Thursday, March 22, 2012

Good News For Strawberry Fans

Like most small children, my granddaughter loves eating strawberries. They fit snug between the thumb and index finger, a succulent bite that goes right into the mouth, leaving a handy green stem for easy throwaway and a bit of juice dribbling onto the chin. Ever since I learned how many pesticides are used to keep strawberries disease-free, I have been urging family members and blog readers to shun non-organic fruit. The more people to request organic and buy organic, the more organic fruit places like Wellfleet Marketplace will carry. Yesterday came the stupendous news that pesticide maker Arysta is removing cancer-causing methyl iodide from the market. Gone, just like that. Yes, the company gave in to the many consumer groups who had gathered names on petitions and lobbied the EPA and the FDA. You may remember methyl iodide is a neurotoxin, not really something you want to consume, and especially bad for the developing bodies and brains of small children, as well as for the workers who harvest the strawberries.

I will continue to recommend buying organic and locally grown organic strawberries at that, whenever possible. Why? Because pesticides can cross the thin skin into the fruit. Traces of 54 pesticides were found on non-organic strawberries tested by What’s On My Food. Unacceptable!

Local organic strawberries also taste better. I can remember shopping at the open-air market in France, when strawberry season came around, at the beginning of spring. How luscious those French strawberries were! They also smelled sweeter. Sweden, too, still has a strawberry season. Strawberries that originate on the other side of the country, or the world for that matter, don’t. They are made to travel. Can you remember what real strawberries taste like?

June 17th, the Wellfleet Historical Society will hold its annual strawberry festival. Do you think the organizers should purchase organic strawberries this year?

And, here are a couple questions from David Wright: "As the person who may be buying the strawberries for the Hist. Soc. festival, it would be helpful if you would also ask these two questions of your readers: 1) do you know of a local farm that could supply organic strawberries in the large quantity we need? I'd estimate we serve over 300 people. We could find no local supplier, organic or otherwise, to fill our order last year.
2) Would you be willing to pay twice as much (that would be $10-12.00) for a single serving of organic strawberry shortcake? Unless the answer to both these questions is yes, I'd venture to say that the best we could do would be to offer an organic option for those particular enough."