Monday, May 11, 2009

Strawberries - Is Organic Important?

We feel terrible that we're about to break your hearts, but it's inevitable if we are to continue our conversation about organic versus nonorganic and the infamous "Dirty Dozen". We do believe that strawberries are one of America's favorite fruits - it's certainly one of ours, so it's sad to think that this beautiful, red, and luscious fruit tops the list as one of the Dirty Dozen. Who would have guessed the glorious strawberry could ever be considered "dirty"?

Well, maybe it's because all the insects of the world feel as passionately about this fruit as we do and the only way for us to eat it before they do, is to spray, spray, spray. And spray, spray, spray they do. According to Cindy Burke's book, "Some organic growers joke that conventionally grown strawberries are so full of chemicals, you could grind them up and use them as a pesticide." I don't know about you, but we don't see the funny in that one! Sadly, 65 different pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides are registered for use on the much loved strawberry.

According to Cindy's research, strawberries are the most chemically intensive crop in California. Many commercial strawberry growers use methyl bromide, a toxic, ozone-depleting chemical to eradicate all fungus, nematodes, microorganisms, and weeds, effectively killing every living thing in the soil where strawberry plants are grown. AND THEN, for the remaining growth cycle, the plants are drip-fed chemical fertilizers. Because methly bromide can cause poisoning, neurological damage, and reproductive harm, the EPA classifies it as a Toxicity Category One compound, which is a classification reserved for the most deadly substances it regulates. Wonderful.

If your heart is still intact, brace yourself for this. When the PDP releases its annual lists of produce samples with residues present after harvesting, that exceed tolerance levels, strawberries appear more often than any other fruit or vegetable.

Sorry. So So Sorry.

Of course, there is a solution to all of this! You can support your local organic growers, which in turn, will help drive prices down in the future, or you can grow your own - like us!

Coming Soon... A Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner - You Choose! And You Even Get To Eat Organic Strawberries With It....


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