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. My boys ask for strawberries when we are at a restaurant and I always try to get them to choose something else if they are not organic. What are we doing to our planet?

  2. Signed it!
    Now for the cupcakes — I added a little coconut oil to the batter, served them unfrosted and called them muffins — delicious! Tomorrow we’ll add some sliced strawberries and some whipped topping or honey with vanilla and call them shortcake!
    My daughter’s school next year is nut free, so we’ll rely on coconut flour for the lunch box. I think this recipe will work with any fruit that happens to be in season!
    Thanks so much!
    : )

  3. I just pre-ordered your new cookbook for me and one for my daughter. We love your website and have enjoyed the recipes so much. I gave several of your first cookbooks as Christmas presents last year because of how much we enjoyed the recipes from your website. Thanks so much for your hard work and great information.

  4. I agree that the herbicide is scary and should not be used, but organic strawberry growers (especially the large ones) often use plastic sheeting for weed control. This has led to massive erosion and environmental damage from runoff in some areas of California. I realize the herbicide is a health issue, but we often overlook the effects of what is used instead of the herbicide. I think the best plan is to buy from small local farmers if possible.

  5. I can’t wait for the new cupcake cookbook! I absolutely love your recipes and thank you so much for helping even the “cooking challenged” make delicious healthy meals!

  6. Just pre-ordered your Gluten Free Cupcakes book! Thanks for this awareness. My daughter LOVES strawberries and now that they are in season, we have purchased a lot of them. However, they have not been organic strawberries. After reading this, I feel awful for giving her strawberries that may contain carcinogenic pesticides. Moving forward, I will seek out organic strawberries exclusively. They do cost a lot more, but worth the peace of mind. I live in Parker, CO. Do you have any suggestions for local farmers markets/farms that we could purchase strawberries for a more reasonable price than King Soopers/Sprouts/Whole Foods markets?

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