My kids love strawberries. They want them every time we go to the farmer's market, and all season long they gobble them up. Plain, with whipped cream, in smoothies, on shortcake, in all ways they love the little berries.
I was too late ordering berry plants this year, so they are only getting a handful from old plants in the garden. Each one is watched carefully, and when the berry is ripe, one lucky kid gets it.
I only buy organic strawberries, as the fields conventional berries grow in are fumigated with methyl bromide -- strawberries are frustrating to grow organically. But methyl bromide makes the people who apply it sick, and it's ozone-depleting.
(I know, some people will say that growers are required to provide safety gear for their workers, and follow best practices about application of toxic substances, etc. That's true. It's also expensive, and when money and ethics collide, sometimes the health of a worker isn't the number one consideration. Until I personally believe that every grower treats their workers the same way they would treat their own minor children, I buy organic. It's a small price to pay from my privileged place for better health for someone planting and picking my strawberries.)
Now, the State of California is about to approve a different fumigant for berry fields -- methyl iodide. It doesn't deplete the ozone, but is spectacularly toxic and carcinogenic. If public outcry isn't big enough, this thing is going to be approved on June 29. I have my doubts about the strength of online petitions, but if you'd like to be counted as standing against this approval, you can go here and sign the petition. I don't know how else to contact the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, but if you do, go ahead. Feel free to pass this on to everyone you know who might have contacts or abilities to make a difference.
The children of strawberry field workers deserve nothing less.
Harvest Monday - April 24, 2107
1 hour ago