Keep Your Hands Off Our Strawberries

Everybody loves strawberries.  At least everybody I know.  They’re an absolute favorite food in our house.  Luckily, we are fortunate enough to have access to, and can afford organic strawberries.  For those who are not so lucky, sadly, the dangers are many.  First and foremost, a toxic pesticide called methyl iodide is used to grow our favorite berry, and according to John Froines of UCLA, it is “one of the most toxic chemicals on earth.”

Methyl idiodide is a gas pesticide that is injected into soil, it is not on our actual berries.  The problem?  Methyl iodide is:

  • highly toxic and reactive
  • a well known carcinogen
  • linked to late term miscarriages
  • a source of ground water and soil contamination
  • able to contaminate neighboring properties via pesticide drift
  • especially toxic to workers in the fields

Do people really need to be poisoned so that I can have strawberries for dessert?  I say no.  Thinking of a corporation touching nature’s bounty is most disturbing indeed, which is why I am begging Arysta (the largest pesticide company in the world) to: keep your hands off our strawberries!  Since this company is in the business of selling poison, I highly doubt they will listen to my plea.

Thankfully, one of my favorite organizations, PAN, has come to the rescue, filing a petition with the EPA to ban the use of this scary pesticide nationwide.  EPA is considering public comment until April 30th.  What can you do?  Just head over to PAN’s website and sign the online petition.  This chemical is too toxic to be used safely as a soil fumigant pesticide, and has no place in our country’s agriculture.

By the way, conventionally grown strawberries come with a mouth watering dose of 53 additional pesticides.  However, you can take heart in the fact that there are many amazing companies such as Swanton Farms that are doing it right –growing beautiful strawberries without ANY chemical assistance from corporate America.

We grow strawberries in our sunny front yard.  The stunning photo above (taken by the incredible Annabelle Breakey) is from my forthcoming book Gluten-Free Cupcakes (coming out in less than 3 weeks –um, not sure what they’re thinking, but it’s on sale for pre-order for only $9.03 right now).  Most importantly though, remember to protect nature’s bounty by protecting our strawberries!


59 responses to “Keep Your Hands Off Our Strawberries”

  1. Elana, this is a GORGEOUS photo. And I agree with you on the strawberry front – no pesticides! I’m definitely signing the petition and have already made the decision not to buy non-organic. Just planted some in our own garden too. Also just ordered your book – can’t wait to make these!

  2. This is a fabulous post about the dangers of conventional strawberries. I didn’t know about the pesticides being injected into the soil as well! Thanks so much for sharing this info and bringing more awareness to this important topic. :)

  3. Thank you – from here on out, I’ll buy organic strawberries, and eat the ones that grow in my back yard.

    They are a great choice for ground cover near our walkway, as they only get to 8″-10″ tall and require no maintenance.

    Raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries are also easy to grow. The plants are free or cheap to acquire – so much more cost effective than buying the berries! As a bonus, we see so many more beautiful, brightly colored birds in our yard, as they love the berries too. I’ve also had the pleasure of looking out into my back yard and seeing the woodchuck from my neighbor’s yard sitting on my garage roof, eating raspberries off the top of our raspberry bush (and we live in a city).

  4. Thank you Elana for bringing this to so many people’s attention! This is a highly important issue that people need to be aware of.

  5. I knew strawberries were sprayed with bad things, but I never knew THIS! Also, I think that is the prettiest and yummiest looking photo that you have ever shared with us on your blog! Kudos :)

  6. To answer Claire, pesticides are sadely the same in Europe. Strawberry mostly comes from Spain ( big, fat, red & jucy, full of pesticids), French “garriguette” comes later in spring( now: 9€ for 250grammes!) sooo expensive! Organic strawberry are not yet in season… We have to wait… Elana, you just convice me to plant my own berries garden in my Provence house! Thanks for your amazing work & your community

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this link. I just signed the petition and posted a link to it on Facebook. My kids are always begging for strawberries, and it makes me so sad to have to tell them no most of the time when organic berries are not available.

    Your cupcake looks a-maz-ing, and I will definitely be checking out your new book!

  8. Well said. My guess is those reading this blog are more aware of this issue so…. I am not only going to sign the PAN petition for the EPA….I am going to share your post and the PAN petition with as many people as I can that may not come in contact with this information on their own.
    Thanks Elana !

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