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. Speaking of poison that EPA knows about in our foods, look up clothianidin. It’s being used on corn products, gardens, etc.. pollinating insects such as bees (my family’s love) are dying like crazy because of this product that is banned in Germany and other countries, but the US hasn’t followed suit. Not only does it have a half life of 19yrs in the soil, it’s toxic. Imagine putting that into your bodies? Without bees/pollinating insects, we won’t have locally grown food. =( Just saddening to think we have a govt that isn’t really protecting us.

    • That is really frightening… We had two honeybee hives last year that collapsed, no doubt due to the toxic pesticides our neighbor, the strawberry farmer, sprays at all hours of the day and night.


  2. Elana,
    I love all things berry. It looks amazing. I love eating my berry smoothie, or berries with granola. I am thinking of going vegan next month. I have been an ovo-lacto vegetarian.

    Beautiful picture. Very impressed and hungry.

  3. I am new to the gluten-free diet world as of last week. I am very glad I found your blog and book(s)! This post caught my eye for another reason though, I live in the straberry capital of the U.S. – Plant City, Florida. On one side of our property, we have a field of many acres, planted with strawberries 6 months out of the year. We live on four acres, so our house isn’t directly in the path of the pesticide sprayers; however, I have to constantly be on the lookout when the kids go out to play to make sure the farmer doesn’t spray them with his toxic fumes. We never buy non-organic strawberries, although we used to before living here over ten years ago! Living this close to strawberry fields day in and day out has taught us the importance of only buying organic strawberries, because the others are toxic!

  4. Excellent information, Elana. I’m hypothroid and have learned that methyl iodide affects the thyroid. I buy organic strawberries when I can find them, but now, I will only buy organic. If I can’t find them, I won’t buy them! Thank you!

  5. Signed the petition. Thanks for the heads-up!

    Looking forward to your new cookbook. We own the Almond Flour Cookbook and love it :-)

  6. Elana – thanks for sharing this information. I’ve been reading up on green agriculture and foods that are and aren’t healthy for our families. Lots to learn…this is scary stuff. I immediately signed the petition.

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