Strawberries happen to be one of my favorite fruit so I was shocked to learn buying organic was not much different then conventional. Read on for more.
Shock! Certified organic strawberries aren’t so organic after all. Although organic strawberries sell for 50% to 100% more than conventional berries, organic strawberries are fumigated with toxic chemicals, including methyl bromide at the beginning of their life-cycle.
Methyl bromide, is used to sterilize the soil before strawberries are planted. It’s not sprayed on the fruit. It’s a soil fumigant that kills just about everything it touches. Many hybridized seed varieties have been created that can only grow in sterile soil.
Prior to the fruit bearing stage virtually all strawberries regardless of if they continue on as conventionally grown berries or organic ones—are treated with toxic chemical fumigants and other unsavory pesticides.
Strawberries are particularly subject to pests. It takes a lot of toxic chemicals to keep production and thus profits up in these vast mono-crop strawberry farms.
The U.S. is the world’s largest producer of strawberries. California is responsible for approximately 75 percent of the fresh and processed strawberries exported. Almost 90 percent of U.S.-grown fresh strawberries come from California. It’s also where the majority of the world’s strawberry nursery plants emanate, but there’s not one single organic nursery there.
A truly organic approach to growing strawberries involves rotating strawberries with other crops like broccoli or a suitable cover crop. Broccoli is a natural fungicide and protects strawberries.
Rotating crops prevents pathogens from setting up house and multiplying. “Most fungi attack in summer, survive the winter as spores in the soil or plant litter, then attack again in the next growing season. So planting the same crops in the same fields year after year allow pathogens to build their populations.”
In 2010 as part of the U.S. agreement to the Montreal Protocol
Methyl bromide commercial use was supposedly banned. But strawberry field fumigation and several other common agriculture applications are excepted from the ban. Methyl bromide is also associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer in farm workers. continue reading
Tags: strawberries, organic strawberries, organic foods, diet, healthy eating, pesticides