfolded proteins that cause Alzheimer's Disease can be transmitted by various types of injection, but not by eating it. It seems you also shouldn't get the stuff in your eyes. This was studied in mice. Again, it is interesting.
 
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I admit that prion article is interesting, but so much more research is needed. Not eating any plants that may have come into contact with an animal or its by-products will greatly reduce one's dietary choices.

By the way, that article led me to an abstract of a recent 2021 paper by the same authors showing that the misfolded proteins that cause Alzheimer's Disease can be transmitted by various types of injection, but not by eating it. It seems you also shouldn't get the stuff in your eyes. This was studied in mice. Again, it is interesting.
I am trying to register a plant using a protien whole, rather than the amino acids that make them up.
 
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Well, I think I did put a little too much on each plant base, but my concern is how the plant may absorb prions as suggested below and then eating the pumpkin may result in dangerous effects.
It seems our knowledge of prion transmission is increasing, but obviously there is still much to learn. Interpreting or misinterpreting a few scientific studies in isolation can lead to a lot of unfounded suppositions. Ultimately, you'll have to decide what you consider to be acceptable risk.

Bone meal has been used as fertilizer by humanity for centuries. Moreover, the processes of ecological interaction and nutrient cycling is ongoing all the time. Crop plants are coming into contact with all sorts of other lifeforms constantly. Our knowledge of this is limited and our control of it even less so. If you reject your own produce over this concern, how will you determine if other produce has not also been so exposed?
 
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It seems our knowledge of prion transmission is increasing, but obviously there is still much to learn. Interpreting or misinterpreting a few scientific studies in isolation can lead to a lot of unfounded suppositions. Ultimately, you'll have to decide what you consider to be acceptable risk.

Bone meal has been used as fertilizer by humanity for centuries. Moreover, the process of ecological interaction and nutrients cycling is ongoing all the time. Crop plants are coming into contact with all sorts of other lifeforms constantly. Our knowledge of this is limited and our control of it even less so. If you reject your own produce over this concern, how will you determine if other produce has not also been so exposed?
I think the operative word here is "rare" as it seems to be used in almost a mandatory way in anything I read about prion disease.

As to amino-protein, I was under the impression that the processes of oxidation in composting generically resulted in proteins being broken down into their basic components of amino acids which would render the abilities of an assembled protein inert. This seems to not be the case, as all the writing keeps referring the prion as a protein capable of entering a plant, not just residing on its surface.
 

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